Well I finally received my new notebook on Tuesday January 26. I wanted to use my bootable BartPE USB jump drive to image the HDD before starting the first boot into Windows 7. Unfortunately I didn’t have the correct drivers in the BartPE image for the NIC or the AHCI controller. Even with this small issue, I enjoyed the nice color contrast on the 15.6″ widescreen at 1920×1080 with the glossy display. I’ve seen displays exactly like mine at retail stores. Usually the displays are all gunked up with fingerprints and grime from shoppers.
I like the simple look of the case – flat black all around except for the small silver Sager logo centered on the lid. There are only 2 stickers by the keyboard (HDMI and Intel Corei7) which does not give the computer a junked up look. The chiclet keyboard, which has a number pad on the right) took no time to get use to. Also there is little give in the center with normal pressure.
I booted into Windows 7 Ultimate and completed the mini setup wizard. I am happy to report no bloatware installed. Just the following applications:
- Microsoft Office 2007 Standard 25 day trial (removed since I already own a copy of Office 2007 Professional)
- Fingerprint reader
- Blue-Ray player
Windows 7 recognized my wireless network and I installed the 64bit drivers for my HP 2605dn Color Laserjet network printer. Test pages printed without problems so now it was time to customize the screen by installing the Star Wars and Pittsburgh Steelers Desktop Themes I made awhile ago.
On Wednesday I installed Ubuntu 9.10 64bit – removing Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit. Ubuntu recognized everything except for the Nvidia card, but the Hardware Detection manager found the correct drivers for me and suggested which one to install. Desktop effects and Compiz were enabled and finally have the cool 3D spinning cube, wobble windows, and all the special effects I could want on my notebook. To finish up I installed the latest codecs for my multimedia files, Flash for Firefox and Virtualbox OSE. But soon I started to have some problems.
VirtualBox OSE installed correctly. I created a vm, installed Windows 7 and rebooted the vm as needed. The performance was extremely slow. WHAT?? This is a Core i7 with 6GB of 1333MHz RAM and a high-end Nvidia card with 1GB of dedicated RAM. After shutting down the vm I verified I had my settings correct and tried agin. Booting into the vm was extremely painful. I do not have this issue at work on my Intel P4 3.4GHz with 2GB of RAM. Since it was late I went to sleep to figure out what to do tomorrow. When I got home from work the next day I booted the system and logged into Facebook to catch up with some friends. While I was playing Farmville the session rebooted. That was strange. So I logged in again and went back to Facebook and the session rebooted again. After logging in a third time I googled for a reason Ubuntu 9.10 64bit would randomly reboot the session. Within three minutes it rebooted my session again.
Now I am extreamly upset with the system. I fired off an e-mail to a buddy of mine, reinstalled my Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit CD and rebooted. I spent the next several hours rebulding my PC. Windows 7 installed within 20 minutes, spent the next 30 minutes running the drivers CD (the user interface was awesome – good job to the folks who designed it), and the rest of the time spent installing Office 2007 Professional, Thunderbird 3 (with all the addons I like), Firefox 3.6, Filezilla 3.3.1, Quicktime, VLC, Google Earth, Picasa, Skype, Trillian 4.1, and a few other applications.
I really wanted to run Ubuntu on my new notebook, but the 64bit seems too unstable. Maybe I should have installed the 32bit version instead. Either way, I am happy now with Windows 7. I might at a later date install Ubuntu 10.04 or Linux Mint 9 on a second partition and have a dual-boot system.
I purchased Star Trek on Blu-Ray over the weekend and enjoyed watching the movie. The picture looked great but the sound from the computer speakers was difficult to hear with the fans running. I was able to connect the computer to my HDMI input for the TV, but the audio was not available. I might be missing a setting for HDMI.
I have two issues with this notebook – battery and bluetooth. For the battery you will get one hour out of it. You will not be playing games, watching a movie, or reading at the local coffee shop unless you have p power outlet near by. A two-hour battery should be the bare minimum for any notebook in my opinion. Everytime the computer sleeps or reboots the bluetooth is off. There is no option to leave it on in the Phoenix BIOS. I don’t think any notebook PC I’ve ever used from HP, IBM, or Dell had bluetooth off with each boot.
I also purchased a Swiss Gear IBEX backpack to carry the computer and other stuff. The bag is made of good materials and holds everything well. I did read about a few people having problems with the zippers. Out of the two bags at the store, only one had zippers that moved easily.
Besides these few issues with the hardware (battery life and bluetooth), I really like this computer. It is fast, Windows 7 works great, Ubuntu 9.10 64bit worked well the first day (maybe a different distro for me in the future), cool options available, and a sweet screen as well.