Advent 4214 review
Going by the prices of the current crop of netbooks, it seems most manufacturers have forgotten the netbook’s humble £200 beginnings. In fact, only Advent and the keenly-priced 4214 have managed to keep anywhere near that figure.
As you’d expect for the price, the 4214 doesn’t major on style. The matte black lid contrasts unexcitingly with the silver interior and the overall effect is underwhelming. Nor is it particularly light, weighing an unremarkable 1.29kg.
The specification, though, is nigh-on identical to its pricier rivals, with an Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard disk. Performance from the trio is as you’d expect: a score of 0.38 in our benchmarks places the 4214 up there with more expensive models. Battery life is poor, however, thanks to its low-capacity 2,200mAh battery. Our light use test bled the Advent dry in just 2hrs 29mins.
The 4214 disappoints elsewhere too. The keyboard layout is needlessly cramped, and the wide but overly squat keys are enough to irritate after mere minutes of use. Looking on the bright side, the squished keyboard does at least leave plenty of room for a decent touchpad.
The 10.2in display is better: the matte finish and high brightness do a great job of keeping things legible under bright sunlight. The quality, however, leaves a little to be desired. Skintones look overly cold and bluish, and highlights tended to be overblown, swallowing fine detail.
It may be one of the most affordable nettops out there, but Advent’s 4214 fails to offer good value for money. Poor battery life will leave you running back to the mains with aggravating regularity, and with no option to buy an extra battery to keep in reserve, the Advent is one netbook best left on the shelf.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||258 x 189 x 28mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Atom N270|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,024|
|Resolution screen vertical||600|
|Resolution||1024 x 600|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA 950|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||149GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA|
|Optical disc technology||N/A|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||no|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||2hr 29min|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.38|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows XP Home|
|OS family||Windows XP|