Advent Verona could be a great notebook

Product Advent Verona Notebook

Price £350

Looking for a low cost ultraportable notebook?, then the latest notebook to appear from Advent, the Verona may be just the thing you are looking for, but only if you don’t plan to be away from mains power for a short while as the battery life is disappointing.

At first glance the Verona’s stylish rounded very slim-line design (just 32.5mm at the hinges) looks like a much more expensive notebook especially if you choose the Silver version, we received as a review sample.

The glossy silver finish has a pattern of swirls in differing shades of grey across the lid and the wrist pad, which is nicely set off by the matt black chassis. For those a bit more conservatively minded it also comes in plain red and black (you can also save yourself twenty quid in the process).

The use of plastics in its construction together with the thin design means that it weighs in at a mere 1.76kg (including the power adaptor) so you won’t suffer by carrying it around all-day.

Powering the Verona is an ultra low voltage Intel Celeron ULV 743 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. If you want a bit more grunt then the Verona P (£399) comes with an Intel’s SU2700 1.3GHz processor which might give you a little more performance but won’t help with the battery life.

Backing the processor is 3GB of DDR memory. It may not sound much on paper but its enough to let the installed Windows 7 Home Premium run without complaining and perfectly adequate to let you do all the everyday tasks, its only when you really start to push it; opening too many applications or watch HD video, that its short comings become apparent.

The 13.3-inch screen has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 and comes with a high gloss coating which gives bright colours and sharp text and is great for watching movies on but as with all gloss coated screens it is a pain to work with in office lighting or outside because of light reflections.

When it comes to the keyboard, something to look out for is build quality and you really need to see the Verona in-store to make sure you get a good one. Our review sample was ok, but there have been a few reports of Verona’s with high degrees of keyboard flex and excessive key travel. The keyboard has large flat keys and on our review sample they felt good and firm when typing.

Storage comes in the form of a 250GB hard disk so there’s plenty of space for your files and there’s a SD Card reader as well. To talk to the outside world there is wired Ethernet, 802.11g Wifi and Bluetooth.

So now to the really disappointing aspect of the Verona, the battery life. To keep the design nice and slim Advent have fitted a small 2200mAh three-cell battery which even with the effects of the power saving processor can only stay alive for just under three hours which is very disappointing to say the least, as is the fact that a larger battery isn’t even offered as an option.

Good Design, Price

Bad Poor battery life.

Overall All the good points of the Verona; price, weight and design are all undone by the pitifully small battery.

Specifications

Processor: Intel Celeron ULV 743 processor (1.2GHz)

Chipset: Intel GM45 Memory: 3GB DDR2

Hard Drive: 250GB Screen: 13.3in

Graphics: Intel GMA4500MHD

Ports: 3 x USB, 1 x Ethernet, 2 x audio, VGA

Network: 10/100

Ethernet, 802.11g, Bluetooth

Operation System: Windows 7 Home Premium (32bit) Size (W x H x D): 334 x 32 x 218

Travel weight: 1.7kg