Just a few days ago, I helped one set up a new Lenovo laptop, which features a Core Duo T2250 (1.733GHz), 1GB RAM and a 80GB 5400rpm HDD, something that should be reasonably quick, at least from what I would imagine with Windows XP. It came with Vista Home Basic and to be honest, it is has been my worst experience with a new PC to date, with the OS running quite sluggish on this laptop. It took over an hour just to go through its initial set up, which included the installation of 17 patches (from what I recall).
After I finished with setting it up and installing the patches, I timed how long it took from the point where the OS starts loading after the BIOS screen. After about 50 seconds, the desktop icons show up, followed by a further 2.5 minutes for the applications to finish loading. Even still, there is plenty of HDD activity. When I load up the web browser (IE7), it took about 15 seconds to launch and begin loading the homepage. Opening up the first new tab takes about 10 seconds. A short while after browsing a few pages, I got the typical Vista grey screen warning asking if I wish to allow Java. I allowed this and Java crashed out. A few seconds later I got a dialogue saying that the Google toolbar is not functioning properly and has been disabled. :eek:
While I'm sure some may start pointing at Lenovo's included software as the culprit, from what I can see, even with this included software, there is no way a new PC (even if a laptop) should be running so sluggish! I done the usual checks, such as checking the HDD's DMA mode, drivers, BIOS settings, etc. and all seems to be fine. The closest example I can give as a comparison for Windows XP would be like running Windows XP SP2 on a Celeron ~600MHz (or equivalent) with 256MB of RAM and a 10GB HDD. The only time the laptop felt quick was when I tried some video encoding tests on it in which it run just over twice as quick as my Athlon XP 3000 at encoding XviD 720p (multi-threaded version) and about 50% quicker running LAME (Intel Compiled HT version vs. standard version on my AMD).
Anyway, the person who bought the laptop is computer illiterate and the first thing she said after a few minutes of using it was something like "Can you please take this off and put Microsoft on instead? I don't like this software." She didn't believe that this was even Windows (what she meant by asking me to put Microsoft on) and really wanted me to change it to the "proper" software. :doh:
Her first impression of Word 2007 (came with the 60-day trial) was not great either and was not happy that there was no way of getting back the old style. Then again since she's a student learning how to use Word and Excel, so in my opinion, there should be at least a way of changing back to the old Office style! I have yet to warn her about the .docx, etc. formats. While Microsoft has an update to allow the opening of these in earlier versions of Office, that's no good if some (if not all) college PCs do not suppor this. Matters only get worse if one submits an assignment, only for the examiner to have problems opening it!
For now, unless one has a high end PC with a lot of RAM (2GB+), I would seriously recommend sticking with the more trusty XP and forget about Vista altogether. Anyway, I can't even see what Vista has got to make up for the sluggish experience I've had so far.