Joining the new breed of netbooks is the Advent 4211 mini laptop, the cheapest to come with Windows XP

If you’ve seen the MSI Wind, you may have been attracted by that mini laptop’s clean lines, compact form and attractive price. At £329, it’s one of the prominent members of that newly formed club, whose members are defined by their small size and relatively low price. ‘Netbook’ is how we are being encouraged to describe them.

But DSG, the Dixons Stores Group whose outlets include PC World in the UK, has gone one better by stocking a rebadged Advent 2411 version of the MSI Wind, selling for £279 – that’s £50 less than the Wind’s recommended retail price.

Where the MSI Wind is offered in simple but stylish black or pearlescent white, the Advent 4211 comes in a two-tone black and silver finish. And the Advent doesn’t include any case, where the Wind comes complete with a useful zipped PVC case to keep the laptop clean.

What you do get with the Advent version is the same basic machine, comprising low-power Intel Atom processor, a 10in screen, and two USB ports. There’s a 1.3Mp webcam above the screen and a pair of tiny speakers under each corner of the base, so videochats are possible without additional peripherals, helped by the 802.11b/g wireless networking. There’s also Bluetooth connectivity and an ethernet port, along with VGA monitor output and a pair of jack sockets for audio in and out. To allow easy access to SD cards and the like, there’s a multi-format card reader included too.

NEXT PAGE: the Advent 4211's screen, and our expert verdict > >

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Joining the new breed of netbooks is the Advent 4211 mini laptop, the cheapest to come with Windows XP

The Advent 4211's screen, it’s worth noting, is crisp and clear with a refreshingly matte finish, going against the trend of many recent laptops that come fitted with mirror-like glossy screens. While shiny screens give an added richness to colour reproduction they can make viewing in normal daylight conditions highly distracting.

Its 10in screen means a slightly wider form factor than the smaller Eee PC, for instance, resulting in a keyboard that’s more comfortable to type on. Its action is good with no sense of flexing in use. And the trackpad, small as it may be at just 50mm wide, is responsive and accurate to use. For clicking duties, we have a single button that relies on pressing on the left or right edge to receive the desired type of click action.

Advent 4211: Specs

  • 1.6GHz Intel Atom
  • Windows XP Home Premium
  • 10.1in (1024x600) LED-backlit LCD screen
  • 80GB HDD
  • 1GB RAM
  • Intel 945 Express integrated graphics
  • 1.3Mp webcam
  • Bluetooth
  • ethernet
  • VGA video out
  • 3.5mm headphone and line-in sockets
  • 3-cell (2200mAh) lithium-ion battery
  • 259x178x30mm
  • 1.13kg
  • 1.6GHz Intel Atom
  • Windows XP Home Premium
  • 10.1in (1024x600) LED-backlit LCD screen
  • 80GB HDD
  • 1GB RAM
  • Intel 945 Express integrated graphics
  • 1.3Mp webcam
  • Bluetooth
  • ethernet
  • VGA video out
  • 3.5mm headphone and line-in sockets
  • 3-cell (2200mAh) lithium-ion battery
  • 259x178x30mm
  • 1.13kg

OUR VERDICT

If you like the look of the MSI Wind, you’ll love the idea of finding something practically the same for £50 less. But some buyers may be tempted by the MSI’s two-year warranty, monochromatic colour scheme and included carry case. The crucial thing is, the essential form of either makes for a great portable.

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