Why the heck not? I don’t think I will be buying an iPad and I need a more lightweight and portable mini computer so that is the main rationale behind it. Plus, I wanted to try out Windows 7 as it gets such good reviews. Oddly too I just realised that in the 11 years that I have been “computing” I’ve never had a PC (Windows) that hasn’t been locked down by work IT. And there’s another couple of reasons why a more portable laptop was always going to be a Windows based one. Firstly, when we got our new work laptops they were really locked down this time by IT. The sneaky buggers have disabled use of external portable USB drives so I could no longer transfer files between my home Mac and work PC (necessary to move gadget files) and they have also completely stopped me from loading on software. This meant I couldn’t use stuff like ListPro and SafeWallet desktops anymore on my work laptop. Boo. Before they took back the old Dell monstrosity I saved my ListPro & SafeWallet backup files & all other gadget related stuff.
So, in order to keep using important 3rd party gadget software that has no mac equivalents I had to get a Windows device. Normally I’d spend ages doing lots of online research before buying but this time I made a pretty impulsive buy & picked up a Samsung N150 mainly on the basis of its claimed near 7 hour battery life. And the fact it appeared to be one of the few sporting Windows 7, albeit in Starter pack mode. All the different versions of Windows OS baffle me to be honest…..I think Microsoft needs a bit of streamlining in there.
Setting it up was okay…it took over 2 hours & I was surprised, during the start up, that it did not give me the option, like a mac does, of entering email details so that your email is up and running straight away. Probably because there does not appear to be a native email app installed….?? Not to worry I quickly downloaded Thunderbird and was up and running on that front soon after.
Anyway once it was finally finished downloading a myriad of stuff and updates I got to work & was quickly dispirited by how slow it appeared. Luckily my web chum Simon advised me to uninstall the MacAfee anti-virus software as it is apparantly notorious as a resource hog & by jingo he was right. Things picked up speed wise when I replaced MacAfee with the free version of AVG. Adding another 1gb if memory didn’t hurt either and was very very easy, purchased online from Crucial for around £35 including post. I like Crucial as finding the right memory is easy with their site tools and they always post out very quickly.
A few things have been annoying me though. The installed version of Windows 7 is the starter pack and in some respects it is like having a locked down by IT system as you are not able to change the desktop wallpaper, a situation I find incredible….”Windows 7…that was my idea”…yeah? Well, the person who thought up that idea should have their testicles surgically removed. Basically, the whole W7 Starter thing is just a badly disguised advert to upgrade to their Home Edition which, at £70, is not exactly cheap. I also dislike the way that alert windows keep appearing and interfering from the bottom right hand tray with seemingly urgent messages to do this and do that. The first couple of days I used it I had to install about 20 “updates”…updates to what?! And it seems unrelenting this “update” thing….
I’ll come back with a more detailed review later once I get the hang of the thing but after a few tweaks and some great tips from people, it has been working just fine and much smoother into the bargain. The battery life looks like living up to the claimed 7 hours too which is a huge bonus and the Samsung has a nice solid heft to it. The keyboard is decent too although the keys are a bit smaller than the work Samsung N140 and to be honest, the keyboard on the latter is better. For two models that are quite close together in terms of when they came out I’m surprised that Samsung decided to change the keyboard style, for the worse, on the N150.