Advent 6441 review

It's cheap and large, but can it perform?

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Our Verdict

If you're on a budget, but want something more substantial than a netbook the 6441 is ideal.

For

  • Low price
  • Humungous screen
  • Good Blu-Ray playback

Against

  • Feels cheap
  • Terrible gaming performance
  • Low-end processor

We've come to love Advent's 4211, which is essentially a rebadged version of MSI's popular Wind netbook.

It provided exactly the same features as the MSI PC, but came in with a lower price tag. Can Advent's full-sized 6441 achieve a similar feat?

Packing a whopping 17" screen and built-in Blu-Ray drive, the Advent 6441 is obviously aimed at cinephiles. And Blu-Ray playback didn't disappoint - the screen's brightness and size really work in its favour, and the sound was surprisingly loud and crisp.

Cut corners

Putting such a large screen in has its drawbacks, however. Advent seems to have cut back in other areas, and as a result the whole laptop feels cheap and plasticy. There are none of the aluminium chassis we've seen on other laptops, and the casing seems thin. However, it does feel quite sturdy when closed, thanks to the two locking latches above the screen.

Gaming performance was also a let-down. The Advent 6441 uses a built-in graphics chip incapable of rendering any 3D games of the past few years. You can't really expect decent gaming from such a cheap laptop, but a little shared video memory would have gone a long way.

Large keyboard

It's not all bad though. The large screen means there's more real estate on the PC, and the 6441 eschews the usual FN function keys in favour of a full-size keyboard, complete with number pad on the right-hand side. The trackpad also works well, with a responsive feel and solid buttons.

The laptop comes with Windows Vista, and 4GB ram and a 160gb hard disk drive ensure that it runs smoothly, and there is plenty of space remaining for other files. It also comes with Cyberlink's Blu-Ray playback software, and YouCam for the camera built in above the monitor.

Decent battery

The Advent 6441 clocked in two and a half hours in battery life in power-saving mode, which is perfectly reasonable for a low-price laptop. Watching a Blu-Ray disc reduced this to a little over an hour, so if you want to watch films on the go you'll have to make sure they're relatively short.

Advent's entry is by no means the best laptop we've ever seen, but adding such a large screen to such a low-price PC is an impressive feat. It's not going to suit everyone, but if you're after a laptop for general use, and watching the occasional movie, you could do far worse.