Finding a Perfect Windows 7 RC Netbook is Harder Than I Thought!

I finished downloading four Windows 7 Release Candidate ISO files a few hours ago:

– Windows 7 RC x86
– Windows 7 RC x64
– Windows 7 Server Web
– Windows 7 Server Enterprise

My interest is, of course, testing the Windows 7 RC x86 on a netbook. I’m planning to install it on the Asus Eee PC 1000HA that Windows 7 Beta is running on right now. I expect to get some good testing under real-life usage conditions done. But, the 1000HA is not the “perfect” netbook for testing since:

1. I can’t test Windows XP Mode on it
2. It does not have a Bluetooth radio

So, I started thinking about buying another netbook that would be able to test Windows XP Mode and Bluetooth features. Windows XP Mode has two essential requirements:

1. AMD-V or Intel VT-x hardware virtualization support
2. 2GB RAM

I know that the rarely used Atom Z530 processor supports VT-x and that Dell offers it as an option on some of their netbooks. So, bumping the RAM on a Dell netbook would do the trick if the price was not too bad. Um, here’s the problem though. None of the Dell Inspiron Mini (netbook) models supports more than 1GB RAM. I was really disappointed when I noticed that little showstopper. What makes it even worse is that the Dell mini 10 has a $35 option to get a 10.2 inch LCD screen with a 1366×768 pixel resolution.

So, it is back to the drawing board as far as Windows XP Mode testing goes. My choices now are to buy a low-end desktop or conventional notebook (yuck) with a Core Duo, Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad.

BTW: My almost optimal Dell Inspiron Mini 10 priced out at $589 (after instant savings) plus shipping. The configuration changes made were:

– 10.1″ HD Widescreen Display (1366×768)
– 6-cell battery
– Bluetooth

But, the 1GB RAM maximum is a showstopper.