Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Windows 7 on a Netbook

I enjoy my netbook. I have an Acer Aspire One D150 model. It is very convinient for me to use. It comes in handy on plane rides, trips to class, and any other small computing task that I may have for it.

Recently, Lifehacker had a poll on the top 5 netbook operation systems(see here). So far I've used Windows XP and Windows 7rc. I plan on giving Ubuntu's Netbook Remix a try next. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Windows 7.

If I had to describe my time with Windows 7 on my netbook in one word it would be SMOOTH. I installed Windows 7 on my netbook to give it a test drive as an OS, not just for the netbook experience. It surprised me with how good it was. I expected it to be good, but slow on the netbook. I never had an issues with speed or memory usage. Granted, I did mostly web browsing and writing, but I never got the feeling that the OS was bogged down by underpowered hardware. Even when waking up from sleep, it always seemed snappy.

Once the OS was installed, everything worked, with the exception of multitouch. I had to go to the Acer website to get drivers for it, but once installed I had no problems. Connecting to wireless networks or printers was a snap. I always got over 5 hours battery life, which is perfect for cross country flights. Windows 7 has a lot of new features that I didn't really take advantage of because I didn't do much heavy lifting on the Netbook. I'm sure they can be useful, but most of my time was spent in the browser.

The main programs I used with it were Chrome, Darkroom, Firefox, Notepad++, Putty and Skype. I've never tried to do any coding on it, but I'd rather code in a Linux environment anyway. None of these programs really stressed the computer, but my intentions were never to do that.

Sometimes I'd notice programs would crash after coming back up from sleep mode. Also sometimes the ATI driver would fail, causing me to lost my custom colored theme, but those were both minor issues.

Windows 7 as a netbook operating system is a great choice. I'd recommend it to anyone who has a netbook and doesn't want to use Linux or XP. I'm giving Ubuntu's Netbook Remix a try once my RC begins its decline on March 1, and it will be my first crack at a "Netbook Oriented OS", but that will be a post for a later time.