The Evesham A240 isn't the most compact laptop we've tested but, at 2.6kg, it's lightweight. However, it has no clasps to secure the lid and this - combined with a general daintiness – makes it feel fragile.
We don't think the Evesham A240's disc drive will withstand heavy use and the lid itself doesn't provide much protection – pressing with only slight force resulted in a rippling effect on the screen. The interior seems more robust, with a metallic back panel housing the hotkeys and two small speakers that produce decent sound quality. The metallic finish gives the Evesham A240 a sophisticated appearance. Keys are sensibly sized and springy to the touch, while the trackpad and buttons are simple to use.
The Evesham A240 runs Windows Vista Home Premium and features a 1.6GHz Mobile AMD Sempron 3200+ processor. It performed adequately for a laptop of this price in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test, scoring 38 points.
The 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 6100 graphics chip enables a good gaming experience and the Evesham A240 achieved an average of 26fps (frames per second) in our Fear test. However, we were disappointed by the 15.4in screen, on which items appeared blurry and dull.
On the Evesham A240, you get a discreetly integrated microphone, which is good for making Skype calls, but there's no webcam.
The Evesham A240 is somewhat under-equipped in the connectivity department, offering three USB ports and 802.11b and g Wi-Fi, but no Bluetooth or external wireless switch. However, the card reader supports an impressive seven formats and, while this is neither the fastest nor the best performing laptop we've seen, the Evesham A240 still offers a solid selection of features for under £500.
- WorldBench 6 benchmark score 38
- Battery life 90 minutes
- Games test 26 fps