Advent is PC World's in-house brand, and provides home power and usability at affordable prices. While the Advent 4211c is a rebranded version of the 10.2-inch MSI Wind U100, its fantastic screen, interface and high-street availability make it a great choice.
The slim chassis weighs just 1.1kg – the same as all but the Samsung NC10. Its smooth black and silver styling looks great and suits both home and business use. The poor 167-minute battery life is bettered by all but the MSI U90, however, and limits mobility.
Usability is one of the Advent's key strengths. The keyboard stretches the whole 260mm-width of the chassis and all keys are firmly attached. Its typing action is one of the smoothest we've seen on any netbook. The tiny 50 x 38mm touchpad can be awkward to use, however.
The 10.2-inch screen is impressive. Brightness, colour and contrast are all strong, so excellent visibility is provided in all lighting conditions. Photos, videos and office work look great, and the screen folds back far enough for comfortable use on a train or plane seat-back table.
As with most netbooks, a camera is built into the screen panel. It provides a great way to stay in touch when on the move, as you can stream live video over the internet. Unfortunately, the low specification means that video doesn't run particularly smoothly.
While other processors are used in the netbook market, Intel's Atom CPU is the most popular. The 1.6GHz N270 chip is used by most systems, and its low-powered performance suits content consumption, rather than creation.
When running standard office applications, sending email and browsing the internet, the Advent runs smoothly and quickly. Anything more taxing – such as even basic photo and video editing – brings the system to a crawl, however, showing the limits of its abilities.
A benefit of this low power consumption is the minimal heat generated by the system. Even after working for almost three hours on the move, the base of the chassis was only slightly warm, so it is always comfortable and safe to work on your lap.
The 120GB hard drive is not the most capacious about, but provides ample space for storing work, music and photos. As with all netbooks, there is no optical drive, but an SD Flash card reader is fitted.
Although the Advent 4211c is an excellent netbook, the fact it is a rebranded and slightly more expensive MSI Wind might deter some buyers. Since PC World provides easy access for buying and walk-in repairs, however, this great netbook is well worth considering.