As detailed previously, after canceling my two year Pandora pre-order, I decided to put the money towards a Sager gaming laptop. As mentioned, this was going to be my first true gaming PC since an old Windows XP Dell desktop from I-don't-remember-when (that system is in my basement office and used as-needed). Well, the laptop arrived earlier today, so I decided to do a Windows 7 Experience score comparison between that and our other current systems, most of which, unlike the Sager, do not feature discrete graphics cards. The results were startling. I'll start with the oldest system first:
As some of you may recall, I recounted my personal tale of woe back in October when my Gateway Tablet PC (CX210X) - my then primary system - decided to no longer start up. It wasn't a hard drive issue, it was a motherboard issue. Since I bought it from Gateway directly back in 2007 - and they no longer support direct purchases out of warranty (even if you want to pay) - I was out of luck--or so I thought. I took a chance and hit up a repair service out of California via eBay called Laptop Rescuer, which for a $175 flat fee (plus my cost to ship it to them) promised to make everything right (their regular Website is here). So, with some reluctance, I shipped it off. They professionally called me when they received it. They professionally called me when they sent it back. Best of all, it arrived back to me relatively quickly (within a few weeks) and most importantly, working as good as new. While I don't necessarily like to promote such things, I must say in this case I give them my wholehearted endorsement and if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, you probably wouldn't go wrong with this company.
So now I have my primary HP TouchSmart desktop (64-bit Windows 7) and my now secondary Gateway Tablet PC, which is now maxed out for a 32-bit system with 4GB of memory and a new 7200RPM 320GB hard drive, upgraded with Windows 7 Home Premium (for those wanting a 100% clean install from the upgrade version, check out these instructions). The OS install of Windows 7 was a major pain mostly because of the extra features of the laptop (namely the digitized screen via a pen) and Gateway's lack of drivers, but, through some hard detective work and a bit of luck, it now appears to be 100% and better than ever. Whew!
Well, the timing couldn't be worse (have to work on critical book and documentary stuff this weekend)--my main computer, my Gateway Tablet PC, died some time after 4:30PM today. Not the hard drive, but something to do with the system, so it's fully shot. After a frantic run to the stores in the evening right up until they all closed around 9PM, no suitable replacement was found (seems like the stores are pretty much cleared out until after the 22nd, when they'll all mostly no doubt be Windows 7-based; I could have gotten an iMac, but I did not want to pay the Apple premium).