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    14 Reviews
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      25.07.2011 10:28

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      Good little laptop for the money.

      I bought this Advent laptop as a cheap computer to take to work meetings and use on planes and trains. As such it has been great, however I would think that for a similar price you could buy a more powerful machine now. I bought this one 3 years ago.

      Despite only having a 12" screen I don't have a problem working on it for long periods of time and have even managed to hook it up to a monitor at home.

      It has been pretty robust and has been round the world with me.

      The only problem that a couple of others have mentioned is a lack of battery life. Without being plugged in this little laptop will use it's battery within an hour. So for those wanting something that will work for longer I would recommend buying an additional battery to plug into the back.

      It's powerful enough to run all the programs and software that I need, including Firefox, Microsoft Office 2010, iTunes, Kindle etc. It also runs the online LoveFilm service and I've streamed tv programs from BBC iPLayer etc. no problem.

      All in all a great little laptop.

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      10.06.2011 20:50
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      It works! 5 stars! Simples!

      Well, what can I say? This thing really has to be worth 5 stars. 6 if they were available. The glitches that afflict this machine are SO tiny I dare not even mention them. It's stable and I mean WOW is it stable? I don't miss the bigger screen in fact normal laptops feel like lumps in comparison. It does pretty much everything I ask of it including some surprisingly heavy jobs.

      The spec? Well, I won't go into that since the spec is worth nothing if the keyboard dies after a few months. I KNOW there are netbooks I maybe SHOULD get that are out there but it speaks volumes for this machine that I don't think the improved performance I might get is worth the upheaval of re-installing everything and probably, a new operating system. I'm very much a happy Win XP guy and still run some Win ME machines plus Win 3.11 and Win 95, Win 98 etc..

      The keyboard is fine after I hoovered all the fluff and rubbish out of it (this netbook has NOT been "cherished"). I stuffed it full of maximum RAM as soon as I got it. Some of the bundled software is irritating but, so few words into the review, I've run out of things to say about this. It works, brings me tiny amounts of trouble, some of which I MUST be at least partly responsible for.

      I'll sum this up. My next PC is likely to be an Advent netbook (though I have an amazing old Compaq that will NOT give up and like an old ASUS/HiGrade that also has been kind to me, but it will NOT be a Packard Bell, I've had 2 of those, a desktop and a portable and ... well, they're just awful)

      So, on the basis of my experiences pounding this thing daily for about 4 years, get yourself anything with an Advent badge on it.

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      19.09.2010 22:59
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      A portable solution to the big problems, but it only gives you small ones!

      Let's make this easy. Practically, but not quite, the Advent 4211 is an MSI Wind.

      Now for those who have read my MSI Wind review and are getting high blood pressure at the thought of me making a few pennies from reviewing the same product twice - calm down. I owned the Advent 4211 and the MSI Wind, actually starting with the Advent. Despite some huge similarities, there are also some differences which do, funnily enough, make the difference!

      I was desperate to get this little machine when it first came out. At the time, MSI Wind prices were knocking on the door of £300, but I could get the Advent 4211 for around £220. I jumped at the chance, and I have never regretted my purchase!

      As I have already alluded to, the Advent 4211 is essentially an MSI Wind re-badge. In other words, Advent have taken the 4211, changed the casing colour, slapped 'Advent' on the front and Bob's your uncle, and Fanny is your unfortunately named aunty! On the base of the machine, you'll actually find this Advent sports MSI stickers... it really makes you think that you've gotten a lovely little bargain!

      And in all honesty, I genuinely think you have.

      To begin, the size of the netbook is incredibly small, slightly larger than the likes of the early Eee PC's, but I do not see that as a downside. There is such a thing as too small, and I genuinely think the MSI wind is an excellent size - roughly as large as a medium sized hardback book. If you're looking for something as thin as the outrageously expensive Macbook Air you're going to be sorely disappointed, it is at least an inch thick with the lid closed. The nice thing about this model is the fact that the battery is flush with the case, and does not protrude like some of the MSI WInd models equipped with a 6 cell battery. With a 3 cell battery on this model, you will be looking at an absolute maximum of 2.5 hours from source, which I do find somewhat limiting and disappointing for a netbook which promises portability.

      The lid unlike the MSI Wind being a shiny black, white, or even pink (!), the Advent 4211 is a dull black colour with a very nice 'Advent' logo embossed upon it. Far from looking cheap, the netbook looks extremely professional and, if I may say so, expensive! You won't be disappointed by the sturdiness of this netbook but despite this, it is very easy to take apart and to upgrade if you so choose. I will note however that the edges of the lid are prone to being chipped - I don't think the fact the edges are curved helps in this matter. As for ports, you'll find the standard fare of a VGA port, 3 USB ports, an SD card slot, ethernet port, microphone and headphone jack and the obligatory power port make up the offerings on the sides of this netbook.

      The trackpad is small, and the bigger your fingers the smaller it will seem. An adjustment period will be necessary, but if you tweak with the OS mouse speed settings (actually, look at yours on your laptop now, you may be surprised how slow the default is, and how much 'faster' things will seem if you stop the OS purposely slowing down the trackpad!) you can, with one finger-sweep, slide from one corner of the screen to the other. The mouse buttons are, for their part, a little on the shoddy side. Both left and right buttons act on a 'pivot' and after time and use, the buttons may well lose their 'click' on pressing, which mine have unfortunatey. The mouse buttons and trackpad also have a tendency to lose their silver colour after repeated use, which can make the netbook look very tatty. Another point is that the silver paint which lines the inner surfaces of the netbook are notorious for showing up scratches. These scratches seem to appear from nowhere, but I am pretty sure the gap left between the inner surfaces and the lid, even when closed, allow for little bits to unsuspectingly get into the netbook and rub away. The netbook looks quite scratched above the keyboard, but I guarantee I have cared for this laptop very well!

      Looking at the keyboard, there is only one word, and that is compact. I've thought about this a bit, and I think that even if you touch type, or even if you use the 'one finger stabbing at the keys' method, I think after getting used to not moving your fingers so far for every key press, your typing speed may well improve. There's a full set of function buttons assigned to the 'F' row at the top of the keyboard that can be accessed by pressing the Function key a the bottom left of the keyboard. I must note however that the position of the control key has been switched with the function key, so you will (as I still do) think you have copied something (Ctrl+C) when in fact you've not done anything!

      The Advent 4211 so far is identical to the MSI Wind, save for outward appearance. There's no difference under the bonnet, either. The Intel Atom is paraded around as the weak, sickly child of the Intel family. Intel has resurrected hyperthreading for this little processor; essentially, it's equivalent to a dumbed-down version of dual core technology. Perhaps for this reason, the amount I've been able to achieve on this machine is unbelievable, and has equalled if not bettered the general standard of performance of an old Pentium 4 I own! I really have pushed this netbook to the limits, with hundreds of windows open and the fans going wild! Even then it didn't get insanely hot under the collar, but I could tell the netbook didn't like it and would prefer I was nicer to it. The general point is this: the Atom doesn't like multitasking. It will zip by quite nicely playing some simpler games (none of this Crysis or whatever it's called!) and doing work etc., but it won't like you trying to force too much on it at once. You may find yourself waiting ages if you ask too much of it. Look at it like a motorway which suddenly narrows into two lanes. A steady and reasonable flow of traffic will cause no problems. Chuck the traffic seen at rush hour on the M25 at it and there will be queues and bottlenecks galore!

      The one feature missing from the Advent 4211, but found on the MSI Wind, is the overclocking feature where you can push the processor upto 25% faster. Advent have disabled this feature in the BIOS, so you'll be stuck at a maximum clock rate of 1.6GHz. There is a way around this though, if you download the appropriate MSI Wind BIOS. This may void your warranty, but as the Advent is the same as the MSI under the hood, overclocking will be enabled and you can enter the 'zone'... Okay I exaggerate! It's cool to say you're 'overclocking' and rare that a manufacturer will intentionally provide this functionality. Overclocking makes everything a lot 'zippier' and will improve framerate on games. I can't imagine that it would melt the netbook, but all I'll say is, I wouldn't use it all the time!

      The Advent 4211 came with an 80GB hard drive and 1GB ram, and running Windows XP Home. It was fast, responsive, and an absolute joy to use. The netbook is equipped with a 1.3MP camera and bluetooth functionality, something usually reserved for high end laptops! I have connected my netbook to my phone via bluetooth, and accessed the internet that way! People have stared many a time when I was on a train and playing on Facebook... always whispers of 'I didn't know there was Wifi (there isn't on our train operator) and 'How's he doing that?' echoed around the coach! I loved the flexibility of getting work done whilst travelling, without lugging around a huge, cumbersome laptop. At around 1kg in weight, you cannot beat this little thing!

      Speaking of little things, the screen is no exception. You can fit the whole width of the webpage onto one screen, which is a plus, but not a lot of the page will actually be visible. You'll have to get used to scrolling down and up, there just isn't enough room on screen. The vast majority of programs will run without a problem on this 1024x600 resolution, but some programs and games will not play ball at all and refuse to work. There is a convoluted way of making the display 1024x768, but then you'll need to scroll just to see the entire desktop. It isn't practical. All in all though, you'll enjoy watching movies on this thing, but don't bank on watching HD movies. It won't happen. The processor and graphics card will be unable to handle HD content, which in this increasingly HD world is something of a disappointment. You may also be disappointed that without paying a bit more for an external CD-drive, you're not going to be able to use CD's on this device - there isn't the room to fit a drive in! I did buy one, but rarely use it. For the technically minded, use ISO files, otherwise just use a memory stick!

      To summarise, this little netbook is a steal at the price and an excellent introduction into the rather addictive world of netbooking! Even as the price of other competitors comes towards parity around the £250, a cursory glance at ebay this evening pulled one up for £120 buy it now! As I've said before, if you're thinking of an iPad, please don't bother just because it's touch screen and had a picture of an Apple on it! (Do you know why it's an apple with a chunk missing? It's because you 'byte' into an apple. Get it? Computer byte?) Anyway! This is practically a fully functioning laptop, with a keyboard, mouse, webcam, bluetooth and more for potentially a third of the price! If your laptop is too big, and the phone to small, the Advent 4211 will fit neatly into your life, and your 'manbag' (or 'ladybag') too!

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      11.01.2010 00:21

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      Great little machine, very poor battery life.

      I bought this laptop in September 2008, planning to use it whilst living/travelling abroad. Its size made it an ideal candidate for the trip, although I was worried about its reliability and usability given its price and size. It has proved to be both reliable and very easy to use given its decent sized keyboard and full size return key. The fact that it had Windows XP was rare at the time for a notebook of this price and, along with 1GB of RAM, was the thing that cemented my decision to buy it. However, the battery life is poor (it currently lasts for about 30 mins without a power supply). G,iven that most people would buy this for its portable capabilities it is a bit of a let down. You can buy larger cell, longer lasting batteries, but for the extra cost it is probably worth putting that extra cash towards a better machine overall. Nevertheless, this really is the only drawback for what is a really good machine.

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      18.05.2009 01:55

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      Good netbook

      It is Small and convenient. Although it is a small laptop it's screen size is good (10.2"). It's keyboard is big and clear too. It is quite light (1.12kgs) and portable. It came with windows XP which according to me is better than Windows Vista. It's battery life is poor when compared to others and you might need to charge it every 2 hours. It is wireless enabled, so easy to connect to wireless broadbands, printers etc. It has a builtin webcam which is a good thing as you dont have wires hanging out from the cam while chatting. The webcam quality is good. It has 3 USB ports and a SD card slot. But the main disadvantage is that it doesn't have a CD/DVD drive. Although the recent technology has improved and many use USBs and Cards, a lot of us still store data on DVDs or even watch movies. So dont buy it if you watch many movies on discs. But otherwise it performs well and all other features are good for a netbook. It is also reasonably priced.

