Day 30: Windows fast and slow

Lincoln Spector

I started my experiment — 30 days using a Windows 8.1 laptop/tablet hybrid (also known as a laplet) — on February 10. Today, Tuesday March 11, is the 30th day.

Tomorrow, I get to read the morning paper on my iPad — I’m looking forward to it.
I’m not so eager to return to the Windows 7-based laptop. No, I still don’t like Windows 8.1, although I’ve learned to live with it. But in some ways, my Win8 laplet is significantly faster than my old Win7 laptop (though in other ways, it’s not).

The laplet uses flash RAM for storage — effectively, if not technically, an SSD. Compared to my spinning-platter-equipped laptop, it boots and loads files and applications with astonishing speed.

On the other hand, the laplet can be horrifically slow at the simple things. After typing the second word of this article, “started,” I had to wait a few seconds for those seven letters to appear — one at a time. Data entry in Quicken proved especially sluggish — right in the middle of tax time.

The problem is the laplet’s processor. The Asus T100TA-C1-GR Transformer Book has a 1.33GHz Atom Z3740. My old laptop, on the other hand, has a far more powerful Intel Core i5-3530M running at 2.5GHz.

I can’t fix the laplet’s processing power, but I can improve the laptop’s Windows and application boot performance. I’m finally going to install an SSD — one large enough to fully replace the spinning-platter hard drive.

I hope the new SSD arrives tomorrow. After I install it, I’ll be able to return to the setup I’m most productive with — my full-sized laptop … and Windows 7.



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Lincoln Spector

About Lincoln Spector

Lincoln Spector writes about computers, home theater, and film and maintains two blogs: Answer Line at PCWorld.com and Bayflicks.net. His articles have appeared in CNET, InfoWorld, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.