Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium review
Strikes the right balance between features most home users will want while keeping the price affordable
Review Date: 22 Oct 2009
Reviewed By: PC Pro
Price when reviewed: Free
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Windows 7 Home Premium is the version consumers – as opposed to business users – are most likely to experience. As such, it contains new tools and options that will appeal most to home users and those who use their computers for entertainment.
Prime among these is the revamped Windows Media Center. This can still be used as a full-screen entertainment system, and can be controlled with a remote from the comfort of your sofa. It also works with Media Center Extenders, such as Logitech's Squeezebox Duet and the Xbox 360, so your PC can be your home's entertainment hub. Support has been added for DivX, XviD and H.264 file types to keep it up to date.
We’ve also been impressed by the much-improved Windows Media Player, now up to version 12. New streaming features allow you to share media not just over a home network, but over the internet. And the "Stream to" feature makes sending music to DLNA-certified players a doddle. With an intuitive interface it's a superb way to control a large MP3 and video collection.
Windows 7: The Full ReviewRead our comprehensive overall review of the whole Windows 7 family
Unlike the cut-down Starter Edition, the Windows Aero interface is fully installed, and it’s not just there to look pretty but to make using your computer more intuitive.
It’s the little touches like shaking a window to minimise all others, and the excellent desktop themes, that make it a superior environment to Vista. If you’re fortunate enough to have a touchscreen then things go a step further thanks to a full roster of multitouch features.
Biometric support is in place in Home Premium, so if your laptop has a fingerprint reader the OS can make use of it for logins and security.
More powerful features are missing, though: there's no BitLocker encryption, no remote desktop and no Windows XP Mode. Home Premium's Backup and Restore Center is restricted to local hard disk or DVD backups – more versatility is available with the Professional and Ultimate editions of Windows 7.
So power users and tweakers should consider paying the extra, but unless you explicitly need one or more of those advanced features, most home users will still be best-served by the excellent Windows 7 Home Premium.
Author: PC Pro
Win 7 upgrade installed really well. But issues do exist. Not all Microsft's fault. HP didn't manage to get a full set of drivers for my all-in-one, just a basic print driver.
Partition management is the same lamentable quality as Vista, which is annoying because the new backup tools call for a bit of partition rearranging.
Google calendar sync doesn't work in 7 (yet).
On the other hand almost everything else works brilliantly well.
By Terryoflondon on 24 Oct 2009
Windows 7 Home Premium
Again no reference to the 32 bit and 64 bit versions and their differences, except in the comparison table.So any review ahould state which bit version we are talking about. Looking at the comparison table it is obvious that the Home Premium version should be avoided. It is too limited and if you do not benefit in the 64 bit version from the extra RAM compatability, then what is the point? Strange enough once again the computer manufacturers are trying to flog and Home Premium version to the general public with no choice to opt for the better versions. Of course one can upgrade later, but for most lay people this is an action they loath to make. Yes it is cheaper, but for the price difference, considering the substantial increases in prices for laptops and desk tops, it is a cost saving which makes no sense.
By gerko on 5 Aug 2010
- Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet sales halted over faulty charger
- Microsoft slashes custom XP support price
- Amazon Phone: does anyone want a 3D handset?
- Virgin email fiasco hits thousands of users
- Chrome Remote Desktop now available on Android
- Google posts "average quarter" with slow growth
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- BBC iPlayer lets Android devices download shows
- Google's Project Ara modular phone arrives in January
- Hackers harvest LaCie card data for a full year
- Windows 8.1 Update: an abject surrender
- The insane economics of Sky Now TV
- No such thing as a free app... so pay up if you want quality
- Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers
- Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on
- Office for iPad: key information
- Why every PC buyer owes Richard Durkin a debt of gratitude
- HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014's big-hitters compared
- Windows XP end of life: key information
- Cut out the broadband jargon? What jargon?
- Heartbleed: what you need to know and do
- Data recovery: inside the clean room
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- How much RAM do you really need?
- News of the weird: the strangest ever tech stories
- Five hyped technologies: disruptive or not?
- Piracy's dying: why we're all going straight
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Make the most of your mobile data
- Old-school internet scams: five that just won't die
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?
- The best Android antivirus apps for 2014
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs