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Monday, 1 March 2010

Acer Aspire One D150 + Windows 7 Ultimate: 6 months on ...

I've spent the last year or so hopping from one operating system to another in a quest to find what works best (for me) on netbooks in general and specifically on the Acer Aspire One(AAO) D150 that I bought in May 2009. That journey took me from the default (as it was then) Windows XP build, through a number of Linux Distributions, to Windows 7 RC, and now to Windows 7 Ultimate.

The thing that is most telling is that I haven't changed my installed operating system in 6 months.

Right from the first boot (half the time taken to book Windows XP) it was obvious that Windows 7 was a different prospect to it's predecessors. It is well thought out, robust, friendly, not a resource drain (despite a number of posts and articles recently trying to imply the opposite). Simple things like the integrated device driver database now mean you can plug in any common USB device - that printer in clients office that you have never used before - and be able to use it straight away, no drivers to download, no reboot required.

Windows 7 has worked so well that I am comfortably sat in my office writing this post with my AAO plugged into an external mouse, keyboard and monitor and having a very comfortable and productive experience. These peripherals aren't essentials either - my AAO has been a more-or-less constant companion since I bought it and I would estimate it gets 12+ hours use just about every day.

Don't think that I only use it to surf and handle my email: I'm launching my new communications agency on the 18th March (PH Digital Communications - take a look at http://www.ph-digital.co.uk) and the brand design, 3D animation, Flash and website programming including some AR (augmented reality work) were all done on my netbook. My installed software ranges from the expected (Firefox, Thunderbird, Skype, Sky Player, MS Office) through to the more exotic (Flash 8, Flash CS4, Adobe Creative Suite CS2, Dreamweaver, Blender, Second Life amongst others).

I've made only one hardware change to the netbook - I've swapped it's 1GB standard RAM module for the maximum 2GB, but that's it.

Will I need a more powerful computer? Yes - I'll undoubtedly need a more powerful desktop for animation rendering and larger scale 3D work, and I have an old desktop configured as a server, backup and printer host. Will I trade my netbook up for a laptop? Not in the near future. My AAO has served me flawlessly through buiness presentations and anything I have needed to do whilst out on business and it's 6 hour battery life has been a great help. All from a computer that a grand total of about £300. The extreme portability coupled with enough power and the broad features and stability makes this a winning solution for my needs.

37 comments:

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    ReplyDelete