SlimDrivers 2.0

Codrut Nistor February 7, 2011 0

I guess I already told you how I hate cleaning up my house or my computer, so today’s confession shouldn’t come as a surprise: I hate updating drivers! After all, there’s that (really wise) saying: “If it works, don’t fix it!” and I fully agree with it, especially since I am sure you all know that, at least sometimes, a driver update doesn’t necessarily mean a faster or more stable computer…

… but when I stumble into a program like SlimDrivers, this whole gruesome deal suddenly turns into something bearable, so I guess we’ll start this week updating drivers without “installing a headache” in the process, shall we? ;)

Setup

Released not so long ago – in mid-January, SlimDriver’s last version feels a bit strange, since the main window claims what we have here is 1.0, while the program itself is clearly version 2.0 – 2.0.4058.993, to be more precise. Considering the fact that this program is, after all, a commercial one, I think they should update that version number in the main window – I am sure it’s not a gruesome task…

Well, all these above are only minor details, because the things that really matter will surely blow your mind: as I write this, SlimDriver 2.0 is no longer a free program, but its free version only lacks a few features of the $29.97 one, comes from a company that’s a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, not just another one-man show displaying that badge and hoping that potential buyers would fall for it, so excellent compatibility with the Redmond giant’s popular operating systems shouldn’t come as a surprise – this piece of code works with Windows XP, Vista/7 – the only operating systems that really matter for most computer users using Windows.

In case you were wondering about the difference between the free and the paid version of SlimDrivers, here’s the official version of the story – “The registered version allows for “Download All” and advanced automation functionality.” Speaking for myself, I must say that the free version is still more than I need, so let’s move on to the next part…

… but not before saying that the setup package has 2.5 MB in size, there are no special system requirements to be afraid of (21 MB of free disk space needed) or any trace of toolbar/spyware, just a few screens to go through and a really ugly License Agreement (come on, people, was the Caps Lock key jammed or something???), so nobody should run into problems while installing SlimDrivers. Great, this means we can move to the good stuff right away!

Interface

The version number displayed in the main window may not be the real one and SlimDrivers may not offer multilanguage support or any kind of built-in documentation, but it surely looks great! Using it should be really easy to most people and, in case you really find yourself stuck, there’s online support at your disposal – chat or email, with registered customers having priority, of course. All in all, things are looking really good here, so let’s see if the features can do enough to help SlimDrivers grab our badge today…

Features

… and I think you already know the answer to that question: SlimDrivers deserves our badge! The layout of the main window is really straightforward and the tasks you can achieve with this program should become obvious in just a few seconds: SlimDrivers allows you to update drivers, uninstall, backup/restore them, but it goes as far as checking automatically for updates. Is this awesome, or what?

As soon as you start SlimDrivers for the first time, you’re taken to the Home screen, where’s only one thing to do: press that Start Scan button, of course! In my case, the whole process took less than a minute, and the results were nicely displayed, each of them offering me two choices – ignore or download.

To be honest, I found the download process to be really slow, but it’s good to know you can run the installer of the package and mess with the settings – I really hate driver updating tools that take away all your control. Fortunately, that’s not the case here…

… and since I mentioned “control,” uninstalling drivers is also something to keep in mind when talking about updating them. The best part about this feature is that everyone should be able to easily uninstall drivers – just select the driver to remove, click Uninstall and wait for the driver to go away.

Nothing’s perfect and, when it comes to working with drivers, being able to backup stuff and restore it in case something goes wrong is not an option – it’s a must! No worries, my friends, SlimDrivers also has this part nicely covered – backing up and restoring device drivers is just as easy as uninstalling them. Sweet!

More than the above, SlimDrivers can also be set to automatically check for driver updates as you see it fit – daily, weekly, every “n” days or only on Mondays and Fridays (just an example, you are free to choose any day(s) of the week). Well, I guess this is it for now, but we still have a few things to say before closing this review… this shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you, I am sure. ;)

Tips & Tricks

1. If you want to reboot manually, you can disable automatic reboot after updates – just go to Options> Update and uncheck that option.

2. To check logs of previous updates, go to Options> General and press the Show Logs button.

3. The $29.97 price only gives you a one-year subscription. I know this is something rather common in this market niche, but I think the free edition is a great deal for most home users – so you should spare your money…

Strengths

SlimDrivers 2.0 looks great, works well on all Windows operating systems that really matter and, most important part of it all, gets the job done as it should without asking for a single cent – in a word: awesome!

Weaknesses

I see no reason in paying almost 30 bucks for a one-year subscription and I really hate lack of any documentation or uninstall link (there’s no such thing in the program’s folder, you have to go to Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs to uninstall it). Even more, it’s a pity to see a program from a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that doesn’t offer any kind of multilanguage support. :|

Final Thoughts

All in all, SlimDrivers 2.0 is a great find and, despite its drawbacks, receives our badge. I know I’ll repeat myself but, in the end, when talking about programs that claim to be able to update your drivers, only a few get the job done properly without asking you to pay for some kind of subscription and SlimDrivers is the only one I can think of right now. Great job, guys – congratulations and keep it up, I know this program can get even better!!!

Install
Ease of use
Features
Resources used
Value
Summary 4.4/5
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