Advent and general laptop buying guide! Get in the know

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Have you seen any of those Advent laptops which litter your search results? Do you ever click onto the advertisement page? Do you just dismiss them and move onto that Toshiba or Sony Vaio you were looking for?

Adventare a PC World, Dixons and's own brand. Their laptops use components which are nestled in many of the high end laptops but just don't sport a badge (and often look dull and uninspiring). Often, they go for low prices here on eBay because little attention is paid to them. Their specifications vary from moderately good to cutting edge. For example, their current flagship model, the Advent QT5500 (as of May 2007) features a zippy Intel Centrino Core Duo 2 processor, Vista Home Premium, 2GB RAM and a 128mb video card. That's admirable for a budget laptop (roughly £380).

Many of us play it safe and go for the well known and trusted brand names such as Toshiba, IBM, Apple, HP and Sony because we think they'll last longer and provide us with better performance. For an example: if you had two tins of baked beans for the same price and one had the 'Heinz' logo and the other had a 'Gr8 ValU' label which one would you go for? Even if both had 'Heinz' baked beans in them many would opt for 'Heinz' own brand. It's like the Advent, really, it packs the same components as a Toshiba or HP laptop into its shell without that branding.

Advertising and branding goes a long way in today's fast pace consumer world. Huge billboards, television, radio and internet pop-up advertising pushes us to go for the most expensive branded product because we want to be 'seen' with it.

Students, office workers, gamers and even the elderly can benefit from Advent products. With their low prices and great performance, they're highly recommended for work and play.

Things to look out for (reference to the 'item specifics' at the top of the eBay page):

  • Windows Vista- It's the latest and easiest system to use on a computer. It's something to look out for when searching for an Advent laptop.
  • Memory (RAM )- It's best to have 1GB or more  if you want to be running smoothly.
  • Hard Drive - 40GB or more is great for storing all of your word documents, music or videos.
  • Screen size - Many aren't bothered by this. 15" is the conventional screen size (4:3 four units by three units) but 15.4", 17" or 19" is widescreen (16:9 sixteen blocks by nine blocks) and are best for movies, PowerPoint building and media usage.
  • Processor type: One of the best is the Intel Centrino Core Duo 2 but this can be expensive. If you're on a budget, go for the Intel Celeron M, D, Pentium M or Intel Centrino Solo.
  • Primary Drive: If you're looking to backing up your data regularly, it's best to have a DVDRW/CDRW drive for placing music, videos, text and presentations onto disc.
  • Features: 10/100 LAN is good if you'll plug your laptop into your broadband using a wire (although if you got a disc and a separate piece of equpiment from your providing, this isn't necessary), carrying cases can be expensive so if they comes with the laptop great! Firewire is good if you have a digital camera or external hard drive that uses this port (refer to your manuals if you aren't sure). Operating system is essential and is the 'teacher' in the classroom, it directs your laptop when it receives commands from the headmaster which is you. USB is today's essential port; you can plug pretty much everything into it and it's recommended you have two or three on your laptop. It's used for digital cameras, printers, scanners, Mp3 Players and many more products. Wi-Fi stands for Wireless Fidelity - it means you can sit out in the garden and email or search the internet as long as you have capable hardware in your home such as an ADSL Router.  
  • Graphics: It's recommended these days to have 128mb (check on the item page) of graphics RAM to ensure media applications work smoothly.
  • Sound: Almost every laptop (apart from some of the high end ones) feature awfully tinny speakers so hooking them up to your own set is your best bet.

So all in all, if you're looking for a laptop next time (or friend and family are) then just search for Advent laptop and you'll be surprised. They might not look stylish but for the quality of components, battery life and price, they really are excellent (and a bargain too).

Hope this helps, Tom, the Korean in England

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