It has been two weeks since I switched from Windows Vista back to Windows XP Professional on my Fujitsu Lifebook S6510, and two months since I made the same switch on my Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook S2110. So, I suppose it is a good time for a status update. How is it working? Am I satisfied? Would I make the same decision again?
In a nutshell, yes, I am completely satisfied with both systems. They are both running perfectly with XP, and that is more than could be said about either of them when they were running Vista. As things stand now, I would undoubtedly make the same decisions again. I still have the disks with Vista loaded for both laptops, and when Vista SP1 is finally available (non-Beta), I will load and test that on both of them. I would still like for Vista to be "better" than XP, and I would settle for it if it were even "as good as" XP in terms of speed and stability. On the other hand, XP SP3 is also on the way, so when it arrives I will test it as well. In an ideal world, I will end up with one of these laptops running Vista and one running XP, but I wouldn't bet on that.
Here are some detailed observations about each of the laptops:
The S6510 gets a serious workout, because I carry it back and forth to work every day, use it at home and in the office on port replicators with external keyboard, mouse and display and on the bus/train in between on its own. I use 100 Mb wired ethernet in the office, 1 Gb wired and 130 Mb Wireless-N at home, and EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA cellular on the road. I use suspend/resume most of the time; I doubt if I have done a full shutdown or restart more than five or six times in two weeks, and most of those have been because of software installation or updates. I don't recall that I've had a system crash since loading XP, and I certainly haven't had a BSOD. That might be in large part because I never run Skype on this laptop, but I don't think that is the only reason.
The S2110 has been the real surprise. I was having so many problems with it when it was running Vista that I was convinced that there was something wrong with the hardware. In the two months since I went back to XP, it has been absolutely rock solid. Not one USB hang, which happened daily with Vista, and the only BSOD crashes have been when I was testing Skype video and/or audio (which I have come to expect from that rubbish software), whereas it was crashing on a regular basis when running Vista. I don't carry this one back and forth every day any more, it stays mainly in the office, but I still use suspend/resume every day, and seldom reboot. The truth is, if I had known that the S2110 was going to work this well with XP, I would probably not have bought the new S6510. Ah well, it's not the worst mistake I ever made - the Core Duo CPU, larger screen, and built-in camera and microphone are really nice.
One last thought, specifically about the S2110. Why was it having so much trouble with Vista? Granted, it didn't come loaded with Vista, but it is listed on the Fujitsu-Siemens web page as "Vista Capable" and "Vista Premium Ready", so one would assume that it should work properly. Is this a problem that is common to many, most, or all "pre-Vista" PCs? Or specifically to "pre-Vista" laptops? Or is it because of the AMD Turion 64 CPU and associated chipset in the S2110? I don't know, but I would love to find out!