We just couldn't help ourselves, and put this Windows 7 .iso we had lying around exactly where it belongs: on Sony's VAIO P. After mucking around on "the internet" figuring out the best way to install it, we ended up going the lazy route and dragging / dropping the plain files onto a folder on a USB drive, hitting setup.exe and watching the installer do its magic -- and it worked flawlessly! We weren't timing it or anything, but we'd say 45 minutes or so is a good guesstimate for the install. A few thoughts:
- It boots fast! Not that Vista was that bad on the boot front, but we're pretty happy with this.
- No Aero. That's to be expected, but the lack of transparency and visual effects makes the OS look quite a bit different than most of the screenshots out there.
- It's very responsive. To be honest, a lot of that could be from the fact that this is a clean install, minus all the crap Sony loads on. Still, we're very happy for the start menu to pop open instantly, windows to redraw like God intended... it's pretty great.
- Browsing is 100% better. Internet Explorer pops open in a flash, and pages load in times nearly on comparison with "real" computers. Also, scrolling is ultra smooth, whereas with Vista it was stuttery all the way down.
- There's a lot more to explore. We've just scratched the surface, but we love what we've seen so far.
Update 2: for those who've asked: yes, the webcam works, and no, we haven't had any luck getting Aero up and running, though we have the video drivers loaded -- we're not saying it's impossible, in fact, it's likely very possible, since plenty of other similarly specced netbooks can pull it off, but it's just not happening for us just yet.