Advent is a well known company in the entry level laptop segment. A brand that belongs to the popular hardware magazine PC world, the prime focus of their marketing is the United Kingdom. The company has been designing stylish yet useful laptops for home computing and everyday office tasks. Amongst their vast range of products, the focus this time is on the Advent Roma 1000, that promises an affordable and yet powerful PC which can handle everyday tasks with ease. Featuring an Intel Celeron M 900 processor along with the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500 HD, the laptop is suited for everyday tasking and multimedia. The 15.6 inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels is another stunning feature on the model. The 160 GB memory and wireless capabilities are amongst its specifications. In these tough times, when price is more important than it ever was, will the price tag of the Roma 1000 help it gain a mass appeal? Read the review to find out.
Inexpensive laptops do not really score that high when it comes to style but the Roma is more appealing than most in the category. Advent Roma 1000 laptop looks great and the black design uses a combination of matt and glossy plastics for that stylish effect. The black case is complimented by a subtle pattern of concentric circles that are molded on to the plastic .The glossy lid is highly prone to attract scratches and fingerprints; the matte coated interior is more resilient. There is a mirrored plastic strip that runs along the front edge of the base that masks several status LEDs. The build quality does feel more luxurious than what the low price suggests.
The Roma 1000 is a firmly built laptop with a smooth lustrous body. It is 369mm wide, 43 inches deep and a height of 260mm and weighs a huge 2.9 Kgs.
15.6 Screen Display:
The Advent Roma 1000 features a large 15.6 inch screen display which ensures one gets large and clear pictures. The screen size is perfect for a budget notebook like this. With a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, the screen is capable of displaying HD content flawlessly. If you would prefer a larger screen then you should check out the Packard Bell EasyNote LJ65-RB-055K which has a 17. 3 inch screen that would ensure impressive visuals. However, the screen continues to be amongst the pros of the model as it is one area where no compromises have been made when it comes to cost.
Keyboard and Touch Pad:
The Advent Roma 1000 Keyboard has large and well spaced keys with an almost flat profile. There are the usually set of keys you would expect to find in a normal ordinary laptop. The keys have a slightly spongy feel which can hinder comfort. The board also seems to flex but does respond accurately even though if it is a little bit noisy. The touchpad is nothing extraordinary. It is an ordinary one that is neither small nor fiddly.
When one needs to maintain a low manufacturing cost of a notebook, the quality of the components are sometimes compromised. The Roma 1000 has 2 tiny speakers that lie below the screen. They are not really that good for anything other than inbuilt Windows chimes.
The Advent Roma 1000 has a webcam that is provided for video chatting as well as taking photographs. The picture quality was pretty decent; however, the video quality seemed to be inconsistent when we tested it on Skype.
The Advent Roma 1000 15.6″ laptop computer features 3 USB ports, an Ethernet port, VGA port and a HDMI port. Thanks to the HDMI port, one can hook up a better screen if there is a choice provided. And mind you, it is a rarity at the price. It lets you connect to an external HDTV for the ultimate full home cinema screen.
The Advent Roma uses an Intel Celeron 900 processor that clocks at 2.2GHz. It is basically a single core processor that does not support hyper threading. It is a Pentium M with a halved level 2 Cache and limited on FSB 400. An important characteristic of the processor is its speed which is just a little bit slower than the equivalent Pentium processor. Though it still is not quicker than most other notebooks’ Intel Atom processor, it is capable of running Windows 7 smoothly without any issues. Another important aspect of the processor is that it has a very small power consumption.
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500HD is the chipset provided within the Roma 1000. Thanks to 2 more shaders and a higher core clock, it is faster than the older GMA X3100. However, in spite of all this it is still not recommended for gamers. Games that require Direct X 10 can be playable only with very low settings. The integrated processor is however capable of decoding HD videos with AVC, VC-2 and MPEG 2 formats.
It is one of the very few laptops to feature Microsoft’s latest operating system Windows 7. Windows 7 released in October was met with rave reviews and is considered to be a massive improvement over Vista. The newer OS is faster and provides a more intuitive user experience than Vista. If you use a system with a Windows Vista, it is the perfect time to quit it and enjoy the credentials of Windows 7. The OS needs less memory for its smooth execution when compared to the earlier versions. Apart from that the shut down and boot up times are smaller. So, it is suited to run on budget laptops unlike the earlier Operating Systems which needed a rather more powerful machine.
