Hands on Use
When I got to this point on the Lenovo S10-2 review last month I mentioned how jaded I was by all the netbooks and haw similar they are. The U210 was like a breath of fresh air to me. The machine uses the AMD Neo platform offering blazing performance for the netbook class.
Other significant changes in the U210 compared to other notebooks include the keyboard and the screen. First, I will talk about the screen. If you have read any of my notebook and netbook reviews, you know that I am not a big fan of glossy screens because of all the glare they throw in normal indoor environments. I have the same issue with glare on the 12.1-inch LCD that the U210 uses. Glare aside, the screen has fantastic colors and sharpness. The screen has good skin tones and nice deep blacks; easily one of the best screens on a netbook I have tested.
With a larger chassis, the screen isn't the only place you get more room with the U210; the netbook also has a larger keyboard. The keyboard on the U210 is significantly larger and has more space than the keyboard on your average netbook with a 10-inch chassis. The keys are well spaced, clicky when pressed and have good tactile feedback. The right shift key is smaller than the left shift key, but the smaller size is still larger than the typical right shift key on a netbook.
The track pad is large and well placed. I didn't have issues hitting it with the heel of my hand when typing like I do on many smaller netbooks. The two mouse buttons are under the track pad where they should be and offer good feel and resistance. MSI does pack the U210 with several pieces of trial software, which I consider bloatware. The most hated is Norton in my book; I prefer AVG Free and Norton only gets on my nerves until I uninstall the application.