After solving my Windows Vista64 problems, I decided to give Ubuntu 11 a try. Contrary to what I had been hearing on the net, the download and installation were absolutely painless. Ubuntu does take a bit of getting used to, but the installation was a lot faster and way more user-friendly than anything I have ever experienced with Windows.
The positives: This here Asus laptop came with WinV64, and the [function] keys don’t really work. For example, adjusting display brightness, volume control etc. have to be done with the trackpad and GUI.
However, with Ubuntu 11.04 it just works! Hold the [function] key and press the corresponding icon (F5-6 for display brightness, F11-12 for volume). Really a kick in Windows’ (or Asus?) face, considering this laptop came with WinV64 pre-installed.
I also like Ubuntu’s battery icon and power management better. Finally, it makes dual-booting easy for the layman enthusiast (me).
On the flip side: getting the hang of it is a different story. Maybe it just takes time, but for now I find WinV64 generally easier to use – except for the things noted above.
Nevertheless, considering Ubuntu is available for free, I would heartily recommend anyone with some spare hdd capacity to give it a try!
edit: another win for the linux team: fast and straightforward installation of HP network printer drivers.
A minor negative would be the aesthetics: I’m a Mac user and I find the Ubuntu GUI not the most pleasant to look at. I’ve downloaded a few different themes, but they don’t make much of a difference. It’s not a dealbreaker, though. It looks decent enough, just not great. I hope someone will develop a slicker GUI, as long as it is not detrimental to performance.