Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Notebook PC Running Windows 7

I bought a new computer about a month ago. It's an HP Pavilion DV7t. It has several new features. A large wide screen LCD that uses white LED backlighting. These are being marketed as "LED screens" - not accurate but pithy. The older CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent) backlights dimmed significantly after a year or so (lumen maintenance) and also took time to warm up. It's a 17.3" diagonal, 1600 x 900 pixels (square ones of course). So the display has a 16:9 aspect ratio. It has a swipe fingerprint reader that allows "biometric access" to the PC and websites (the danger is forgetting your passwords). The CPU is a dual core,  Intel Core(tm)  i3, 2GHz, 64-bit. Main memory is 4 Gigabytes of DDR3 (2 Dimms). The hard drive is 320 GB, 7200rpm (wow, 1/3 of a Terabye). It has a "free fall" sensor which allows the drive to park before it hits the floor - if you drop it! Ugh! Being an "Entertainment PC", it has a nice audio system with Altec-Lansing speakers (even a sub-woofer in the bottom). I am listening to Georges (originally György)Cziffra playing Beethoven's piano sonata #10,  Op. 14, No. 2 . - sounds great.  Re wireless connectivity is has built in WiFi and Bluetooth. The Synaptics touchpad (I think touchpad is a Synaptics trademark) is quite good. I have not connected a mouse yet. The touchpad has some touchscreen like capabilities - being smaller, motions and gestures are likely easier than on a large touch transparent touch screen (see below).

The PC runs Windows 7 Professional OS. I skipped Windows Vista and jumped from XP. So far, Windows 7 seems to be a nice improvement over XP. I don't like the default settings where is searches the entire hard drive for the users' content it's randomly located. But that stuff can be shut down. One nice new feature is "libraries" - these are collections of folders viewed as a single object. In the old days, the easiest way to organize things was with folder hierarchies (trees/subfolders). Now, it's possible to go "flat" and use the search tools. Whole drive encryption is available (not compatible with file encryption I think). Booting, sleeping, resuming, etc. are faster. And Windows 7 supports touch screen UI so a mouse or keyboard is not required. Touchscreen devices are becoming quite popular - smart phones to tablet PCs, book readers, etc. No physical keyboard makes stuff lighter. With better voice recognition, it's possible that the keyboard is on the way out. Still, the HP keyboard has a nice feel. And it makes me feel a tiny bit like a concert pianist. :)
You can check out some of my favorites on my YouTube channel.

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