Friday, November 7, 2008

Windows 7: First Thoughts

A Netbook should not have a 15.4" screen. That's the first thing I thought when I stated using the HP Compaq 6715b with Windows 7 installed. It has a slow processor (1.6GHz Turion 64 x2), almost no RAM (1GB 667MHz), and a small Hard Drive (80GB 5400rpm). Essentially, it's an EEE PC with a big screen. The very thought of running Vista on it makes even the most dedicated Windows user shudder. Surprisingly though, Windows 7 is useable on it. For example, while I'm writing this (running Firefox 3.0, Evernote, Task Manager, and MS Word 2007) Windows is using 1% processor and 716MB RAM. Not bad considering a Vista system uses ~1.5GB right after boot up. Boot up also seems to be quite a bit faster than Vista.

The new super bar is currently my favorite feature. It allows you to pin program shortcuts right to the bar. If the program is not running, clicking the shortcut will start it. If the program is running, the shortcuts work to show/hide the window. If the program has more than one window open, hovering over the shortcut displays a preview of the windows, which you can then select.

The hardware detection worked great, probably a little better than Vista's. I was sure that the 6715b's touch controls for Wireless and Volume would not work out of the box, but surprisingly they do. So far the only thing hardware wise that I do not like is the 6715b's keyboard; the space bar only registers about half the presses. Other than that, it's great.

Post by: Craig Weber

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