The Advent K200 is aimed at the parents of school-age children. Its technical specifications are run-of-the-mill, but the Advent K200 comes with features, software and services that PC World hopes will appeal directly to 11 to 17 year-olds, and their parents.
The Advent K200 is the first laptop incarnation of PC World’s Children’s Charter, intended to reassure all parents who are worried about what their children might get up to online. And especially to reassure those for whom the yawning gap between their own technical savvy and that of their children means they couldn’t do anything about it even if they did know.
There are two elements to the Charter: the software installed on the machine and the free in-store services PC World offers parents.
The services help parents set up the security features in Vista and the pre-installed Symantec’s Norton 360 internet security suite, which in combination can be used to restrict and monitor what sites children visit – like open chatrooms - and the amount of time they spend online.
Childnet's Know IT All software – also pre-installed - provides guidance for parents about keeping their children safe online and encourages parents to become more involved with their children's online activities.
Aesthetically, the Advent K200 is no Sony Vaio, but it does have a customisable lid so kids can insert their own pictures, and clip-on covers are available at £25 each. Nor is this a laptop that talks down to kids with primary-coloured stickers and "fun" buttons. Once open it looks quite professional and the 15.4in widescreen is great for DVD movies.
Unless your teenager is skiving PE lessons, you won’t be encouraging them to heft the 2.845kg Advent K200 to and from school every day. But it will flatter any teenager’s bedroom.
The Advent K200 is an unremarkable but solid workhorse laptop that will serve well for homework, general surfing and playing DVD movies, while its security features will help keep under-18s clear of unsavoury parts of the internet and parents reassured.