If there's anything we've taken away from reviewing netbooks since the craze started, it's that design plays a really important part when the hardware and form factor are all but similar. LG seems to understand this and its LG X120 stands out from the sea of similarity with a gorgeous exterior design that's both lovely for the eyes and the fingers. Instead of your usual fingerprint friendly glossy surface, the X120 lays out the matte touches on a smooth cover with golden bezel highlights.
Sadly, the wonderful exterior doesn't translate to the interior, which actually goes for a glossy look instead. It doesn't make much sense in the grand scheme of things, seeing as how you're more likely to be touching the interior. Thankfully, it's only limited to the palm rest, with the keyboard and trackpad retaining a familiar matte look. Speaking of the keyboard, typing on it was a joy, with barely any flex detected. Trackpad response too was fine but the unit lacked multi-touch capabilities.
The recessed reflective display was crisp and clear though the framed design of the panel made the screen look smaller than usual. Otherwise, the design did give us a very retro buzz which quite fits in with the overall look and feel of the unit. As always though, our usual caveat about reflective screens do apply, so keep this in mind if you're considering the X120.
Like the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2, the LG netbook features a similar quick boot system. However, while the Lenovo took up to 10 seconds, the X120 took a mere five seconds to boot into the LG Smart ON that's based on the SplashTop OS. From there, it's easy to start surfing the internet, viewing pictures, playing music or Skyping. Since the unit comes with an integrated 3G modem, there's no need to hunt for wireless hotspots to surf the net.
Booting into Windows XP, the X120 performed as expected on the Intel Atom platform. On PCMark05, the unit scored the typical average of 1554 PCMarks. As we've mentioned, with all the similar hardware around, the real focus lies in the delivery of the form factor, and the X120 here has done pretty well in our books. Battery life too was decent from the 6-cell battery, running close to the four-hour mark at 3 hours and 55 minutes.
With its decidedly retro looks, the LG X120 caters to those wanting more than just the standard-looking netbook. It's nicely designed, though not perfect, and comes with the usual Intel Atom hardware. If you're tempted to buy one, take heed that there are three models available. The LG X120-G has the 3G modem and is the most expensive at S$899.
The other two models are non-3G equipped versions, and come in two flavors. The first, the X120-L comes loaded with Windows XP for just S$549 while the Windows 7 Starter Edition version, the X120-N will cost you quite a bit more at S$749, albeit with a larger 250GB hard drive and a 1366 x 768 display. Be sure to pick the right model for yourselves, but note that our own wallets are looking in the direction of the cheap and affordable LG X120-L.