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Advent 6441 review: Advent 6441

The Good Blu-ray drive; low price.

The Bad Very poor keyboard and trackpad; no HDMI; slow processor and graphics.

The Bottom Line What could have been a decent, low-cost, Blu-ray laptop is ruined by a poor-quality keyboard and trackpad. Plus, given its HD credentials, we expected to see an HDMI port. It might be cheap, but that's not enough to save this laptop

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5.5 Overall

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Once hideously expensive, Blu-ray drives have now come down in price, and, as Advent demonstrates with the 6441, you can pick one up in a laptop for under £500.

The 6441 also comes furnished with a large, 17-inch display and full Qwerty keyboard. But has Advent skimped on quality to achieve the low price?

Design
The glossy lid and its contoured lines certainly make a good first impression -- but it doesn't last long. Open the 6441 up and you're greeted with a plastic chassis that both looks and feels cheap.

The keyboard and numeric keypad have flat keys with very little spacing, which makes typing more difficult than it should be, given the amount of room Advent had to play with. The keys are also of a very poor quality, wobbling when pressed, and we're not sold on the layout -- the delete key is stuck in between the insert and page-up keys, while the function key sits where the left Ctrl key should be. Worse still, it's far too easy, when typing, to bash your thumbs against the ridge next to the space bar.

We were also left unimpressed with the trackpad buttons, which you have to depress with far too much force to activate. The fact that there's no scroll section on the trackpad is nothing less than bewildering.

On the plus side, the 17-inch screen is reasonably bright, but only if you look at it straight on. Despite the glossy coating, colours looked a little washed-out.

There's no FireWire, but you do get a multi-format card reader, 54mm ExpressCard slot and three USB ports. Two of the USB ports are sat on the left, while the third is at the rear and doubles up as an eSATA port -- useful if you want to expand on the 160GB hard drive.

Features
Despite costing under £500, Advent has managed to find room in the budget for a Blu-ray drive. As expected, it's read-only (although it can write DVDs and CDs).


The 6441's keyboard leaves much to be desired

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