Zorin OS 7 "Lite" Review: Beautiful and functional
Zorin has a history of creating pretty refined Ubuntu spins specifically targeted to newcomers. Their recent release Zorin OS 7 is based on Ubuntu 13.04 and it has 6 months of support. I earlier reviewed the Zorin OS 7 Core (with GNOME desktop) and found it to be very good in terms of functionality, stability and aesthetics. Zorin, as a tradition, first releases the core or GNOME distro and follows it up with "Lite" and "Educational Lite", two lightweight Zorin OS variants with LXDE desktop. Both are actually Lubuntu 13.04 spins.
LXDE requires the users to have a little bit of expertise in Linux; simple things such as autologin, adding programs to start up, setting up compositing manager, etc. are easier in other desktop environments (DEs) like XFCE, KDE & GNOME. However, of late, I saw LXDE control center in PCLinuxOS and ROSA which actually makes these things easier for the users.
I downloaded the 800 MB ISO from Zorin site. Only 32-bit ISO is available (with pae-kernel) for Zorin OS "Lite" as it is targeted to older hardware (which are mostly 32-bit machines). My mode of testing is the usual one: first a live boot followed by installation in my Asus K54C with 2.2 Ghz Core i3 processor and 2 GB RAM.
Zorin OS 7 "Lite", like Lubuntu 13.04, has the same Linux kernel (3.8.0) and file manager (PCManFM 1.1.0). PCManFM actually looks quite attractive in Zorin.