Advent 4214 review

£250
Price when reviewed

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.

Advent 4214 review

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

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 258 x 189 x 28mm (WDH)
Weight 1.290kg
Travelling weight 1.6kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Atom N270
RAM capacity 1.00GB
Memory type DDR2

Screen and video

Screen size 10.2in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,024
Resolution screen vertical 600
Resolution 1024 x 600
Graphics chipset Intel GMA 950
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 160GB
Hard disk usable capacity 149GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA
Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive N/A
Battery capacity 2,200mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support no
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support no
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel 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
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 0.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no

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

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