LG’s first netbook looks remarkably like the MSI Wind. Is it a clone, or a class above?
When the X110 was first announced, we couldn’t help but notice its striking resemblance to MSI’s ubiquitous Wind.
With the latter already rebadged as the Medion Akoya and Advent 4211, it’d come as no surprise if LG did confirm the rumours that the it had indeed rolled off one of MSI’s conveyor belts.
But if the two are related, it’s in a long lost brothers kind of way. In the movie of their lives, the X110 is the one that got lucky and was fostered by the rich family.
The vast majority of netbooks share identical internal components and screens, so their performance is very similar.
The key design choice with the X110 is that LG has fitted a large, conventional hard drive rather than a smaller but faster and more power efficient solid state drive (SSD).
Outside, the layout of ports, connectors, speaker and vents is identical to the Wind, but LG has given the chassis a more edgy look by sharpening the corners and squaring off the base.
The plastic casing is glossier and more hardwearing, and dressed up in a two-tone finish. The result is a netbook that looks like it means business, and won't be packed away with the kids' toys by mistake.
No Wi-Fi? No worries
The battery pack is the same as the Wind’s, as is the disappointing 2-2.5 hour lifespan. Underneath the X110's three-cell unit, though, is a slot for a mobile phone SIM. Push in a card from the operator of your choice and voila – instant access to the fastest HSDPA network currently available.
The X110 isn’t the first netbook to add an 'internet anytime' feature, but it is one of the few which is operator agnostic and doesn't charge a premium for the modem to be installed. At £330 the LG isn't quite a bargain, but it's good value for money all the same.
The full-size QWERTY layout will be a boon to those whose digits aren't dexterous enough for a cut down keyboard, and the large return key will appeal to anyone planning to use it for more than just web surfing.
There is a pay-off though. One of the hereditary flaws of the Wind which seems to cement the relationship between the two is that the mousepad is proportionally shrunk as the keyboard grows in size. It's not as bad as, say, the Acer One, but after being spoiled by the Eee's large multi-touch tracker it feels cramped, to say the least.
The X110 almost has it all, but good looks are tempered by low battery life and the miniature mousepad. The decider, then, is the 3G modem – if that's worth the £40 over a very similar machine like the Medion, then the LG is the one to get.
LG X110 review
An attractive netbook with built-in 3G, but average battery life lets it down