Today I bought a low/medium-end notebook: Asus K40ID series, Core 2 Duo 6750 CPU (2.1GHz), Nvidia Geforce GT320M graphics card (VRAM 1GB), 14" HD LED Backlight (1366x768), 320GB HDD, 2GB RAM, 8x DVD RW, 802.11n Wifi and Bluetooth. The OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit. I hope this 64bit thingy will not cause big problem for me due to the potential driver issues. The good thing about Asus is the 2 year parts and labor warranty by default.
I do not trust the quality of notebooks by any vendor. The first notebook I bought is from Dell (Inspiron 600M) early 2003 running XP Home, it broke down twice in the first year. Then it kept alive until 2008 with a problem of the on-board keyboard controller (random key coming out). I still keep it but it is useless now.
The second one I bought is Compaq Presario V3619AU from HP/Compaq in Dec 2008. It is still alive but was sent back twice for repair (after running quite well for 1.5 years) due to overheating issues. The first time they change the AMD CPU, the second time they changed the motherboard. But it still has the overheating issues from time to time. It is covered by 3 year warranty as I paid for it.
The notebook at work is a 4-year old Dell Latitude D610 running XP Pro. It is not bad, Dell's business notebook seems to be much better than the consumer ones. With 2GB RAM and XP Pro, it runs quite well, not very fast but acceptable, even after 4 years. The HDD is a bit small at 80 GB. The battery life is of course quite short now. The accessories are quite bad though as I have changed the dock once and the external keyboard once.
As for Windows 7, my first impression is that it is not much different from Vista (my Acer M6141 Desktop is running Vista Home Premium 32bit). Unlike many people, I have very few problems with Vista. It works quite well on my low-end Acer M1641 Desktop. I feel that Windows 7 with this faster Asus notebook is not at all faster than my Vista desktop.
Asus does installed some junks like the 60 day trial version of Office 2007 and the Anti Virus package and some other things, almost exactly the same thing as the Acer desktop when I bought it. So the first thing to do is to uninstall these two packages. Normally I would install the AVG Anti Virus Free version as the anti-virus, anti-spyware package. This time I choose to install Microsoft Security Essential (just to see if it consumes less memory). I consider myself a pro-user of Windows and normally I do not need to worry about Virus and Spyware. If Microsoft Security Essential proves to be inadequate, then probably I will go back to AVG Anti-Virus Free.