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After using Windows 7 on the Dell mini 10v for a few days, this is my verdict:

There is no way I'm going back to XP. Not a chance. I will happily spend the $119 for Win 7 Home Premium Upgrade to keep 7 on this lil' laptop.

Here's why:

Screen real estate

I was seriously considering buying another netbook in a few months with the 11.6-inch screen and 1366 resolution because 1024x576 simply wasn't enough.

But this only applies to XP.

The way XP hides the taskbar is seriously clunky and screws with apps when it comes to screen redraws. Win 7 on the other hand has a taskbar-hide feature that's smooth as silk. It is a a night-and-day difference. At least to me it is.

Because of this, now I don't need the extra vertical resolution.

In addition, the way XP does standard themes when using Luna makes the minimize/restore/maximize/close buttons frickin' HUGE. Win 7's is smaller vertically and looks better.

Your only option with XP is to use the Classic theme to get smaller buttons in window frames. And that looks like you're using a 10-year-old computer. Add to that the taskbar auto-hide feature is wonky and it makes for a miserable computing experience. Screw that.

Better screen draws/redraws

Win XP has always had this weird thing going on where some apps blink. Either the app itself will blink or it will make the whole screen do it. This is because it's not drawing/redrawing correctly. XP has always done this and it irritates the crap out of me.

And God forbid if you have an app that fades in or out, because XP will find a way to screw that up too.

Win 7 doesn't do any of that crap. At all.

An extra hour of battery life!

This alone is worth buying Win 7 Upgrade for right here.

Win 7 has extra power profile options where you can customize everything a particular profile does, for both hardware and software. It's absolutely 100% frickin' awesome. With XP you only have an "all or nothing" approach, and it sucks.

And even better, you can switch profiles at whim with two clicks:

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Seriously, how cool is that? Just click the battery icon in the tray, hit a radio button and it's instantly applied.

That's awesome.

In the long run, this means you will get more life out of your battery - and that saves cold hard cash. I seriously like that because laptop batteries are frickin' expensive.

Stable

Even in RC state, Win 7 is way more stable than XP ever was. I'm not talking about blue-screening of any of that junk. What I'm getting at is that apps that don't play nice with XP (and there are a bunch of those) have no problems in 7 whatsoever.

Speedy

I have noticed in several respects that 7 is faster than XP on this netbook. In particular, hibernation is WAY faster going in or coming out. Detection of wireless networks is faster. In fact, all the stuff that matters on a laptop is faster overall.

As far as apps go, yeah, they run the same speed launching, shutting down or using. But it's the other laptop-specific stuff that matters more.

Usable

This is the most important reason on the list. With XP, this netbook was a toy. With 7, I can do actual work on it in a way that's comfortable. I can type up my documents and blog with ease with Win 7. I now have the screen real estate I want, all of the wonky blink issues are gone, the battery now lasts longer and everything is just better. I can use this now and do so routinely.

Buh-bye XP

As I said above, no way will I go back to XP. This netbook is going to stay on 7. I'll ride out the RC evaluation period then pony up the $119 when the time comes.

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