Sorry for the long blog break, been really, really busy. Anyway, I upgraded my brother’s Dell Inspiron 640m laptop yesterday to Windows Vista Business Editon from XP Home Edition. The upgrade itself was a very smooth process, surprisingly, topping out at an hour and a half to complete the upgrade from XP.
Dell Inspiron 640m
Intel Core Duo 1.6 GHz T2300 (32-Bit)
512 MBs of RAM
Not sure about the graphics, but its onboard with about 128 MBs alloted for video RAM.
The laptop was purchased in June of 2006 and is certified Vista capable . Unfortunately, the amount of installed RAM has held the system back greatly, making it a major underperformer. I think Dell made a major mistake by labeling this laptop Vista Capable, since its very slow to boot and operate after upgrading to Vista. I have done a lot since upgrading, configuring and removing certain unncessary startup items, uninstalling unneeded applications, but there is no significant change in performance to call it fully usable. Surprisingly, it supports Windows AERO Glass, but adds to the burden of performance. Just to give my brother the full experience of Vista, I enabled it anyway, but even with AERO Basic, its still a groggy system. Vista was right though to suggest AERO Basic as the default theme, but its just awful and my brother agrees. I disabled some of the visual effects of Glass such as Window animations to make it feel less molasses like.
Dell Inspiron 640m running Windows Vista Business RTM
RAM is the biggest concern, Dell should have by default configure the system with 1GB instead of 512. The system itself is a bit awkward because of the location of the extra empty slot to install additional memory. In this case its under the keyboard which requires a lot of work to pull down the entire system to install. Instead, I will just sacrifice the existing 512 MB located at the bottom of the system since I am just not up for pulling down my brothers precious one and only laptop. Overall, I think the upgrade was very smooth, but the Vista upgrade advisor could do a better job of informing the user of what the user can achieve out of the Vista experience based the systems specs. I hope more drivers are available for components like Sonics and BVRP software since they are poping up every freaking time I boot the system about not compatible and will be disabled. Impressed I was though to see a clean Device Manager which was a great sigh of relief. Other noticeable things, it got a WEI rating of 2.9, oh man! If it was 3.0, the laptop would have gotten all of the Visual Slide Themes.
My brother himself is in love with Vista and doesn’t seem to be that bothered by the performance, he is a big fan of Gadgets, his favorite being CPU meter and Clock. He is not so much sold on RSS it seems. He say’s that the process of going to the website is just more approachable. But I can understand from his perspective since he is new to the technology but I am sure the more he uses Vista it, he will see the value. He is also impressed by Vista’s Flip 3D and the semi-translucent UI which he has customized to use a blue tint from the Windows Color and Appearance settings under Personalization.