Medion’s Akoya Mini E1210 is a rebadged version of MSI’s Wind U100, but there are differences, one of the most significant being battery life.
The Akoya’s noticeably slimmer battery lasted just two-and-a-half hours in our light-use battery test, while the Wind lasted almost twice as long. A chunkier, larger capacity battery can be bought for £50, and a six-cell Wind battery will also fit.
Another noticeable difference is storage space. The Akoya’s 80GB disk has half the capacity of the Wind’s 160GB disk. It’s more than big enough for storing office documents, but it could fill up quickly if you want to store video, music and photos on it as well.
Both the Akoya and the Wind have 10.2in widescreen LCDs with a resolution of 1,024×600 pixels and a matt finish. The Akoya’s display looked darker than the Wind’s and its backlight was a little more uneven, so parts of the display were brighter than others. It’s still perfectly usable for working on documents and browsing the web, though.
The Akoya’s keyboard feels responsive and comfortable to use, although the layout can trip up touch typists. Some of the punctuation keys are narrower than the others. The Fn key takes the left Ctrl key’s usual place, which will annoy frequent users of keyboard short cuts. The touch pad and its buttons are small, but the tracking is accurate and smooth.
Like the Wind and two other netbooks here, the Akoya has built-in Draft-N wireless networking, but you’ll benefit from the speed boost only if you have a Draft-N wireless router and copy lots of data between computers on your network. The E1210 doesn’t have integrated Bluetooth, although a USB adaptor can be plugged into one of the three USB ports.
Corel’s WordPerfect Office X3 suite comes pre-installed, although you could easily and freely download the excellent OpenOffice from www.openoffice.org so this is not a compelling reason to choose the Akoya. While it isn’t a bad netbook, there are better-value alternatives.