Friday, July 13, 2007

First Impressions of the 6715b

Okay, the notebook has been here for about 45 minutes. Now for some first impressions. I will continue to update this blog for a while.

Box Contents
Opening up the box doesn't reveal much other than it has a UK power cord and a UK phone line adapter. There are some manuals and license agreements. Surprisingly, it doesn't come with any Windows CDs but comes instead with a piece of paper shaped as a CD. This fake CD says that the CDs are not included but all necessary installation information is included in the HDD. I've read online that there is a special partition on the HDD that holds the installation information. This has been the recent trend with computers. It helps the company save costs but I'm not particularly agreeable with this arrangement as the HDD can fail and then, I would not be able to restore my system. The guide says that the computer will prompt to create a set of backup recovery discs during the installation process and users are advised to do this.

Look and Feel
It certainly looks business like, in dour black. However, it does feel quite well built. The hinge for the screen feels strong and it is well balanced. The notebook doesn't tip over when the screen is pushed back. The screen itself is about 1cm thick and solid. There are touch sensitive control buttons on the machine, which has been recently trendy. The touch sensitive screens light up when you place your finger on it. They control the audio volume, mute, wifi, and some interesting functions called information and presentation. The keyboard is nice and full sized. Unlike normal notebooks, the function keys are separated into groups of four, just like a normal keyboard. I particularly like the fact that the left control key is where it's supposed to be. The version that I've got has a UK keyboard layout, which is fine with me.

Power On
When I first turned it on, it took a few seconds for the machine to respond. It must've been performing some setup functions. Then, it entered a Startup Check sequence. This involved about 5 minutes of memory tests. Since then, it's been running a HDD self-test for the last half hour. It's currently 60% done. Curious thing is that the HDD light doesn't seem to come on for the HDD self-tests. I wonder what kind of self-test it's actually running. If it's running a SMART long test, that'll certainly explain the long time it's taking and the lack of HDD lights.

UPDATE@1420: The self tests have completed.

UPDATE@1450: I am unable to continue using the computer without agreeing to the Windows EULA. When I hit the power button, it suspended instead of powering off. Hitting CTRL-ATL-DEL doesn't accomplish anything either. I had to hard power off in order to restart the machine with Kubuntu.

UPDATE@1850: I've only just noticed how ugly my old notebook is. It's screen is yellow, instead of white. I had always thought that this was an artifact of the lighting in my room. Turns out that the CCFL backlight is probably dying as well.

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