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Advent DT 1308 

The arrival of a battered box is not always bad news, the arrival of a box with space in it probably is. This unit had been doing the rounds and when it got to me all I got was the system box, not even a power lead or any instructions.

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Looking at the various DSG websites it seems there should have been also a wired keyboard and a mouse apart from a ‘Welcome Pack’ and of course the power lead. First switch on was not an improvement as I had to do ‘Windows Repair’ as it would not boot. However this story of doom and gloom does start to become a happier tale.

A lot of people would have just boxed it up and said take it back. I however tend to persevere and it took a while but most of the problems were sorted and most importantly I had Ethernet so I could then get to the Internet. Once I sourced some Anti Virus (I am sure at the very least the unit you would buy would have a 60 or 90 day trial of something), next I set about getting it up to date I lost count of the reboots but did keep check of the 102 files that needed updating, in total two and a half hours but now this machine is very rapid and rather good.

While it runs quickly and handles everything well the placement of external devices is terrible. The front has an inset panel with two USB3 ports and external microphone and earbud sockets. The two USB3 ports are very tight to the left side so anything over the bare minimum will require an extension lead, why not centre things, a whole bay inset with just four connections all tight to the left side. On the back the four USB2 ports are in two columns of two mounted just above the PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors so I suspect most will be unable to use more than two ports at the same time.

The case is 39x18x36cm but you need to add at least 5cm to the first measurement for cable insertion. Unusually the motherboard is on the left of the unit meaning that the venting is on the right with an 11cm square grill bottom right side which aligns to a huge funnel that goes to the top of the processor on the board. There is a pair of smaller vents either side toward the front of the case.

Inside the case the cables are rather haphazardly connected with a couple of cable ties but they may have been better laid out when manufactured. The front of the unit has the DVD multi drive a spare bay and then a slide down door behind which are the two USB3 ports and external microphone and headset/earbuds ports. All these are towards the left but the USB3 ports are so close to the left that any protrusion to the left of the USB connections mean you would need an extender cable to use them. These are all that is fitted into this inset bay. Lower down is the on/off button that shines blue when on.

The back has the power input and on/off switch near the top, four unused bays under this then right at the bottom the rest of the connections, right at the base PS/2 connectors for keyboard and mouse, immediately above these four USB2 ports mounted vertically in two rows of two with the Ethernet port close to them. All this means that larger than standard USB items would mean that at least two of the ports would probably be unusable. Further up are HDMI and VGA out and above this three audio ports complete the available connections.

The Windows Experience score is 5.1, made up of Processor 7.4, Memory 5.5, Graphics 5.1, Gaming Graphics 5.5 and Hard Disk 5.9, bootup takes a reasonable 50 seconds with shutdown from Desktop taking only 10seconds.

The processor is an Intel i5 2310-CPU @ 2.9, the hard disc is 1TB (923GB) and it has 3GB of RAM. Windows Home Premium 32bit edition is the only software on my PC but check the ads for exactly what you get.

I am extremely pleased that most units do not arrive in this condition, however I can say whoever gets it next gets a fully updated and running correctly item, however the badly placed USB ports and other items crowded together are why I have given it a low design score.

The Advent DT 1308 is available from Currys or PC World for £399.99

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/advent-desktop-pcs/706_7021_70021_1846_xx/xx-criteria.html

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Features2
Performance2
Value2
Ease of use2
Design2
OverallAdvent DT 1308 rated 64 out of 100

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