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      12.01.2009 16:18
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      A super efficient, small and useful netbook, ideal for surfing on the move.

      I received this Netbook as my main Christmas present this year. I've wanted one for a few months now and was over the moon when my other half got me it for Christmas.

      Loaded with XP, which in my opinion is better than Vista (I have this on my big laptop) and complete with the new Atom processor, this dinky little thing is ideal for surfing the internet and doing small tasks. Owing to the smallness of the screen, (and OH actually got the 10" instead of the 8" for this reason), long tasks such as essays and such like are very difficult to do over long periods of time. I've found myself retiring to my giant Advent laptop on more than one occasion during this coursework period!

      Unfortunately, we had to take the first Netbook back as it came with multiple problems. Virtually from the moment it was switched on it began shutting down for no reason, showing the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) for a few seconds before dying. It also had issues with the wireless card. If you shut the lid without shutting down fully, it would not reconnect automatically on opening and often died if you tried 'repair connection' - the only way to reconnect in this situation. So I had to remove all of my work, uninstall my own programmes and return it. Thankfully, as it was within the 28 day period, it was replaced with little quibble.

      My new, replaced Netbook is brilliant. It has none of the issues of the first one and I've been able to take it university instead of lugging my files and books around. In this respect, it's absolutely ideal.

      It comes complete with inbuilt webcam. Beware, however! The Netbook is so small that it does not contain an internal CD drive. Mine came with an external LG drive which connects with USB, so don't be surprised when you can't find the CD door!

      Unfortunately, the battery life really lets it down. Mine will go for only 1:30, which is shocking compared to my big one which can go for 3 hours after 1 year of ownership without cabled power.

      I'm still getting to know my little portable, but I love it so far. It's also ideal if you have cats that like to push your laptop off your knee to make room for themselves. With the Netbook, you can comfortably fit both!

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      09.01.2009 11:57
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      ADVENT 4211C

      This is amazing laptop notebook style computer and very easy to transport around as it is only 1.3Kg in weight. It has a ten inch screen and although it is small but very clear. There is an intergrated Graphics card and there is Microsoft Windows XP which is loaded on to the computer. The Hard drive is 120GB. There also has a built in Webcam facility,Blue tooth option as well.It is operated wireless and you have a battery life of just over two hours worth before one needs to plug it in to the mains electric supply.
      The computer has a black and silver casing which looks very smart.
      I certainly am pleased with it and although I have only had the notebook computer for a few weeks I have certainly have enjoyed using it.
      The keyboard is small but the actual keys are a decent size so if you have large fingers there will be no difficulties in typing with them. That was my problem with other laptops I just found the keyboard difficult to operate,this one no problems.
      The cost was reasonable and good value for money.

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        03.01.2009 00:17
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        All in all its ok but not the best around!

        Ok laptop nothing worth rushing to get.
        I have had this laptop for about 2 months now, i have had a few minor problems with it, 1) a screw coming loose and rattling around inside 2) very noisy fan at start up maybe related to no 1. 3) line out socket loose (i am not rough with plugs etc) other than these 3 issues not many other probs. I do not recommend this for anything but office work and light work at that! e-mails and browsing no problem. Battery only lasts about 1:30 which is poor compaired to some little laptops. The laptop struggles to multi task e.g. browse, listen to music and have photoshop open. These are mostly what I use it for apart from one online game (second life) this laptop will load it but is very slow which is understandable as it was never meant to play games like this. I am looking for a new laptop to replace this one as an everyday laptop for multi tasking etc as for this one it will be used for work for when I have to move around. This laptop would be ideal for someone who needed to use it while on a business trip only to keep in contact via msn/skype or for the older generation like my nan who uses hers to check e-mails, chat on msn and skype along with browser based games on pogo this laptop is ideal for those people. I would not recommend this laptop for a young child or for a teenager it just woulden't cope with the demand that they would require for it to be 'cool'. I would also recommend if you were buying this to get a skin to cover it when not in use as it does tend to scratch easy if left out and about or in your handbag with keys etc it would scratch, also a better battery! Bluetooth is quite easy to use although can be fiddly if you have never used bluetooth on a laptop before. Keyboard is ok again the page up and page down are hard to get to you have to hold down Fn and NumLk then select page up or down before you press Fn and NumLk again to cancel the NumLk this can be very annoying ( i keep forgetting that i have NumLk on) other than that no problem its ok for general and office work.

