It’s only been a few days since I’ve installed Windows 7 on my Lenovo Thinkpad X61 Tablet, but so far it’s been GREAT! The version I had installed was the beta (build 7000).
I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Windows 7, and it’s not like I didn’t want to install Windows 7, but things had been working fine for now, and I saw no reason to chance destabilizing any of my critical machines. However, I had Vista SP1 running on my Thinkpad and generally it does okay, but once in awhile, after I haven’t rebooted the laptop for a few days, I get into a state where the laptop just becomes unresponsive and slow and has problems connecting to the wireless network.
Jan Lyk had shown me Windows 7 running on his Dell mini laptop and I decided I’d give it a shot. It was pretty much an impulse decision. The same day after I saw Jan Lyk’s laptop, I grabbed the beta, and installed it that night. I decided to do an upgrade instead of fresh install since I didn’t want to bother reinstalling all the applications and backing up the data.
The upgrade actually went pretty well. It did take longer than I expected. In fact, there were certain points in time during the upgrade which I thought it was stuck, especially when it was migrating files, settings, and programs.
The “fun” part came when it prompted me to log in. I swiped my finger and it logged me in.
I started typing on the keyboard. No response. I started moving the mouse. No response. Thinking to myself, I’m !@#$%^. I could use the fingerprint scanner to login, but I needed some other way to actually install drivers if they’re missing. Suddenly I remembered I still had a tablet pen to try out. Amazing, the tablet pen WORKED! Typing using the tablet pen wasn’t that fun though, but I managed to get to the device manager and noticed that the keyboard and trackpoint devices had the little yellow alert sign. I opened both of them and told it to automatically update the driver and amazingly, it found the driver and I was able to use the keyboard. The trackpoint/mouse actually needed a reboot before it started working.
The only other issue was I also needed to update the GEM smartcard reader driver (which was also done automatically). Things were starting to look good.
Moving on, it complained that my antivirus software was not turned on. I use AVG 8.0 and it was turned on from what I could tell. Someone on the AVG forums mentioned that if you disable resident shield and re-enabled it, Windows 7 would stop warning you about it. I tried that, but didn’t seem to work. I thought I’d try reinstalling, but in the end, decided to just switch back to eTrust, since AVG doesn’t officially support Windows 7 yet. This thing also warned me that Windows Defender was turned off, but I think that’s because it was set to delayed start, and the warning would disappear after awhile.
I love the fact that the tablet feature and fingerprint scanner just worked out of the box. It definitely boots up a lot faster than Windows Vista and definitely more responsive. I haven’t had much time to tinker or play around with it much, but it looks like most of the Lenovo applications also work out of the box.
The pinned programs on the task bar is like a merge of quick launch + task bar, which is pretty neat. Usually I have a vertical task bar, because when horizontally, the names of the tasks just take up too much space. Now that they’ve gotten rid of the name and only show an icon, I no longer really need to have a vertical task bar. However, I still dislike the fact that they group same tasks together. There’s probably a way to disable it, or make it more responsive so the moment I hover over the icon, the windows thumbnails would appear immediately instead of waiting a few seconds.
Another cool thing I noticed is that they have a dim screen feature. Usually you have 2 options for your screen: On or Off. I usually set mine to turn off after 5 minutes of idleness, but now there’s an intermediate step where it dims it after 2 minutes of idleness and turns it off after 5 minutes.
I’m going to enjoy playing with Windows 7 on my laptop.