Advent is the name of PC World's in-house brand, so you'll find it in-store alongside better known names. The Advent 7111 offers great value for money, as not only are the components up to date, you'll also find a great list of features. The Advent is one of many machines to now feature a dual-core CPU - albeit the budget Intel Core Duo T2050 chip. This is a modern solution that enables you to multi-task with ease.
At 1.6GHz, and with a slower FSB (Front Side Bus) than other dual-core chips, it's one of Intel's cheaper processors. However, with 1024MB of memory, the Advent offers impressive performance and we had no trouble running several programs simultaneously. A MobileMark 2005 score of 219 is impressive.
The display measures 15.4 inches. It's a bright but standard TFT panel, and colours appear slightly lacklustre. The resolution of 1280 x 800 (WXGA) is average, but affords enough space and clarity for everyday use.
An Intel 945GM adapter handles graphics, and is Intel's latest integrated chipset. It helps the Advent score a not unreasonable 3DMark 2003 score of 1372. This is a basic chip designed for office tasks and not intended for multimedia tasks.
Unfortunately, while effort has been made on performance, the Advent is not as comfortable to work on as other laptops. The keyboard flexes under slight pressure, and rattles when used. We did find the keys a reasonable size, so at least typing mistakes can be kept to a minimum.
The touchpad presents the largest ergonomic gripe; it doesn't feature enough height, and extra width makes it sit under your thumbs, making it too easy to move text by accident as you type. A weight of 2.8kg meant we found it possible to carry the Advent for short periods comfortably. The battery life is excellent, lasting for over three and a half hours.
Compromises have been made on build quality, as it doesn't feel as sturdy as some other machines in its class. However, the impressive specification highlights where money has been spent; A DVI port - often found on far more expensive machines, and enables digital connections to external displays. The use of a Gigabit Ethernet adapter is also unusual at this price, enabling the fastest possible connections to networks and to the internet.