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        02.01.2009 17:19
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        This is a great netbook and I havnt experienced any problems with it.

        I am writing the reveiw from the netbook itself. It is a really good laptop becasue its size is fantastic and it has a bigger screen than most netbooks and the keypad isnt as small as others aswell. The screen quality is amazing, you can change the brightness levels. It comes with a built in microphone and webcam! The webcam takes great quality pictures which you can put in different frames and effects. it also takes videos. very easy to use. It is fast working and very reliable. it comes with msn on it and its so easy to connect to wireless networks. It takes about 20 seconds to change networks. It also comes with bluetooth so you can bluetooth things from your phone to the netbook to put on whatever. the screen is 10 inches and it weighs 1.2Kg, extremely light but very robust. It has a 120GB hard drive and and big memory. it comes with microsoft works and the other usual things. the wireless and bluetooth are easy to switch on and off, by the press of two buttons. It takes roughly 50 seconds to load up. It is easy to charge and the brightness changes when your netbook is getting lower on battery but you can change that if you want. it has 3 USB slots and a headphone slot etc. the only slot it doesnt have is the CD slot becasue it is a small laptop. It isnt easy to scratch and the black design makes it look very simple and nice. Easy to put up and down and lightweight to carry. It is the perfect size to fit into a portable DVD case, as they are probably cheaper than finding a netbook case.

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        03.12.2008 12:31
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        a convenient computer for use anywhere.

        I have wanted a laptop for quite sometime. I thought the idea of being able to use my laptop anywhere and still connect to the internet was a very good idea. I was looking online at PC World after finding out they had a huge sale and this was the laptop I purchased.

        SPECIFICATION

        Intel Atom N270
        1GB RAM
        80GB hard drive
        Windows XP
        1.1KG
        1600MHz processor speed

        MY OPINION

        The Advent 4211 cost £240 online at PC World. I chose the laptop as it does everything I want it to. It also looks very stylish and echoes the standard of a more expensive laptop. It has a webcam for keeping in touch with any mates via MSN. The webcam has a clear crisp picture and is easy to use.

        It also has Bluetooth connection which makes it easier to transfer files between my phone and PC. It is Wireless enabled which means I can use it whilst on the train or I can use it anywhere in my home even on the loo. It does not come with a CD/DVD drive and this was a major issue for me in fact for an extra £50-£100 I would be inclined to go for a full size laptop if it meant it had a CD/DVD drive. I did buy an external CD/DVD drive and this works just as good.

        I did not want a net book and when I saw this I was very disappointed. The 10" screen seems too small for what I would use it for everyday, however due to the small size it is a lot easier to carry and more convenient for me. In fact it is perfect! It has 1GB memory and a 80GB hard drive this is ideal for running most applications. It does come with Windows XP I was very pleased about this as most new computers are installed with Vista and I really do not like Vista as an Operating System.

        The computer is fast and effective; I have not yet had any problems with it and it works very well. It is fast to connect to the internet and I am able to download files quickly and effectively. The battery life has been a slight concern for me as it does not last nearly as long as I would have expected or hoped for. After a full charge it is possible to get about 1-1.5 hours out of it but this depends on what I am doing on the computer at the time.

        The Laptop itself is comfortable to use and although the mouse pad irritates the life out of me I am getting used to it. It does feel heavy at first and I cannot use it on my lap, however whilst sat up at a desk the laptop is very useful indeed.

        At first I hated the computer, the size was far too small, the lack of CD/DVD port was disappointing and the overall feel and appearance was wrong, I am now so used to it I don't think I could go back. I don't use the CD port all the time but if I ever need to have an external drive. I have a small keyboard to help when typing lots of information and I also have a basic mouse. I would highly recommend this computer.