These are times when even net books have equivalent HDD capacity and RAM as much as laptops do. The 250 GB drive of the earlier Roma has now been replaced by a 160 GB drive and that is still sufficient for most users. The Hard drive is a 4 GB DDR2 RAM.
The networking features of the device are limited when compared to other models in the market. One can access the Internet using either wired Ethernet or wireless Wi-Fi. 802.11b/g WLAN is the WLAN standard for the device. Another point to notice is that this model lacks Bluetooth support.
Good for Basic Tasks:
The Advent Roma 1000 is focused on users who would want a laptop that would serve to the basic day to day tasks such as browsing the internet, editing Word, Excel and other documents and basic photo editing. The TFT screen is bright and sharp enough for office and internet applications. Thankfully Windows 7 ran smoothly and was a pleasure to use. A note of caution is that the Advent Roma 1000 NOT recommended for gaming or editing videos.
Mediocre Visual Performance:
The problem with cheap or low budget laptops is that you cannot expect much in terms of performance. The Advent Roma is amongst one of them. The Celeron processor is usually a compromising option as it is cheaper than the Intel Pentium processor. The 2.2 GHz Celeron processor, in spite of partnering with a 3GB RAM, scored a meager 0.78 in a benchmark test. Another victim of the low price is the 3DMark06 score. The Roma 1000 scored a 735 which means 3 D gaming is out of the question. The Intel 4500M does support Direct x 10 but most games will be playable in very low settings. With a score of 5fps in Crysis at low detail, one can safely conclude that the Roma 1000 is useless for hardcore gaming and can be used to play older games. However, the graphics chipset was able to accelerate high definition video performance and was a saving grace.
The Audio was also not up to the mark and are not anything special. Any serious music listening or movie watching would require the usage of headphones. However, at higher volumes, the speakers sounded flat and this was a bit of a minor irritant.
The Laptop has a really poor mobility rate. In one of our rigorous battery tests, it lasted just 44 minutes. An average user can expect somewhere around one hour and 40 minutes. Way better than the 44 minutes, it is mainly suited for home use. One cannot expect to be close to the mains all the time and the Roma 1000’s low battery life goes against it.
There is a warranty period of one year on the Advent Roma 1000.
The latest version of the Original Roma is an impressive machine with its set of flaws. The budget laptop does not thrill us at least in terms of performance. While it continues the strengths of its predecessor, it suffers from a poor battery life and a mediocre performance. The performance is sufficient for basic tasks and one would probably be not bothered about the battery life assuming the laptop would be mostly at home connected to the mains. As said earlier, its low battery life makes it ideal for usage at home. But at the time of writing, very few budget laptops have Windows 7 in them and that gives the Roma an edge over its rivals. The full sized keyboard and a DVD writer make it an appealing alternative to users who would look to but a net book. So, judge according to your needs and see if it appeals to you. If not, there are other choices available.
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Advent Roma 1000 Notebook Computer – Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||Advent Roma 1000|
|DIMENSIONS AND DISPLAY|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||369 x 43 x 260 mm|
|Display resolution||1366 x 768 pixel resolution|
|PROCESSOR, MEMORY, STORAGE|
|Processor type||Intel® Celeron® Processor 900|
|Intel Atom Processor||2.2 GHz|
|Second level Cache||1MB L2 Cache|
|Front Bus Speed||800 MHz|
|RAM installed||3 GB|
|WLAN Standard||802.11b/g WLAN|
|Hard drive size||160 GB|
|Internal Disk interface||SATA 300|
|Optical drive||DVD Rewriter|
|Keyboard||A Regular one minus the number pad|
|Track pad||Normal Touch Pad|
|GRAPHICS, VIDEO AND SOUND|
|Graphics adaptor||Intel GMA 4500MHD|
|Sound||Realtek HD Audio|
|Wireless||Compliancy : Wi-Fi®
Network Support : 802.11b/g
Wireless Technology : Wireless LAN
|Webcam||A 1.3MP camera|
|Extension Card Slot||1 x ExpressCard 3/4|
|CONNECTIVITY||1 x HDMI
1 x VGA
1 x external microphone
3 (Left 2, Right 1) x USB 2.0
1 x Webcam
|Operating System||Genuine Windows XP or Windows 7|
|Battery technology||Lithium Ion battery , 1 hours 45 minutes lifetime|
|WARRANTY||One-year limited Warranty|