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Advent 5612 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £350
inc VAT


15.4 in 1,280×800 display, 2.9kg, 1.66GHz Intel Celeron Dual Core T1600, 2.00GB RAM, 160GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

Advent’s latest budget laptop only costs around £50 more than many netbooks.

The 5612 comes with a 15.4in screen with a 1,280×800 resolution, Windows Vista, a dual-core processor and an optical drive – features not found on any netbook in our last group test.

In terms of design, the 5612 doesn’t stray far from the Budget Buy award-winning 5511. The rigid lid has the same smart pinstripe design, and the two-tone case adds a bit of style. It still has the ridged texture around the keyboard, though, which quickly attracts dust.

The glossy bezel matches the glossy finish on the 15.4in screen. This makes colours look more vibrant but reflects any nearby light sources. The display has accurate colour reproduction but has limited viewing angles. You’ll have to position the laptop carefully to find the optimum position where colours appear consistent across the entire screen. The backlight is even, though, and contrast relatively good.

The keyboard is slightly better than the 5511’s. The flat keys may irk touch-typists, but it feels sturdier and doesn’t flex as much. The keys are large and, apart from a slightly awkward right Shift key, in all the expected places. We were unimpressed by the touch pad, however. Although it’s large and responsive, there’s a single piece of plastic that see-saws stiffly to produce left and right clicks. This action is far too heavy to be comfortable, so you’ll almost certainly want to attach an external mouse.

Although the 5612 is £150 cheaper than the 5511, its specification is respectable. The dual-core processor isn’t as fast, but you get the same 2GB of RAM. It may not be fast as some laptops, but it’s quicker than an Intel Atom-powered netbook. Its Intel graphics chipset can play HD video but isn’t suitable for 3D gaming.

There are four USB ports, one of which doubles as an eSATA port. The HDMI port is convenient for viewing DVDs and video on an HD TV, as it carries both audio and video signals. There’s only 802.11b/g wireless networking, however, with no support for Draft-N WiFi. The 160GB hard disk is the same size as one you’d find on a similarly priced netbook, but you also get a built-in optical drive.

Its battery doesn’t last long enough for regular mobile use, so if you like to work on the go then a netbook would be a far better choice. However, for more general use, the 5612 is better equipped than any budget ultra-portable laptop. It’s very reasonably priced, too, and therefore wins our Budget Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Celeron Dual Core T1600
Processor clock speed 1.66GHz
Memory 2.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 41x357x258mm
Weight 2.9kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 30W
Power consumption active 45W


Viewable size 15.4 in
Native resolution 1,280×800
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 4500M
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 32MB


Total storage capacity 160GB
Optical drive model TSSTcorp TS-L633A
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g
PC Card slots none
Modem No
Supported memory cards SD, MMC
Other ports eSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Cyberlink Power2Go v.5

Buying Information

Price £350

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