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Advent 1 GHz 9/10

The Advent range of machines is only available in Dixons and PC World. They are not renowned as being great machines. Looking at this model I can see why, since it looks very ordinary and bulky, as if it is straight from the '80s. Open the lid, and a huge 15" screen inch is revealed, which is clear and sharp. The keyboard is responsive, as is the fingerpad. The 1 GHz Pentium III processor lies at the heart of this machine, consequently it runs quite hot and the fan needs to spin very rapidly to cool it down. What you get in return for this noise, is a high performance machine. It loads up most programmes very quicky, and can even run Quake III at 1024x768 with all the extra texture settings (with the help of a decent AGP graphics cards). In fact Quake III runs more smoothly on this than most desktop machines I can think of.

The Advent also comes with an integated modem and network card, work at least £150. There are two USB ports and a full size firewire port at the rear of the machine, as well an S-Video port. Most machines this price have only USB ports and occasionaly a firewire port. A similar spec Toshiba or Sony costs nearly double the price. At the sides of the machine, you have at your disposal both a floppy drive and a DVD drive. DVD playback is smooth and I never spotted a dropped frame. It does not beat a domestic DVD player though. With such amazing specifications it not surprising that this Advent is not a lightweight machine.

If you are not concerned about looks or the sheer size to accomodate the large screen, this is the machine for you. It is cheap, has ample hard disk space and RAM, and is easily better than most notebooks I can think of. Now go out and buy it!! This machine is also sometimes bundled with a USB Psion digital radio worth £300. With the £1500 you saved, by opting not buy a big brand machine, you can buy a few records!