Buying a thin-and-light laptop usually means paying a premium to keep the size and weight down, but Advent's tiny 9112 shows you can still have a small computer without breaking the bank. Its price tag is just £449.99 from PC World.
Creating a laptop with both a tiny footprint and a low price tag is no mean feat. Advent has largely succeeded when it comes to picking components for the 9112, creating a machine that's still powerful enough to use for general applications yet small enough to carry around with you.
While it may only feature a Pentium Dual Core T2310 chip running at 1.46GHz rather than one of Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, it still managed to deliver a respectable PCMark05 score of 3,141. No doubt the generous 2GB allocation of RAM helped in this department and you should find the 9112 to be powerful enough if you're not planning on doing anything too strenuous.
It features a reasonable 160GB hard drive for its size and there's also an internal DVD writer so you don't need to mess around hooking up external units. It's not skimpy when it comes to ports and connectors, with three USB ports -- two on the right, one on the left -- plus FireWire, modem, Ethernet and VGA out.
For those of you looking for a gaming laptop, turn away. The 9112 may have enough power for general applications, but if you're an avid PC gamer, the integrated Intel X3100 graphics chip won't cut the mustard. It only managed to rack up a 3DMark06 score of 438, which isn't sufficient for running any modern 3D games.
While it's possible to overlook the gaming performance of a thin-and-light laptop, however, one area that's absolutely vital is battery life. After all, if you're opting for a laptop that's small enough to carry around with you everywhere you go, there's no point in choosing one with a heavy reliance on the mains.
Unfortunately, this is probably this 9112's biggest failing and it didn't even manage to keep going for an hour running the intensive Battery Eater test, conking out after just 55 minutes. Performance with the easier Reader test hardly improved matters, with it only lasting 1 hour 15 minutes.
The 12-inch, 1,280x800-pixel resolution screen is sharp and clear, but as it's a glossy, Brightview display, it'll be harder to use if there are lights behind you. The keyboard is largely useful, despite the tiny amount of real estate it's been given. You'll find some keys are on the small side, like the Windows and cursors keys that are around half the width of normal ones.
Creating an affordable thin-and-light laptop is a challenge of compromises and it's one that Advent has largely pulled off with the 9112. It boasts sufficient performance to run Windows applications, and it's not under-specified when it comes to storage and peripherals. You can't expect fantastic gaming performance on a laptop like this, but we were really let down by its short battery life.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday