TODO alt text

Advent 5611 review

An Intel Core 2 Duo processor, but usability is flawed

Jump to Section:

Our Verdict

If it wasn't for the slightly limiting keyboard the Advent is an extremely capable laptop with some great features

For

  • Good performance
  • HDMI and eSATA
  • 160GB HDD

Against

  • Poor benchmark results
  • Keyboard could be better

Advent is PC World's in-house brand, providing well-equipped, value-for-money laptops such as the Advent 5611. Crammed with features such as a 15.4-inch screen, an Intel GMA4500 GPU, HDMI output and an eSATA port. It's also features an Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

The Advent 5611 fared the worst in our benchmark tests even with a Core 2 Duo CPU. This wasn't reflected in day-to-day performance, however, where we found it had solid performance for common tasks.

It ran smoothly, and only slowed down when running several processor-intensive applications. Battery life failed to impress, however. At just over two hours, it severely limits the mobility of the 5611.

15.4-in screen

The 15.4-inch screen is a decent size, offering deep and vibrant colours. The Super-TFT coating is reflective in brighter conditions, but it's never problematic. With crisp image quality, it's great for watching movies or editing photographs on, and there's enough space to work comfortably with two windows open simultaneously.

Graphics are handled by an integrated Intel GMA 4500M chip, offering moderate 3D performance. You won't be able to play the latest games, but it's a reasonable solution for regular office tasks or watching films.

The large screen creates plenty of space for a good-sized interface, and the keyboard is fairly large and responsive. Usability is flawed, however, and a lack of definition to the flat keys makes it difficult to type at speed. That said, if you don't mind this, it's a responsive and comfortable machine to use.

The design is lifted by a mix of patterned and textured plastics, which are both attractive and hardwearing. While not as tough as the Toshiba Satellite Pro A300-1OQ or Lenovo 3000 N500, the build is strong enough for daily use. We also found it remained cool to the touch at all times.

Feature-packed

Those expecting features to be compromised because of the powerful processor will be pleasantly surprised, as the 5611 is also a well-equipped machine. To the delight of those who hook their laptop up to a HDTV the 5611 features an HDMI port. You'll also find an eSATA interface for high-speed data transfers.

The 160GB hard drive is on a par with most rivals, and a DVD rewriter lets you back up your documents and media files easily.

With an attractive design, good quality build and the latest components, the Advent 5611 is definitely great value, but it's let down badly by the keyboard. The design results in compromised usability, making it an awkward choice for daily use.