Posted 14 December 2009 - 12:06 AM
If you can get a computer with Win 7 already installed go for it. I would invest in the upgrade to win 7 pro at the least to get windows xp mode.
I purchased a HP dv7 laptop back in early July and have had ZERO problems with it. It came with Vista and I got the Win 7 free upgrade which arrived in mid November. Had some minor software issues with the manual upgrade but finally fixed those problems with software updates and proper configuring my 3rd party anti-virus software.
Go with 64 bit version of windows 7.
Verify that the computer you purchase has virtualization technology built into the CPU processor
Purchase the upgrade to PRO or Ultimate version, I chose the ultimate version
Install windows xp mode, this is a free download from microsoft which runs a fully licensed version of windows XP inside of windows 7 while it is running and you can seamleasly flip between the two operating systems and swap files back and forth etc...
More horse power the better when it comes to running applications and multi-tasking, if you can get a quad-core processor over a duo core 2.
Go with at least 6GB of ram and a common hard disk size now is 500GB of space.
This allows you to run windows xp mode with no slow down of the main computer.
If you do Not intend to use XP mode then you do not need to upgrade to Win 7 PRO or Ultimate and you can go with less than 6 GB of ram.
I would suggest a laptop over a desktop computer, mainly for the portability. Today's computer systems there is no real difference in power between the desktop and laptop computers. I have a 22" monitor hooked into my laptop as a second monitor and the power of this computer is quite a bit more than my 3 year old desktop computer.
I do a lot of web design, multi-tasking, writing, open office type of software and web browsing.
I find that the combination of Win 7 features and the higher powered computer actually lets me be more productive and do more than a less powered machine running the same applications. Not a lot of waiting time for things to load and process.
For instant loading when I am done I turn my laptop to sleep mode when I shut it off. When I open the lid the system is instantly available to me without waiting for the normal boot procedures.
Over Vista and yes XP too, I personally find Windows 7 quicker to work with and be more productive in. I think that MS finally go things on track with Windows 7. It is not perfect, there is some minor and major differences but once you figure out the basics and the more useful features that is built-in you may find it easier to get things done than XP. I am ignoring Vista because I rarely used my laptop when it had vista installed, I HATE vista with passion. Win 7 has similar look to Vista but they actually made it easier to work in compared to Vista.
my 2 cents on this topic.