Windows 7 on the Advent 4211 Netbook

I’ve been using Windows 7 for a while now. I put the beta version on my little tiny Netbook PC, the Advent 4211 which has a little Atom processor and only 1G of ram.

By gum, it works well. I’m getting a better than Vista experience on a machine that just about runs Windows XP. I even took the machine to Portugal last week and used it to run PowerPoint and Visual Studio (at the same time bless it) during the presentation. It worked really well, the only problem was when I accidentally engaged screen magnification at the end and wasn’t able to turn it off. However, that got the biggest laugh of the session, so perhaps it was OK after all.

One thing that is very impressive is the handling of external monitors for presentations. When you plug a display in you get the four options of netbook only, clone, extend onto external display or external only, and you can manage them very easily by using the new Windows+P hotkey. But, better than that, it works in a very clever way. It actually picks sensible resolutions for each device, even if you are cloning the screen. My little netbook is widescreen, unlike most external displays. Windows 7 took this in its stride, giving me a stretched display on the netbook but a good looking display on the projector, which is exactly what it should do.

In fact, there is a whole lot of “exactly what it should do” in this version of Windows. Stuff seems to work the way you would expect and with a minimum of fuss. The operating system has been rock solid for me and I’ve not had any blue screens of badness. Good stuff, roll on release day.