Ubuntu is a brilliant operating system. It is extremely powerful, flexible and most importantly for me at school, power efficient. I am running a Dell Laitude E6410 with a Core i5 Ironlake Mobile CPU and it is a power hungry beast. I paired it with 6gb of RAM I had laying around in my RAM draw. Ignore the disk; it is that small because I need to re-install this laptop. I plan to do this by re-installing Windows first, sticking Ableton and Office on (required for science and some stuff I do), and then dedicate the rest of the disk to Ubuntu.
The lightweight nature of Ubuntu is amazing. Windows is a resource hungry OS, idling at around 15% CPU usage (required for all my school apps). Ubuntu however, is much better; it idles at 5%. This has a HUGE effect on my battery consumption. Windows would eat through a whole battery in around 200 mins, often before 200 mins, not covering two lessons. Ubuntu lasts nearly a whole day, only requiring a 5-10 minute charge to just top up the battery. It is amazing.
The only downfall of the system is LibreOffice in Science. I find the equation editor of LibreOffice to be extremely hard to use. LibreOffice is fine in most subjects, but because of how the equation editor works, I find it difficult to quickly enter in physics equations. That is partly why Windows still exists on this computer.
Workspaces is amazing feature. Windows has a similar feature, however this has to be enabled with Sysinternals Desktops. This is OK however it is not perfect. The Ubuntu system is better. I often have several windows open, and it is much easier to manage them over multiple desktops, each with their own alt-tab switcher.
So, is Ubuntu worth swapping to? Yes! It is amazing for the price (free) and it outperforms windows. Also, people look at your screen (especially with Compiz enabled) and go “Oh that looks cool!”. Either way, download it if you want and try it out. It’s free and amazing compared to other alternatives like Windows. Also, it is beginner friendly. Unlike KDE, it is much easier to use. I like KDE, but it is harder to use. So I prefer it to use Unity and Ubuntu.