Advent 5612 review
Take a look at the Advent 5612’s price and you’d be forgiven for doing a double-take. But it isn’t a misprint – this really is a 15.4in laptop for little more than your average netbook.
Start by perusing the Advent’s specifications and it’s clear where the cash has been saved. The Intel Celeron T1600 processor is the slowest of all the processors here, and with a lonely 2GB stick of DDR2 RAM occupying the only memory slot, the Advent lagged behind with 0.76 in our benchmarks. Then again, that’s twice the speed of a netbook.
Gaming performance was next to non-existent thanks to the basic Intel GMA 4500M graphics, a chipset that left the 5612 staggering through our Crysis benchmark at a slideshow-esque four frames per second.
Keep the lid closed and the 5612 looks almost stylish, thanks to the glossy black lid highlighted with a single grey pinstripe. There’s even a practical touch in the shape of twin lid clasps to keep the screen firmly shut in a bag.
But, once you’ve tilted that lid back, the Advent is less than pretty. The two-tone gloss and matte-black finish jar unpleasantly against a silver surround and trackpad. Such ugliness would be forgivable if the 5612 were just a tad more usable. Alas, ergonomics aren’t where the 5612’s strengths lay. The keyboard has a positive action, but the keys’ square shape and rattly feel don’t instill confidence. The trackpad is also far from perfect, waylaid by stiff buttons.
Elsewhere, the Advent puts in an unremarkable performance. The 15.4in display is bright enough, but has narrow viewing angles, a bluish tone and poor contrast. It’s a similar story with the speakers which, while not entirely awful, produce a tinny, lightweight tone.
The final nail in the Advent’s coffin is battery life. Light use saw the 5612 manage a mere two hours, and 1hr 20mins under heavy usage.
While there’s no doubt that building a 15.4in laptop for just £304 is impressive, Advent has had to cut a few too many corners to get there.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||358 x 256 x 41mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Celeron T1600|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel GL40|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||1|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,280|
|Resolution screen vertical||800|
|Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA 4500|
|Graphics card RAM||96MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Toshiba MK1652GSX|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||TSST TS-L633A|
|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|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|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||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||Intel HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Above keyboard|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||2hr 0min|
|Battery life, heavy use||1hr 20min|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.76|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||4fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit|
|OS family||Windows Vista|
|Recovery method||Burn own recovery discs|
|Software supplied||Microsoft Works SE 9|