Many manufacturers have taken MSI's Wind netbook and rebadged it under a range of names. The latest manufacturer to take this route is Medion, with its affordably priced Akoya Mini E1210.

The compact 1.2kg chassis uses a combination of black and silver plastics for a functional yet staid appearance. The materials used are resilient for frequent travel and the rounded edges make it easy to carry and slip into hand luggage.

The excellent keyboard is one of the best you can find on any netbook. It's large enough to comfortably type for long periods, despite some punctuation keys being small. The tiny touchpad and mouse buttons are also on the small side.

Where the Medion deviates from other rebranded MSI Wind netbooks is its slightly dull 10-inch screen. While some of MSI's own netbooks have very bright screens, the Medion's panel is far duller, and colour and contrast suffer as a result.

The Intel Atom N270 processor and 1024MB of memory are standard netbook fare and suit basic use. As with all netbooks, it is not intended for media creation, so is better used as a second laptop rather than a primary machine.

Despite the low-powered components, the Medion has a poor battery life compared to rival netbooks. Running for just 148 minutes, it fails to match the three-hour standard generally seen by mini-laptops, so bear this in mind if you plan to regularly work on the move

Storage is excellent, however, and the 160GB hard drive provides ample space for your files. High-speed wireless connectivity is in place, thanks to the built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi. First-time buyers will also appreciate the Corel WordPerfect Office software which is included.

Although the Medion Akoya Mini E1210 is bettered by many other netbooks on the market, its low price, great storage and useful software still make it a compelling choice.

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