Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
I tested Mandriva 2011 "Hydrogen" on a live USB, first made with MultiSystem and then made with UnetBootin. I was surprised that Mandriva booted after having the live USB made with UnetBootin, because for the last few years Mandriva ISO files have failed to work right with UnetBootin.
After the boot menu, I was greeted by a fairly fast boot time, and I was able to see a nice spinning wheel on a baby-blue Mandriva-branded background for the boot splash. It all looked OK, which told me that unlike Mandriva 2010.X, Mandriva 2011 recognized my laptop's graphics card and native resolution properly out-of-the-box. After that, I was taken to a series of dialog boxes asking for language, locale, and keyboard settings. That led into a customized KDE splash screen with the same color background as before with 5 icons appearing in succession, followed by the desktop.