When the Unity Netbook front end was announced for Ubuntu 10.10 I thought I would give it a try. During the Karmic and Lucid cycles I ran Kubuntu Netbook Remix, but decided to switch to Unity. I understand that some of problems I have might be because I am used to KDE and learning both GNOME and Unity might cause some of the struggles. However, I still believe that Unity in its current form is not ready for prime time.
NOTE: The first time I tried Unity I had Kubuntu Lucid w/ the netbook edition installed and the installed Unity on top of it. This time I installed just Ubuntu 10.10 with the latest and greatest live cd and updates.
The biggest issue I have with Unity is Bug 599425, “Poor battery performance in Unity.” This bug is being worked on by the team, but my I use my netbook whenver I travel and poor battery life is something I can’t have or deal with. My mini 9 is perfect for watching movies or jotting down notes while I’m in an airplane, it fits nicely on the tiny tray and give me room for my drink.
The other issue (and maybe because I’m using it wrong) is the whole search interface. In plasma-netbook the “Search & Launch” activity provides me with the ability to type the name of an application and it appears, however with “dash” or whatever it is called, nothing ever shows up when I start searching. I have to click on the type of application (Accessories, Games, etc) or scroll through “All Applications” to find what I’m looking for. Takes a lot longer to find what I’m looking for. Also in KDE I can hit alt+f2 and krunner opens up allowing me to type the name of the app, in Unity alt+f2 doesn’t open anything up at all.
The promise of Unity is nice, however I don’t believe it is ready for prime time. I will keeping looking at it and giving it a try to see how it improves.