Unlike most laptop manufacturers, Advent chooses to use an AMD chip in its 9515 machine rather than an Intel processor. The result is decent amount of performance without an excessive price tag -- just £399.99 from PC World, although it's less well equipped in other areas like gaming.
Advent's decision to go with AMD rather than Intel for the 9515 appears not to have had a dramatic impact on its performance. The 2GHz Turion 64X2 TL60 chip and 2GB of RAM still managed to achieve a respectable PCMark05 score of 3,142.
In order to keep costs down, the rest of the specification are adequate and although you won't find anything spectacular inside, it's well equipped if your computing requirements aren't excessive. The 160GB hard drive should keep you going and there's an internal DVD writer for keeping your documents backed up. The keyboard is a decent size, making good use of the available area and it's reasonably pleasant for typing.
While it can hold its own when it comes to application performance, the 9515's ATI Radeon X1250 really doesn't have the grunt for gaming. It only managed to achieve a lowly 3DMark06 score of 287, which is about enough for playing Scrabble on Facebook -- just.
It's also pretty poor when it comes to battery life, managing to hang on just a few seconds over an hour when running the intensive Battery Eater test. It achieved a better score of 2 hours 5 minutes when faced with the easier Reader test, but it's still not that much if you're going to be using it away from mains electricity.
Some features have been omitted to keep this laptop in the low-cost range, such as internal modem and FireWire port. Oddly, you can see where these ports would normally be as their respective holes are simply blocked off with caps. It's one thing not to include a feature, but constantly reminding you it's not there is a little cruel.
You also won't find HDMI or DVI ports, with only VGA on offer if you want to hook it up to an external display. The 15.4-inch screen has a standard widescreen 1,280x8000-pixel resolution and the panel isn't a glossy model, which makes the colours appear murky and washed out, although it's better for use in direct sunlight.
The built-in touchpad below the keyboard is a decent width, but it's not very tall. You might find it difficult to move the cursor precisely on the vertical axis.
The Advent 9515 can hold its own when it comes to application performance. If you just want something for word processing, Web browsing and email, then it's more than powerful enough. It's less well equipped for gaming, however, and its short battery life make it a poor travel companion.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday