Instant-on for your PC

Hyperspace_logoHyperSpace, a new program that promises to let your laptop boot instantly, is a welcome utility for anyone who has had to wait for Windows to do its thing. Too bad they’ve gone with a subscription pricing plan.

In what appears to be a case of taking the good with the bad, Phoenix Technologies has offered up what is probably the most useful PC add-on since the browser.

HyperSpace is program that runs parallel to Windows and lets your PC shift into a Net-only, low-power consumption mode without having to wait for the full Windows boot cycle to complete.

Phoenix claims that the software will also simplify the experience of trying to connect to wireless access points by automatically finding and connecting you to the most reliable network.

To top it off, they further claim that by running in HyperSpace mode, you can save up to 25% on your battery consumption giving you longer between charges.

Not a bad collection of features – I was excited to try it until I realized that you need Windows Vista 32 or 64 bit versions, or Windows XP Pro SP3 in order to run HyperSpace. Given that my recent attempts to upgrade my laptop to SP3 ended in misery, I’ll have to wait before I can give it a shot.

For those who want to give it a whirl, see: but be warned – Phoenix is only offering HyperSpace as a subscription service, with prices starting at $39.95 USD per year.

There’s no question that the kind of utility HyperSpace offers is worth paying for, but is it worth paying over and over and over again?



  1. murgatroid

    i'm staring at my 7 year old laptop (made by that other computer company) which was handed down to my daughter because i moved up to the much better newer version.

    and guess what? it came from the factory back then with these features. and, ummm, no subscription required…ever.

    i'm a little confused as to why other brand laptop users had to wait so long for features that are indeed as useful as a browser.



  2. Simon Cohen

    Which 7 year old laptop had an instant-on feature? Can't believe I missed that. Closest I've seen to this program is Windows Sideshow-equipped laptops, which doesn't seem to have caught on.


  3. murgatroid

    hey simon!! even i'm wondering if my take on this is correct. :) the old laptop in question is a mac g3 powerbook. it had/has the same wireless internet capability that this new offering touts.

    the instant on feature will likely be welcomed by many. as i would sit down with my peers to do business, i'd always have time to grab a coffee while others waited for their windows-based laptops to boot up. i have little experience with such machines, so i do not know if a "sleep mode" was an option for these people. rather than powering down completely, the laptop could basically sit in idle, awakening the moment i would open it up. this state would draw very little power out of the battery. i have flown great distances without draining the battery completely, opened it up at the next layover and bingo…no waiting. this sounds similiar, if not the same as what you are talking about.

    as an aside, i was advised to leave my laptop in this "sleep mode" setting permanently. the argument being that it was far easier on the computer than always booting up. not only did it lessen aggravation to the user (as we all want these devices to work as fast as our wants appear), it also further improved the stability of the operating system. as a result, i never powered down except to install software. oh…and that time the battery bought the bullet.

    the ability to tailor custom power saving settings could be found in the preferences panel. also greatly useful.