I bit the bullet this weekend and installed the latest release of Vista. Build 5728 (or as I refer to it RC1 +1) on my M200. I was going to install RC1 but this build was made available Friday and I figured why not. (It is now available to the public.) I’ve installed several other builds before, both in dual boot and full installations and my M200 just wasn’t up to the task and I wasn’t up to turning over my main machine to that experience at the time.
Things are different now. The new build is running surprisingly smoothly on my M200 at the moment and I have to say I really don’t have too many complaints. Yes, some functionality is missing as Toshiba doesn’t have M200 drivers for the M200. (I haven’t tried this suggestion yet as things appear stable at the moment.) But so far, the one real nag is that I can’t get the screen to come back from a suspend or a hibernate. I’m not the only one with this issue.
For what it is worth with the latest WDDM drivers from Microsoft I’m able to get glass on my M200 and the performance hit isn’t as bad as I thought. In fact things are running pretty snappy on all fronts, which is a surprise. Although quite honestly, Aero Glass is a novelty more than of real practical value at this point for my testing purposes. And yes, the new UI takes some getting used to. You have to hunt and peck to locate a few things in different locations. Now that Microsoft has moved the Tablet PC folder up in the Start Menu hierarchy, I find it strange that Windows Journal and Sticky Notes don’t appear in that folder, as an example.
I’ve also got Office 2007 B2TR running as well, and quite honestly not much else at the moment as I continue to explore and discover. I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of Office 2007 B2TR on the M200 with XP. I’m even more surprised with the performance with Vista. Quite an improvement.
My goal is to give this a try for a few weeks primarily to get to know the OS. I’m heading into a major work project or two after that period and I’m prepared to re-image the hard drive back to the functioning XP system I had if I need to. I won’t be installing applications unless I need them for what I’m doing.
Several points here.
- Signs point to the fact that Toshiba really doesn’t see the M200 as a Vista machine. They’ve posted some drivers for the M400 and M4 (and some of their laptops) which should be a hint. I’m not surprised in the least by that and I don’t think anyone else should be either.
- If you take the Vista plunge on a M200 be aware that you can’t install Vista as an upgrade if you’ve got the latest M200 BIOS update (1.80). (Although some have reported success with this, go figure.) You need to do a full install.
- I’ve noticed (and again remember we aren’t looking at a finished build here) that Vista requires quite a bit more disk access than XP did. As you plan ahead think about saving up for extra memory (I’m running 1Gig.) I also hope OEMs are looking at including faster hard drives than the standard 5400rpm that ships with most Tablet PCs. I think this will be a key component for success. I’ve got a 7200rpm drive at the moment, and I know the difference that made when I did that upgrade on the M200.
I’ll issue updates as I go along with the journey. But for now, I’m pleasantly satisfied with the experience so far.