As I play more and more with my review X60, I am increasingly concerned that my reviews will turn into I-hate-Vista notes rather than actual assessment of Lenovo’s hardware offerings. Especially given that I was only given one 8-cell battery and one AC adapter with the X60 (versus the two 8-cell and one 4-cell batteries, stand-alone battery charger, and 2 AC adapters I use with my X41 to consistently achieve all-day and often two-day computing), battery life is high on my list of Vista concerns. So, here are a variety of relatively recent Vista Battery Life links:
- Sneaking Suspicion Dept.: Vista Battery Life Sucks kizo interesting info (May 4)
- Humor: Microsoft Vista Laptop Battery Enhancement Kit – In Stock : Meandering Passage (May 5)
- TechBlog: Vista, Aero, battery life . . . and Doom (May 5)
- nullstream weblog – UMPC Vista Battery Life Comparison Summary (May 9)
- jkOnTheRun: Microsoft weighs in on Vista battery life issue (May 15)
- Incremental Blogger: Aero consumes 1-4% of battery life (May 15)
- jkOnTheRun: Freeware of the Moment- Vista Battery Saver (May 15)
- jkOnTheRun: Vista Battery Saver first impressions (May 16)
- GottaBeMobile.com – The Vista Battery Conversation Continues, an App Comes to Our Aid (May 16)
- jkOnTheRun: Battery life in XP: 4 hours. Same battery in Vista: 3.5 hours (May 16)
- Save Your Windows Vista Battery (May 18)
- Techlogg.com – Five easy ways to improve Windows Vista battery life (May 19)
Having played with Vista for a few days now on the X60, there are a few things that stand out. First, I’m starting to be really annoyed by the lack of wireless connectivity since Vista isn’t compatible with the authentication/encryption in place at my school—this is probably more than half due to the infrastructure scheme in place here, but it works on XP and doesn’t on Vista. Also, in the vein of annoyances, I thought that the Apple “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads were silly exaggeration, but the allow/deny dialogs are as annoying as suggested in the ad. Startup/shutdown/sleep/hybernate aren’t as smooth or fast as on the X41 with XP, battery life seems shorter, but no scientific comparisons yet, and I spent a good half-hour trying to figure out how to connect to a WebDAV server because Vista has hidden the “Add a Network Place” wizard.
On the plus side, Vista is a bit quicker to decide that a program isn’t responding and to do something about it, the handwriting recognition seems to be much improved, and there are some aspects of the completely redisigned interface to file browsing that are interesting.
More to come when I’ve used Vista some more.
Though I’m still living in the land of XP, I have noticed a good bit of buzz lately about how Vista may or may not affect battery life. GottaBeMobile.com reports that Motion is delaying the Vista LE1700, possible because of battery life issues:
Motion Computing has been informing their partners this week that Vista based LE1700 Tablet PCs will be delayed until July 31. Here is the message that was sent to their partners and also posted in the GottaBeMobile.com forums :
Motion has postponed the shipment of Vista on the LE1700 to July 31, 2007 to allow time for further testing. Recent industry-wide testing of Vista has revealed critical errors that Motion has also observed while running Vista on the Motion LE1700. Although this postponement is very disappointing, Motion has made this decision to ensure a stable Vista environment for our current and future LE1700 customer base.
From CNET News.com:
Some of Microsoft’s most important customers aren’t happy with the battery life offered by notebooks running Windows Vista.
“It’s a little scary,” said John Wozniak, a distinguished technologist in Hewlett-Packard’s notebook engineering department, referring to the work HP needed to do on making Windows Vista more suitable for notebooks.
While I’m the first to agree with the fact that the out-of-the-box power settings are not ideal for my uses, I don’t think the article was particularly fair. For example, they didn’t even bother to cite actual battery life comparisons – nor compare the default power settings from different OEMs.
However, there’s a notable error in the article:
The Aero interface is automatically disabled when users put their Vista notebooks into the “power-saving” profile, one of three new simplified power-management states.
That is not correct. Switching to “power-saving” profile will disable transparent glass only when on battery power. That is not the same as disabling Aero by any stretch.
From my perspective at least, the flurry of posts started on GottaBeMobile.com with Rob Bushway’s “Microsoft, lets start an open conversation on Vista and battery life”
Over the next several months, I plan on taking the issues I raised and addressing each with its own focus with the end goal of bringing about positive change in the space. The first issue I’d like to focus on is battery life and Vista.
and continued with Warner Crocker’s “Vista Battery Life Conversation Heats Up”
Rob Bushway’s editorial yesterday about battery life woes for mobile users running Vista has sparked quite a bit of conversation. And as usual on the Internets, some of the talk can get a bit wacky. Apparently one meme in the thread has info reporting that the Aero interface is automatically disabled when users run under “power-saving” mode. As Rob pointed to in an update, Microsoft’s Brandon Paddock weighed in with a rebuttal to that point[.]
Though I’m still living in an XP world, anyone using Vista might be interested in GBM How-To Series #7 : Using Vista Pen Flicks:
Flicks are a new Vista feature that allow you to navigate documents or change data using only your stylus. So you may ask, what’s the difference between a gesture and a flick. There are only eight flicks available. Up, Down, Left, Right, and of course, the four diagonals and they are not bound by the input panel. You can use a flick anywhere on the tablet screen.
In my various technology reading, this jumped out at me because I’ve been increasingly hearing and reading about the use of online course management tools and particularly Moodle and Blackboard (from Vista is here – wow or whoa?)
Colleges offering online classes over the Internet using Blackboard, a widely distributed e-learning software package, have experienced functionality problems with systems running Vista. Although most of the problems have workarounds or temporary fixes, some academic IT departments are recommending that students and administrators delay installing Vista until the Blackboard issues have been resolved. And while Vista alone can be problematic, there are well-known compatibility problems with Blackboard and student systems that use both Vista and IE7. Many academic IT departments are recommending that students and teachers use an alternative browser, such as FireFox or Opera, which are available as free downloads.
I’d have to strongly recommend using FireFox regardless of any other situation. For the one in a few hundred web sites I visit that doesn’t render properly in FireFox, I have the IETab extension installed so that I can have an IE-rendering tab embedded into FireFox.
You know the annoyance of trying to select multiple files with a pen (or touchscreen or other such interface), especially on a device with no option to “convert” and use a keyboard? Microsoft seems to have provided a solution in Vista, though it’s not on by default and not necessarily easy to find.
From GottaBeMobile.com (since, you know, I still use XP and haven’t even touched a Vista machine):
Here is how to turn on checkbox file selection:
- Go to Start, Computer
- Next, go to Organize, Folder and Search Options
- Then, Go to View, and scroll down to “Use checkboxes to select items” and check it.
- Click Ok
- Now, when you hover over a file name with your pen or mouse, a checkbox will appear that will let multi-select items much easier ( see image below ). For touch users, you “just have to know” that the checkboxes are on the upper left hand corner or beside the folder – another nuance of not having hover in touch. By touching in that empty area, the checkboxes will work. It just takes a little practice to figure out where they are.