Is your netbook suffering from age? What if your new low-powered Windows® 8 tablet is lacking a bit on the performance side? Both netbooks and even newer tablets are a little slower than their full-blown PC or ultrabook cousins, but with the right tweaks, we’ll squeeze the last bit of speed and functionality out of these mini-machines.
But why are even newer Windows® tablets and netbooks on the slow side?
These days, the key factors for portable devices are, without a doubt, battery life, weight and physical dimensions. Even though the latest generations of Intels low-powered Atom and Core CPUs are fast enough for most apps (from the Windows Store), desktop software and games require a bit more power…while we can’t miraculously make your processor faster, we can certainly put a lot off its back and use it more efficiently for your day-to-day tasks.
The 10 best tips to speed up your netbooks and tablets
- Use a lightweight Media Player and codec pack to play all your favorite videos and music. We recommend going with Shark’s 007 Codec Pack as well as the latest Media Player Classic – Home Cinema release.
- Disable all of the unnecessary background programs on your system using AVG PC TuneUp. These are likely to slow down any computer—not just netbooks.
- Check to see if your netbooks allow for a RAM upgrade. This can usually be done in a matter of minutes! Tablets, unfortunately rarely offer any RAM upgrade.
- Uninstall programs you no longer use, especially trial software, as these can clutter up the drive. Also, try to note the date that these versions will expire; this will remind you to get rid of the programs that you can no longer use.
- Defrag the hard drive to better manage your data and keep your computer running fast. We recommend using a utility to safely and consistently conduct this on a regular basis. Don’t perform this step on an SSD (Flash-based storage), though.
- Reduce the user interface of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and other Web browsers to better utilize the smaller “real estate” on your netbook. Right-click on the upper menu bar of your browser and uncheck unnecessary menu items such as status bars, favorite bars, and the like.
- Turn off unnecessary animations as they can – still – hinder the system’s performance. To do that, go to “Control Panel\System and Security\System\Advanced System Settings” and jump to the “Settings” page under “Performance”. Make sure to select “Adjust for best performance” and get rid of all unnecessary lags – especially on our rather low-powered Acer Iconia W3, this made things feel a lot snappier!
- Adjust Windows’ power management settings. For example, NetBook Maniac suggests turning the monitor off after two minutes of idle time.
- Disable unnecessary devices, such as Bluetooth, FireWire, and Wi-Fi, to save battery power. Check out our very own Economy Mode.
- Don’t run too many applications at the same time. As Michael J. Miller notes, multitasking is better suited for a notebook or ultrabooks, whereas netbooks and low-powered tablets are designed for basic use like word processing and basic Web browsing.
You’re a netbook owner? Got a shiny new Windows® 8 tablet?
Think there’s something missing here? Add it to our comments and we’ll feature your suggestion in our next article!