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I got my new mini laptop with Windows 7 Starter

What is the Starter Edition?
Can I install Windows 7 Pro or higher on the laptop?

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2  
There are two different questions in this. First, the starter question, legitimate, and already answered. Second, the "what do you think of this laptop". Normally, I would suggest you to separate the two questions, to have only one question per.. question. However, this site is not for argumentative or subjective questions, and asking for personal opinion about a particular piece of hardware would most likely get your question closed. Review the FAQ (superuser.com/faq) about what kind of questions to ask on this site. –  Gnoupi Jan 16 '10 at 22:35
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Windows 7 Starter is a basic, more limited edition of Windows, designed for cheaper and/or less powerful computers. It has the following restrictions:

  • The Aero theme has been disabled. This means you can't get any of that fancy transparency or UI candy.
  • It only comes in 32bit. If a computer has more than 4GB of ram, it will only recognise a maximum of 4GB. For more advantages of 64-bit computing, see this SuperUser question.
  • You cannot change the wallpaper. The wallpaper is locked to the standard 'Windows 7 Wallpaper'

You cannot buy this version of Windows by itself, as it is only available to manufacturers and system builders.

As long as your computer fits the minimum specs of the higher versions of Windows 7, then you should be able to buy, for example, Home Premium and install that.

For more information, refer to the Windows 7 editions article on Wikipedia

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To complete, it is probably much more adapted to your "mini laptop" than a regular Windows 7, so even if you can install a regular one, you will have better performances with the starter edition. –  Gnoupi Jan 16 '10 at 22:32
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@Gnoupi, That isn't true, you can always disable Aero and various other features - I did some benchmarks and didn't notice and difference between starter and ultimate (when the relevant features are disabled). –  William Hilsum Jan 16 '10 at 22:35
    
@Wil Ok, I guess I was listening too much to marketing messages :-] –  Gnoupi Jan 16 '10 at 22:38
    
@Gnoupi, In your defence, if you have Aero enabled, you will obviously get a better performance with Starter (or any edition with Aero disabled). –  David Pearce Jan 16 '10 at 22:52
    
"Cannot change the wallpaper", what sort of crap is that? And people wonder why I continue to happily run Windows XP on my netbook. –  Ash Jan 17 '10 at 1:56
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Joshhunt said it best about what Windows 7 is (so +1) - it is simply a restricted, cut down version of Windows 7 - take a look at Wikipeda's comparison page.

As for the second part of your question, I like the HP laptop - personally, I wouldn't buy anything Atom right now - the N270, N280 has been out so long that they are due an update very soon - so you can either buy a newer device for the same price, or existing devices will be cheaper. This is a personal choice and you have to ask your self if you are willing to wait for the new or do you just want it!

Yes- You can install regular Windows 7 on the laptop without any problem.

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Mind you, the HP mini is not a laptop but a netbook.

a 10" screen and a crammed keyboard is not everyone's cup of tea, they're certainly not ideal for heavy work. they are however great companions.

if you want a netbook, they specifications are pretty much identical, the differences are the display (the HP display is a pretty decent one) and the battery life (4 hrs for the HP mini is a rather mediocre value, some ASUS Eee PC models can easily double that).

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10" is pretty big for a netbook (and wouldn't it be the same (or better) than many EEEPC's- and he never said it is going to be hist main laptop!... anyway, netbook, laptop, notebook - all technically are marketing terms! –  William Hilsum Jan 16 '10 at 22:49
    
MOST current eee pc models have 10" displays. 10" is standard today, although some sources also treat 12" laptops as 'netbooks'. and no other mainstream manufacturer than ASUS offers netbooks with displays smaller than 10". Acer and Dell had a few 9" models when they entered the market, but they're no more. –  Molly7244 Jan 16 '10 at 23:13
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