I wanted to get a laptop for my mother so she can surf anywhere in the house, but I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. Found this nice little NEC Versa SXi on ebay for around $100.
Specs are low, but I'd intended to run Puppy Linux on it, so I didn't worry. But, when I got it, Puppy kept giving me a kernel panic. So, I thought about what else I could run with low resources.
Since I've used Ubuntu for quite a while, I decided to try Xubuntu. Let me say, horrible. Sluggish. And, the install took nearly an hour. I actually had Xubuntu installed for less time than it took to install it.
So, I tried Vector 5.9 Gold Xfce or whatever. That brings me to my first quibble with Vector...too many editions! I don't know what I have installed. It has Xfce, and it is fast, that's all I know. 700 Mhz, 128 MB ram, and it actually is very usable. Not just usable, it is pleasant to use! Seems as snappy and responsive as my DV6911 HP, that has a dual core Turion and 3GB of RAM, running Linux Mint Xfce. I'm seriously thinking of putting it on that laptop too. But, the editions are confusing.
Anyway, it looks great, even with the rather spartan Xfce. It also runs great...like I said, the laptop is a pleasure to use. It always manages to hook itself right to my wireless without issue. And, it is easy enough on resources to run a few things at once. Right now, I'm running Firefox while logged into Gaim and a few other things that I use commonly.
Speaking of other things...that brings me to my second gripe. I wish there were lots more other things to install. There isn't nearly enough software to keep me happy. I can supplement with Slackware, but that creates problems in itself. For my mother, who basically does web surfing and email, there's plenty, but I consider myself a power user and there's lots of things I do with a computer that requires stuff I don't see in the repositories.
That having been said, Vector really shines in this role...taking an old piece of equipment and making it usable, and I thank the creators for making such a fast, easy to use system.