So… Windows 7 is fast then

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.

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  1. Thing is Vista with SP2 would probably install fine as well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed but too many times I see these releases blighted by feature creep born during the Beta phase as a bunch of geeks declare the functionality that must be included.

    Hopefully this time Microsoft is focusing on the user experience and not the technical community and the apparent speed of this product won’t be tailed off by uneccesary clever bits.

  2. Stan,
    The tablet does get pretty hot – but no more than with Vista. I seem to remember it running cooler under XP but it’s been a few years since I had that on there to compare.


  3. Trev,
    SP2 installed ok but was a complete dog to get running properly. Strangely the original Longhorn beta’s had all the right drivers etc. in WU, but then on release they were pulled and you had to hunt around to find the right drivers manually. I remember putting the PnP ID’s into Google to find the video driver!

    I think MS would be stupid to bloat things out and slow the OS back down. They seem to have learnt their lesson this time so I’m keeping optimistic :)


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