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Mobile Tech Minutes — Windows 7 Performance on a Netbook

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We’ve been getting plenty of comments and email questions asking about Windows 7 on a netbook. I do have the final release of Microsoft’s newest operating system installed in a dual-boot method on my Toshiba NB205 netbook, so here’s a short look. There’s no intro, I just dive right into with from a cold boot so you can see how long that takes. Everyone uses their device differently, so there’s no concrete method to show how Windows 7 will work for you on your netbook, but a glimpse of multitasking might be useful.

In the video, I open up Google Chrome, along with a few tabs, Microsoft Word and Excel and finally run a WMV-HD file or two through the paces in Windows Media Player. Again, basic stuff to give you a feel for how the pace of the operating system as we move through different apps. I have the Aero features turned on and show them as well. Bear in mind that I do have 2GB of RAM in my device. I was tempted to run with just a 1GB stick, but for $25 or do so, I highly recommend running Windows 7 with more RAM in a netbook. Even so, I think you’ll see very little of the lag that we saw with Vista on early netbooks.

9 Responses to “Mobile Tech Minutes — Windows 7 Performance on a Netbook”

  1. Student

    the X64 versions of Win7 isn’t dramatically faster than Vista X64. App load times are identical and gaming performance with current win7 drivers are pretty much the same (they use to be slower with beta drivers).

    btw, if you are a college student, there’s something called the “MSDNAA” where you might be able to get a FREE COPY OF WIN7 NOW.

    I lost my chance to download when I was taking my Comp Sci classes. (U Washington only gives that out to students who are enrolled in Infomatics or Comp Sci classes). Some schools, such as Washington State U gives it free to ALL its students. Do check with your department or school.

    If you missed that opportunity, look up the $30 dollar student deal at digitalriver.

  2. I’ve got windows 7 on my sony vaio TZ laptop. It runs great! I can score about 6 hours of battery life with the EVDO modem on and everything set to minimum.

    I just wish it had a touch screen. Other then that it’s a great laptop and windows 7 simply works beautifully.

    I just found out how to edit the registers to enable virtualization and xp mode works a treat as well!

  3. John in Norway

    For some reason, Windows 7 on my Sc3 (1.33 Atom, 2GB RAM, really slow HDD) takes over 30 seconds to go to sleep! As for shutting down, well, sometimes it does, eventually, sometimes it doesn’t. No such problems on my Toshiba m200, though.

  4. Win 7 on my NB205 is great. I have given up on the “flash cards” to work properly and just use the windows mobility center, win-x, to do what i want. Battery life is excellent. I spent all day yesterday using it and my boss was using his 12″ HP laptop with the super extended battery and his died while mine had 50% left. I can easily get a whole day out of this thing and I rarely carry the power adapter with me. I have used mine tonight to watch videos online with it started using it at about 11:00p it is now 2:30a and I am at 56% battery remaining. That is playing streaming video full screen over wifi. Just normal web browsing seems to go longer than when playing video. I am very satisfied with the battery performance. Just yesterday I ran from 830a to 230p and still had power left when I started to charge it. I think it was somewhere around 40% left. That was more normal work, outlook, word, powerpoint, excel, web.

    No problems from me, works way better than the Asus EEE 1005 hab with the 3 cell crap.

    If only there were a way to get internal 3g on the NB205.

    For the record I am running 2GB of ram and I have an sd card running 4GB of readyboost.

  5. Well, yours is much faster than mine! I put Win 7 RTM on my Lenovo S10 (with 2GB ram) and it takes in excess of 2:45 to boot up! My Windows Experience Index is 2.2 with the lowest rating being Calculations per second.

    Once the system is booted, it works well. And, like you, I rarely fully power down the system. My biggest problem with the S10 is “fat finger syndrome”… I did use your tip of SharpKeys to swap the right shift and up arrow keys – which makes the keyboard far more usable.

  6. Nice job getting Win 7 on there. I must ask though, are you noticing any worse battery life compared to XP with the Toshiba power management utility not working? I’m thinking if Toshiba didn’t throw out an update, it may not be needed for the new OS.

    I still think Pinetrail with a hi-def screen will be the netbook to pair best with Windows 7 though.

  7. hi. would really like some sort of comparison between windows 7 and xp. speed, usability, system resource usage, etc. because comparisons with vista is useless as we know vista has always sucked =) also, performance comparison should be on a 1GB ram setup. hope you can help. thanks =)