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Advent Roma 3000 review: Advent Roma 3000

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The Good Good keyboard; reasonably capable dual-core processor.

The Bad Terrible battery life; awful sound quality; 32-bit version of Windows 7 restricts the available RAM.

The Bottom Line An improved specification makes the Advent Roma 3000 a better all-rounder than the cheaper Roma 1000, but its weak battery life and lacklustre 3D graphics are disappointing. It's still a solid budget buy, but it's worth checking out other Windows 7 offerings before reaching for your credit card

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6.5 Overall

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The £350 Advent Roma 1000 is the cheapest Windows 7 laptop available at the moment, but it's also one of the slowest. About only £80 more buys the Roma 3000. It has the same chassis, but an improved specification.

Two of a kind
There's absolutely nothing to visibly distinguish the 3000 from the 1000 -- both are big, black, 15.6-inch laptops that weigh in at a hefty 2.9kg. The lid on the 3000 has the same barely visible circular pattern as the 1000's, and, unfortunately, it sits on the same stiff, wobbly hinge.

Pop the catch that keeps the lid closed, and the 3000 is identical on the inside, too. Although the keyboards are the same on both models, we'll take time to mention them again. Cheap laptops often have rubbish keyboards, so Advent deserves credit for not opting for something flimsy with these machines. The 3000's low-profile keyboard has large, comfortable keys and is rock-solid across its whole width. That's something that can't be said of some laptops that cost considerably more.

Unfortunately, sound quality from the two speakers on the screen bezel is still awful, although it's perfectly adequate for the usual operating-system chirrups and occasional YouTube video.

Few laptops escape the avalanche of crapware that manufacturers feel obliged to install, and the 3000 is no exception. Both the 1000 and 3000 come with a mixed bundle of applications, but we were pleasantly surprised to see that Advent at least lets you opt out of its installation during both laptops' initial set-up.

Dual-core delights
Part of the 3000's £70 premium pays for a 2.1GHz Intel Pentium T4300 processor. The performance difference between the T4300 and the 2.2GHz Intel Celeron 900 in the 1000 is pronounced. The 1000 scored 2,020 in the PCMark05 benchmark test, while the 3000 scored 4,127.

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