by Mike McNamee Published 01/02/2010
The Dell is also able to operate in 'Latitude ON' mode. This works in conjunction with Microsoft Outlook so you can have a quick look at your email, diary and contacts without waiting for the entire operating system to fire up. It took 20s to fire up then an additional 4s to bring the email to the screen. Power off took just 5 seconds.
Overall Windows 7 behaved well, right out of the install. We were able to connect to the local WiFi and quickly obtain access to the entire local area network and the web without any drama. All the installed software behaved normally, although the 13-inch screen was very restricting after twin 22-inch monitors.
After the general troubles with Vista, and Snow Leopard's refusal to work printers, we were gratified to find that we could install the drivers for the Epson 3800, download and install profiles, plug the printer in and get on with it - it just worked!
For a more stern test we installed X-Rite Eye 1 software. The spectro was immediately recognised, the driver fetched and we then upgraded to the latest software version over the web; again no issues - it just worked!
We then calibrated the screen. The baseline luminance was way too high at 230cd/m2 but the audit delivered an error value of 0.91?E00 average. We then dropped the luminance to 95cd/m2 and re-audited the result for an average error of 0.93?E00. Although these are good statistics it is foolish to pretend that you could do graphics work on this monitor; move your head by a couple of inches and the screen density changes massively (to be fair it is a business machine!). Also the installed graphics card does not support Open GL in Photoshop. One little thing we did notice while prowling about was that when you click on the Photoshop icon you are offered a list of recently used files to open directly, which is very neat. Other than that we were somewhat under-whelmed by the W7 interface; fancy transparency effects look cute, but add nothing to your ability to grind up files on a daily basis.
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