Tailor made: hands-on with PC World's laptop customising service

Bespoke tailoring may be the preserve of the rich and famous, but thanks to Advent at Dixons Retail (Currys and PC World to you and me) you’ll be able to add the personal touch to your own notebook.

Adventcovers.com will let you design anything you like to put on the back of your Advent notebook, with three models on offer. The Advent Modena, Zuni and Sienna are all listed as supported so we decided to give it a go.

You first buy your notebook and in our case that meant the Advent Modena. The Modena is a 15.6-inch notebook, running Windows 7 Home Premium, and offering a 2.1GHz Intel Celeron T3500 dual-core processor, 4GB RAM and 320GB hard drive.

It isn’t the most high-spec of machines out there and the design sees it on the beefy side, rather than the slick machines that we’ve seen of late, but this notebook is good value for money at around £319 (for a refurbished model). The slightly lower spec M200 can be yours for £299 and makes it an affordable choice for those looking for a working machine rather than a gaming machine.

The next step is to design your cover. Adventcovers.com will walk you through the process quickly and easily, outlining the resolution you’ll need to get the best results. We plumped for a bit of basic Pocket-lint.com branding, submitted the image file and paid the £29.99.

Advent then manufactures your lid and sends it to you via post. On arrival, you simply take your new cover down to your nearest PC World and they will install it for you.

Ordering took us about 3 weeks and on arrival we took it down to PC World’s Tottenham Court Road store in London. Installation of the cover is very simple and the in-store process doesn’t take long at all. You’ll then walk out with a customised notebook. 

The results are good meaning you can add that personal touch, be it for your own machine or easy branding for promotional purposes, as the result is tidier than a sticker, for example. Of course, there are a range of alternative ways to customise your notebook, from sleeves to clip-on covers, but we do like the final result as this is a properly printed and finished lid, so your design isn’t going to scratch or peel off.

We were also pleased that there was no bleeding of colour into the white lettering we had chosen, with sharply contrasting lines. The detailing was actually quite precise, and with the benefit of hindsight smoother edges on the original image file could have given us a more rounded result to our lettering. 

If we have one criticism, it’s that the colouration of our design didn’t make it right to the edges of the lid, so right on the edges there is a white band with the background colour bleeding into it (just visible on the photo above where the lid meets the black base of the laptop). It’s something to bear in mind if you are after a dark colour and want a seamless effect, but if you are putting on a photo or design with lots of different colours it probably matters less.

All in all, a pretty slick result that didn’t break the bank.