Virgin Media Freedom Mini-Laptop review

Virgin has jumped on the netbook giveaway bandwagon with its latest packages. But what sort of machine do you get as part of the deal?

Virgin Media Freedom Mini-Laptop

We have all got used to the offer of a free laptop if you sign up for what seems like a life-long contract with a mobile operator. However, laptops have been pushed aside as the tech to be seen with and now everyone is seeking out that perfect little netbook accessory.

Virgin Media is taking advantage of this trend and jumping into the mini-laptop market with its branded offerings. Essentially, sign up to a lengthy contract and get the Virgin Media Freedom Mini-Laptop for free. But the question is, is it worth your signature?

First off, while it may say Virgin Media on the front, this is clearly a rebranded netbook, spookily similar to the Zoostorm Freedom Netbook in both looks and name. But whether it is a young pretender or not doesn't take away from the sleek style of the machine.

Available in either black or Virgin's signature red, the outside is smooth, shiny and thankfully free of unnecessary badges. On opening it up we were again pleased aesthetically by its fully flush glossy 10.1in screen accompanied by a reasonable sized, albeit slightly cheap looking, keyboard.

Overall, the feel of the netbook is pretty solid. It came with a rather brash but useful neoprene cover to give extra piece of mind when on the move and this is made even easier by the tiny weight figure of 1.1Kg with battery. However, we'd probably dispense with the garish included sticks, but that's just us.

The TFT LCD screen quality offers standard 1,024 x 600 resolution and while quality is generally fine, on full white backgrounds a mottling grain effect was apparent. However, it at least does not suffer from glare as some netbooks and laptops can. A tiny 0.3 megapixel webcam is also built-in into the bezel.

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