Bridging the gap between small and not particularly useful smart phones and giant laptops, netbooks became interesting to those who needed multimedia of PC in a small package. Since they showed up, five or six years ago, the number of sold netbooks easily reached a hundred million.
Modest hardware inside the netbooks, dictated by the need to get longer lasting autonomy and to cut down the manufacturing costs, at the beginning imposed proven (and cheap) Windows XP as a logical choice when it comes to operating systems. Although more than capable to satisfy all of the user’s needs, an OS older than a decade is one ugly detail on the new netbook screens. Microsoft became aware of that so it offered a Windows 7 version, specially optimized for netbooks. Unfortunately this version, hasn’t made many friends when it comes to users, so most netbook owners often installed one of regular Windows 7 versions.
Whether you have one of the regular Windows 7 version on your netbook or you have full intention of doing so in the near future, it is necessary to optimize your Windows 7 Netbook for a very modest hardware inside your netbook or even a laptop.
(Un)Necessary Software Has To GO!
Manufacturers have habit to deliver their netbooks with loads of useless software, which run in the background wasting your netbooks resources. This slows down a normal computer let alone a netbook. Most of the netbooks come with pre-installed Windows 7 operating system, but we should remove all that unnecessary software using Programs and Features in Control Panel. This is the most obvious way to speed up your computer or netbook.
Optimize Your Windows 7 Netbook Screen Size
Screen size of these little devices is about 10-13 inches, so you need to use your Desktop the best way possible. For starters, think about unlocking your task bar and enabling auto hide option. You can do this by right clicking on the Taskbar and unchecking “Lock the Taskbar”
Or you can click on Properties and check “Auto-hide Taskbar”, Apply, and then OK.
Many aren’t exactly fond of this feature but this will help you a lot while surfing the internet ot while reading some text document.
Big Programs Are Out!
One of the frequent mistakes new netbook (and laptop) users make, is installing software they don’t use. Software choice also effects the battery duration, so you need to decide which applications you will be using on your desktop and which one on your netbook. Therefore don’t install massive programs such as Corel or AutoCad, which are not made to work with netbooks hardware. When choosing software for your netbook, you should pay attention to GUI complexity of the program you wish to install.
Programs such as Firefox Browser and Microsoft Office have cumbersome menus and lots of Toolbars which eat your working area. Instead of them you can install Google Chrome and Open Office. Always install portable or light versions of the application you want (made by the manufacturer it self, of course). If you want install an antivirus on your netbook, install one that will not use much of your system resources, such as Avast or AVG. See our suggestions for virus removal software.
Power Management and Drivers
Before you take your netbook into the outside world, make sure you have the newest driver versions installed. Windows 7 has an enormous driver data base but even if you don’t get the “Yellow question mark in your Device Manager that doesn’t mean you have the best driver for your system. On netbook, the difference between generic Windows 7 driver and optimized driver version, customized by the manufacturer itself can have a great impact on duration of your batteries. For example, bad chipset driver can prevent you from adjusting the contrast on your screen, although Device Manager says that everything is OK. Better optimized rivers will not use your CPU’s power so much and there will increase the duration of your batteries. Therefore visit the manufacturers Web site and download the latest drivers for your OS.
Manufacturers offer their one power management tools, which manipulate your netbooks system resources in order to achieve the longer battery duration of your netbook. Windows 7 is equipped with Mobility Center, an application that has the same purpose, but it has a considerable amount of limitations. With that in mind it is better for you and your netbook to install applications that you received from the manufacturer of your Netbook. This will allow you to control of frequencies on your CPU and RAM.
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Optimize Windows 7 Aero and StartUp for Netbook
Many netbooks are capable of running Aero interface, but even those with faster graphic chips, need to employ CPU for that purpose. How much Aero interface is sucking the life out of battery is needles to say. Therefore we advise you leave Aero and other 3D effects for your home PC.
1. In your Start Menu search type “adjust the appearance” .
2. Then choose Appearance and Performance of Windows option.
Turn off all the features you don’t need. We suggest you turn off the following features:
- Enable aero peek
- Enable desktop composition
- Enable transparent glass
- Save taskbar thumbnail previews
- Show windows contents while dragging
When you disabling these features, in your Search Menu type “msconfig” and run the application.
Choose Startup option and turn off all the software you do not wish to boot with your operating system. You can leave your anti virus turned on, as well as power utility application by the netbooks manufacturer and maybe some program you use quite frequently.
Optimize Your Windows 7 Netbook Hardware
Netbooks don’t have much manoeuvrability when it comes to hardware change, but on almost every model you add more RAM or change the hard drive. Memory is pretty cheap nowadays, and Windows 7 will find additional RAM quite useful, even if you do not run demanding applications.
If money is no object to you, you can also swap the mechanical hard drive for a SSD model. SSD (solid state drive) is more expensive, but the price drop over the years has been substantial. SSD’s do not have mechanical parts, consume less power and will improve your system’s responsiveness big time.