Yes, I know I am biased towards the Mac, but as a writer I am confident that I can detach myself for part of the day. So, just yesterday I took delivery of a Toshiba Satellite A100-596 laptop, complete with Vista installed. For those who need to know, it was Vista Home Basic, so the least taxing on a system. The laptop is a CoreDuo, running at something like 1.7GHz. I bought this because I felt that if I was reporting news to you on PC software and what is happening in the Windows world, I felt I should experience it first hand.
Now, I am not going to write this article and slag off the PC (and Vista) at every opportunity I get. What I will do is tell it like it happens. So here goes...
The Toshiba A100 is actually pretty good. The 15.4-inch screen runs at 1200x800, the same as my MacBook. It is nice and evenly lit, and goes up to a nice brightness. The keyboard is a little noisy, but has a good responsive feel to it. The trackpad is tiny and I have a little trouble scrolling with it, but in normal use it is accurate and does the job. In use the fans kick in now and again, but for the past 2 hours it has been a very quiet experience. Battery life is looking good, I have been doing my normal surfing, emails, and this article for around 1 hour in this session and I still have 4 hours left, so I am impressed if it last out this long.
Things I still have to do is install Nero, so I can then test writing a DVD with the dual layer DVD writer. I will report on this at a later stage.
I am so used to opening a new Mac, turning on, and within about 5-10 minutes OS X is ready to go. Turning on the A100 (with Vista) was a different matter. I left the machine for about 30 minutes configuring the software, it then restarted. Thinking this was it, the real deal, was a big mistake. I hovered my pointer with anticipation, but clicking did nothing. The screen went blank, refreshed, and the system was still doing something. Well, I finally got to click on something and whilst Vista was downloading some updates (you even have to do this on a Mac from time to time), I configured my system a little. Then I was prompted to restart so the updates could finish installing, which I did, and waited about another 10 minutes.
Back up and running I wanted to install Quicktime. I downloaded it and clicked to install, well actually I double-clicked ! Now, I had heard about the new security features in Vista and ironically had just finished watching the new 'Security' ad from Apple just before I started this install. Vista asked me to 'cancel or allow' the installation, which I did, then 20 seconds later it asked me again, so I clicked 'allow' yet again. Then QuickTime was trying to install something, did I want to 'allow' it... no of course not, that is why 2 minutes ago I double-clicked the install icon. I am not exagerating this at all, during the Quicktime saga I had to click allow 6 times! I think this is taking things a bit far, there has to be a better way.
Even after the install was complete I found that Firefox worked fine, but Internet Explorer 7 still refused to playback Quicktime content.
So, I will persevere, after all Vista does look prettier, and I am sure when I put 2GB of memory into the A100 laptop it'll work a little smoother. I will keep you posted.