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          28.11.2008 20:18
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          excellent notebook, pls read my full review

          friends who are very up to date with computers have often turned their noses up about the make 'advent'. we bought a house computer by advent 3 years ago, and it has been superb. this encouraged me to buy this notebook about 6 months ago. when i looked at other notebooks in the shop, none of them were as attractive as this notebook - others were very square looking, where as this notebook is rounded and smooth. i was concerned with it being so small that the keys and screen would be too small. i was proved wrong. the notebook has been fantastic, i can think of no complaints. i am not very 'tech-like', but i will try and explain what i love about this notebook. built in wireless, clear screen, perfect colour. the keys are easy to use and the battery life is over average for a laptop/computer. i did have to buy a disc drive thing for £30 that can be plugged in to use disks on the computer (notebook doesn't have disk/dvd drive) - but that is fine. overall i would really recommed this, 10/10

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            23.11.2008 00:03
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            If you need a machine to use on the go this will do the job very nicely.

            The Advent 4211 is a rebranded HCI Wind. The general reviews for the Wind will be apply for the Advent 4211.

            The Advent 4211 is part of a new wave of "SSCs" (Small Cheap Computers). Low powered computers sold cheap. In general they come in two sizes (8" and 10"), most use the with the same hardware under the hood. The current standard is a Intel Atom 1.6GHz, between 512 MB and 1GB of RAM and a Intel 945 graphics adapter. The different brands then change the quality of the screen, rearrange the keyboard and increase or reduce the build quality.

            The Advent 4211 is a on the high end of specifications range, with 1 gig of RAM (upgradeable to 2) and a 10" screen. This provides the tiny little machine with more than enough umpf to do some demanding tasks well above the stated use of web browsing and checking email. I have run some fairly weighty applications and it handles them in its stride. Until I tried a modern game. While the CPU is for its size is impressive the graphics card is very poor. I was not expecting it to run X3, I am disappointed it can not handle Halflife2 - a four year old game. Especially as on paper it should be able too.

            While it has a high specification at £280 it is cheaper than most. So corners have been cut, the most obvious is the cheap quality of the screen (and I don't just mean small, one has to accept small when dealing with Netbooks). The second place noticeable cheap point is the internal speakers. My mobile phones internal speakers sound better and have a high max volume. The overall build quality is also affected. It is not badly build, but the plastic is has a "SmartPrice" quality.

            On such a small device, the keyboard and mouse pad need to be well designed to be usable. I'm not a fan of mouse pads, but this one does move mouse cursor when you ask it to, and not (as I find with some) when you are typing. Plus it has the buttons in the correct place, under the mouse pad. The alphanumeric section of the keyboard is a good size but alas the "lesser used" keys such as punctuation are 1 /2 sized which I find a tad irritating. Plus the control and the Function button are the wrong way round. I end up with c, x and v's filling my documents as I fail to copy and paste.

            The battery is a small 3 cell job. Very light (as is the rest of the machine) and easy to fit but a real pain to remove. For normal use on the move this seams to be adequate, I used the device for 2 and a half hours on a long trip, and it still had juice left. I have also done some more formal tests. I played a standard definition video full screen in a loop and unplugged the power supply. It lasted a respectable 78 minutes. When running on battery it has a rather neat "Low Power" mode that dims the back light and sets the CPU to half its normal running speed. I re-ran the experiment in this mode but with the screen of full brightness - however got only 80 minutes of life.

            The shipped software is lacking, consisting of just the god-awful Microsoft Works and the OS+drivers. But with Open Office a free download I see no reason to stick with Works. A device meant as a "Internet terminal" should ship with firewall and anti-virus software, but alas both are missing.

