Advent Roma 3000 £429
10th Nov 2009 | 09:30
A great 15" laptop for those on a budget, but the keyboard disappoints
Advent is PC world's in-house brand, and produces a range of laptops for a broad spectrum of users. The Roma 3000 represents good value for money at a competitive price, despite a few unfortunate design flaws.
The 15.6-inch screen is comfortable to view and the 1366 x 768-pixel resolution produces surprisingly detailed images.
Colours are vivid and photos and films look great, but a shiny Super-TFT screen coating is in place, producing irritating reflections in bright or changing light.
The laptop looks great, with a subtle but effective pattern employed on the glossy lid and part of the chassis.
Elsewhere, matt-black plastics are used, with a silver lip running along the front edge of the chassis.
Build quality is decent enough, but we did notice the laptop quickly gets hot, which can be slightly uncomfortable.
The keyboard is the laptop's Achilles' Heel. It is mounted well on the firm chassis, but the action of the keys is slightly spongy. This can lead to somewhat awkward usability when typing quickly, unless you strike the keys fairly hard to register.
The touchpad is responsive, however, and there's also a hotkey embedded in the chassis for quick control of switching the laptop's Wi-Fi features on and off.
When it comes to performance, the Advent comfortably beats the Asus and MSI, despite being significantly cheaper, although it can't rival Core 2 Duo powered machines.
Nevertheless, the Intel Pentium processor and 4096MB of memory allow for office programs to run fine, but resource-intensive multimedia applications will struggle.
Graphically, an integrated Intel chip is in place. While watching DVDs or viewing photos won't be an issue, gaming and video editing are off the menu.
The 500GB hard drive is extremely rare at this price point and will hold thousands of pictures, MP3s and videos without any issues, and you can back up your data with the CD and DVD rewriter optical drive.
Despite its compact size, this is one of the heavier laptops about, hindering mobility slightly. The low 129-minute battery life also restricts use on the move.
Connectivity is good for the price, with 802.11g Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet providing decent wireless and wired networking.
Three USB ports provide plenty of space for peripherals, such as an external HDD. VGA and HDMI ports mean you can also hook the laptop up to both analogue and digital external monitors.
Despite its poor keyboard, the Advent Roma 3000 is a likeable machine that does its job well. It looks great, will run all your office software and comes with a very attractive price tag.
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