Microsoft Windows 7 RC1
Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is a polished piece of work, ready for prime time
- Early beta tests suggest that the OS will be quicker than Vista
- Too soon to make a proper assessment of the operating system
It's way too early to make a proper assessment of Windows 7, but Microsoft has made its intentions clear: Windows 7 is intended to right the wrongs Vista wrought, but retain that operating system's good points. And at this point, we can't argue with that. Our early beta tests suggest that the OS will be quicker than Vista, which can only be a good thing. We'll be updating this review as we get more information on and time with Windows 7, so be sure to bookmark this page.
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Windows 7 RC1: Other changes
There are plenty of other changes in Windows 7 RC1. Microsoft claims that RC1 includes faster start-up and shutdown, faster resumption from standby, faster searching and indexing, and quicker recognition of USB devices. I could not confirm all of that, but on my laptop, Windows 7 did resume from standby noticeably faster, and start-up and shutdown seemed quicker as well.
In addition, there has been a small attempt to make Windows 7 greener. When you click the battery icon in the notification area, you'll see only two power plans: "Balanced" and "Power-saver".
The high-performance plan, which generally consumes more energy than the other two plans, doesn't show up. However, you can make the high-performance plan appear by clicking the battery icon, selecting "More power options" and then selecting "High performance".
There are a number of security tweaks, including some minor changes to User Account Control (UAC). Most notably, the UAC prompt now blacks out the desktop. In addition, AutoRun has been disabled when you use USB flash drives and other nonremovable optical storage as a safety precaution, because worms can use AutoRun to sneak malware onto your PC.
Internet Explorer has gotten several minor tweaks as well. You can now launch an InPrivate browsing session via IE's Jump List, and you can open new tabs from the Jump List as well.
Windows Media Player has also received a minor makeover. Previously, Media Player had a "Lightweight Playback Mode" which took up far less real estate than the full-blown Media Player. That mode has been renamed "Now Playing Mode" and is even smaller and more compact.
Windows Media Player also now supports .mov files recorded by digital cameras. There's also a Remote Media Streaming feature that lets you stream media to other PCs.
Finally, there have been some changes of note for enterprise use. RC1 includes changes to the DirectAccess feature for connecting to corporate networks remotely, including adding smart card support. Folders can be deleted and renamed when in offline mode. And AppLocker, which allows IT staffers to control what applications can be run on PCs, has gotten some tweaks as well, making it easier to administer.
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GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.