Soon we're going to see test after test of Windows 7 RC running on every piece of computer hardware known to man, so we'll kick things off with a nice, straightforward category. While netbooks may be much bemoaned for their "seen one, seen 'em all" specifications, that parity does mean that when you say it runs okay on an Acer Aspire One, you know just about every Atom N270 netbook with 1GB of RAM will perform the same.
David Williams over at iTWire slapped Windows 7 RC onto his 8.9-inch Aspire One, as a full install rather than an upgrade to the netbook's standard Windows XP OS. The Aspire One has an Intel Atom N270 processor running at 1.6GHz, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard-drive, with Intel's 945 Express graphics chipset.
In Windows 7's performance ratings, the netbook scored 2.1 overall: that's made up of 2.1 for Aero graphics, 2.2 for the CPU and 3.0 for the 3D and gaming performance, together with healthier scores of 4.4 and 5.4 for RAM and hard-disk transfer rate respectively. Bear in mind that scores are out of 7.9 now, rather than Vista's 5.9 maximum.
Idle, 33 processes were running and 465MB of memory taken; that's accountable by Windows 7's pre-loading of commonly used apps. Office 2007 presented the only real problem, but everything else you could reasonably expect to do on a netbook - email, internet, some media playback - performed okay, though slow if multiple apps were running.