            For a netbook it is well connected with three USB 2.0 sockets (two on the left and one the right), a SD card reader, a standard VGA connector, Ethernet (all on the right), blue tooth and WiFi (G not the new N). I've only used the WiFi a few times but it found a signal quickly, and connected without issue. Unfortunately one of the USB ports has become a little temperamental and will not accept every device I plug into it. It is fine with my mobile phone but ignores my mouse and DSL modem. It also comes with two standard-sized audio jacks. By default this is mic and headphones, but the audio drivers will let you change them and asks you what you have plugged in each time you plug something in. A feature I found pointless, and luckily you can set defaults. You might have noticed that most of the connections are on the right. On the left side between the two USB ports and the power port is a large air vent from which you can hear the fan whirl when you ask it to do something CPU heavy.

            Overall I really like this machine. It is just the right size to put on airplane table, runs all the applications you need and looks great, if a little cheap. Sure I'd love it to play Halflife2 but it is under the magic £300. However I can only recommend one if you are in the market for an ultra portable. If not then you can buy a desktop computer for £300 that would blow this out of the water.

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              07.10.2008 16:04

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              If you can afford this, then buy the Acer Aspire Once, same price only better

              I no longer own this item, as i returned it within a couple of weeks of purchasing it.

              When I originally got it i was very happy, it looked great and ran perfectly fine for the not-so-demanding tasks i wanted it for (mobile internet surfing, email, torrent client etc).

              Pretty much straight away it developed 2 bright red hot/dead pixels right in the centre of the screen. I was willing to put up with this as some retailers have stupid rules surrounding deal pixels (you are not allowed to return it unless there is at least 5 etc). I then quickly noticed that the monitor would cut off every couple of hours or so, which required a restart in order to get it working again.

              In the end I returned it and bought an Acer aspire one (XP, 120gb) and havnt looked back since. For the same money you get more features, better looks, reliability, a better make, and even a cute little pouch to keep it in.

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              16.09.2008 20:01
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              You will be surprised at what £279 gets you

              Always on the hunt for new toys, and primarily a replacement for my 12-inch PowerBook. I had been keeping my eye on the netbook front for the last month or so. Initially I was really tempted to wait for the Asus Eee PC 901 or 1000H, but then through the forums I heard of the MSI Wind U100. This little 10-inch screen notebook looked superb. The term being touted is 'Netbook' due to it being ideally suited to surfing and emails, with the odd office task.

              Anyway, the MSI model seemed to be so hard to get hold of. Then the Advent 4211 appeared on the PC World website. It was a rebadge, sourced and manufactured by MSI, so really just a different colour Wind, except at £279 it is cheaper. The box is tiny and hides this little laptop inside. The laptop itself is very solid and has a nice build to it. The lid that houses the screen has very little flex which is encouraging. The screen itself is very hard, pressing a little causes no ripples, so it seems very robust. The battery is a slimline 3-cell, which proves a bit hard to fit and remove, but a snug fit, which does not protrude from the base of the laptop at all.

              The keyboard feels nice and responsive, with the keys have just the right amount of travel. Size is good too, comparing to a full size notebook it is almost the same, just a bit more compact. The symbols on the keys are nice and clear too.

              On first start up, you are asked a few set-up questions, but it lets you get underway with Windows XP SP3 pretty fast. I was certainly up and running within about five minutes. The only problem I have experienced is getting it to recognise my wireless network, but I am sure I will sort that out.

              In use the screen is very crisp and clear. The backlighting seems very even and the brightness is pretty darn impressive. Normally my experience of PC laptops is that the screen never goes as bright as I would like. The Advent 4211 is the first that I have to say I am happy with. A white page is as it should be, white and not grey. After an hours use, the system is running very quietly. I created a restore backup following the instructions, using an SD card. This tooks about 12 minutes, and I suggest you do the same, as it means you have a copy of all the drivers you need too. Overall, the Advent 4211 has impressed. The trackpad is a little small, but again you will get used to it. If you need something really portable thought, then pop into a PC World and take a look. You will be surprised at what £279 gets you.

              *UPDATE* I am happy to confirm that after an official BIOS update and updating the network card driver, the wi-fi connection is now OK and very stable.

              Note: I am the original author of this review at www.geekanoids.co.uk

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