If you're eager to hit the ground running, we've already reviewed several Windows 7 PCs, from big names such as Lenovo, Toshiba, and HP. The list below represents the first wave of Windows 7 computers -- but after October 22, it'll be rare to find a Vista or XP desktop or laptop for sale anywhere.
The bad: Expensive; tiny touch pad; surprisingly cramped keyboard; mute button beeps loudly when pressed.
The bottom line: Toshiba revives its Qosmio gaming line with the high-end X505. It has everything from Blu-ray to an Intel Core i7 CPU, but it also carries a premium price.
The bad: Slow performance; touch input suffers from occasional unresponsiveness.
The bottom line: If HP's TouchSmart 600 won't at least get you thinking about the idea of bringing a PC into your kitchen, the concept truly has no hope. With well-though-out touch apps, a wide, easy-to-use array of digital media features, and an attractive, flexible design, HP's new all-in-one is not the fastest new all-in-one, but it has the most comprehensive and compelling set of features of any all-in-one launching alongside Windows 7.
The bad: Expensive; touch-screen features have limited real-world usefulness for most.
The bottom line: A revamped version of Lenovo's slim ThinkPad T400s adds an innovative touch-screen package to the first Windows 7 laptop we've reviewed.
The bad: Occasionally unresponsive touch input; lacking higher-end multimedia features like Blu-ray and wall mounting; TV tuners are lame.
The bottom line: The Gateway One ZX6810-01 makes a strong first impression for Windows 7-based all-in-ones PCs, with fast performance and an attractive case design. Its touch input and accompanying applications fall flat, but there's enough respectable computer here that it's worth a look. Our only suggestion is that you wait to inspect the rest of the new Windows 7 crowd once they are released.
The bad: Very expensive; heavier than it looks; no backlit keyboard; limited ports and connections.
The bottom line: HP's upscale Envy 13 looks and feels like an expensive status symbol, with performance and features that impress us--but its high price makes it a tough sell over the similar-looking MacBook Pro.
The bad: Bland, boxy design; somewhat bulky frame.
The bottom line: Lenovo's Windows 7 upgrade to the ThinkPad SL500 keeps the price affordable, and features a consumer-friendly 16:9 display.
The bad: Underperforming single-core CPU, weak speakers.
The bottom line: Toshiba's slick entry into the thin-and-light laptop world is timed for Windows 7, but the Satellite T135-S1300 isn't as multimedia-savvy as it seems to be at first glance.
The bad: It's a Nettop; better, low-cost video and gaming options out there; atrocious general computing performance; labyrinthine online support.
The bottom line: Nvidia's Ion graphics chip gives the Asus Eee Top ET2002 better-than-average video performance for a Nettop, but that does little to spare this system from its weak overall performance and the variety of competitive, more well-rounded alternatives for low-cost video and gaming. Nettops might be competitive someday, but for now this category as a whole is a disappointment.