In October 2011, Canonical released Xubuntu which is a cousin of Ubuntu that uses XFCE instead of Gnome. I installed it on my Asus mini laptop which came pre-installed with Windows 7 Starter operating system and boy, it was all worth it. I installed it via flash drive and installation was straight forward. Hardware support is excellent on it and Xubuntu recognized every single hardware inside my mini laptop which is great.
The Xubuntu theme is pretty amazing and is similar to the Ubuntu’s dark brown theme. The layout is pretty similar to the Mac OS X with a dock and menu items at the bottom and top respectively. Performance is awesome, even with just 1GB RAM under the hood. Everything felt much faster than the windows 7.
However, I would like to mention that Flash playback is not at par with the Windows 7′s flash plugin. I was not even able to get a smooth 320p video playback, yet alone 480p. I know there are Linux alternatives like FlashVideoreplacer, but I expect simple things like Flash to work flawlessly out of the box.
Other than one glitch, you will have no problem in being productive on the Xubuntu. It is brilliant and is worth every penny. Really.