Monday, November 16, 2009

Laptop Specs

We keep track of laptops that we like for everyday / business use. Some people may like the most powerful laptops -- or more stylish -- but these represent the "sweetspot" in terms of performance, price, and value.

DateProcessor SpeedMemoryHarddriveBatteryPrice
Dec 092.2 Ghz (x2) Win 74 GB300 GB4 hrs$550
Aug 092.1 Ghz (x2) Vista3 GB320 GB3 hrs$500
Dec 082.0 Ghz (x2) Vista3 GB300 GB2.5 hrs$550
Aug 081.9 Ghz (x2) Vista3 GB250 GB2 hrs$550
Dec 071.6 Ghz (x2) Vista1.5 GB120 GB1.5 hrs$550

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Look at Windows 7

Windows 7 has launched, with generally good reviews. Happily, Microsoft looks like it finally has a good successor to Windows XP (after the disaster of Vista). Many are touting Windows 7 as the least intrusive MSFT operating system in a long time.

Windows 7 Performance & Features:
  • Windows 7 is generally faster than Vista. Some say it seems as fast as XP...
  • The one area where Windows 7 seems to underperform Vista is in "Application Launch Times."
  • Battery life slightly better than Vista.
  • Boot-up and Shut-down times are a wash between Vista and Windows 7.
  • Some people will have to get used to the new feel of the "Taskbar." "Quick Launch" has been eliminated but its features show up in the new Task Bar.
  • Better control of the "System Tray" so it doesn't get overloaded with applications.
Some general advice for now:
  • There's no rush to upgrade. Wait for the "early-adopters" to help Microsoft fix some hiccups and make your upgrade that much smoother.
  • If you have an older machine running Windows XP, leave things alone.
  • On newer machines running Vista, it's up to you. If you are happy with performance, you can leave things alone -- or you can upgrade to Windows 7 for general system performance improvement.
  • For computers running Vista that are slightly underpowered and slow -- you might consider upgrading to Windows 7. Of course, you may want to weigh the cost of the upgrade versus the cost (and when) you may get a new computer.
  • Look out of the Windows 7 Family Pack, which can upgrade 3 PCs. We've seen prices in the range of $120-$149 for this upgrade -- good for 3 computers.