Over the last few days I’ve been playing with Windows 7. There’s plenty of information out there about the new features and interface tweaks etc, so I won’t before repeating all of that, but one thing that has impressed me is the shear speed and responsiveness is has.
Not wanting to rebuilt my main laptop I decided to install 7 on my old HP TC1100 tablet PC. It’s a good few years old now and only has a 1GHz Pentium M processor, though I have got 1.5 gigs of ram in there.
I’ve always loved the ‘slate’ form factor of the old HP tablets. It’s no bigger than a normal A4 pad of paper so it light and easy to use. Windows XP tablet edition probably wasn’t advanced enough to cope without a full-time keyboard though so the form factor never really took off. That’s a shame as I found that the handwriting recognition in Vista was more than good enough that the slate form factor really worked. The only problem was that Vista ran like a dog on the old TC1100 hardware. It took an age to boot and struggled to run any chunky applications.
So with this in mind I wasn’t expecting too much from Windows 7, I just figured it was a handy spare machine to try it on. Having had 7 on there for a few days I’m genuinely surprised by just how good the experience is. It’s much quicker than Vista, probably as quick as Windows XP on the same hardware I reckon. Great work from the 7 product team. It’ll be interesting to see if things improve further as the product nears completion and release.
As an added bonus for other TC1100 users out there, Windows update found all the drivers for the old hardware – something Vista failed to do on the TC’ – and installed them all without fuss. The only missing component is the driver for the extra buttons and jog-dial. Though the old HP drivers install in compatibility mode and enable these buttons they also stop the pen working… but I can do without those to be honest.