5 Windows Desktop Hardware Gadgets

Martin Brinkmann
May 7, 2010
Updated • May 7, 2010

Gadgets, love them or leave them. Microsoft introduced sidebar gadgets in Windows Vista and improved the way they were handled in Windows 7. Gadgets are small programs that run on the computer desktop. They were limited to the sidebar in Vista, a limitation that was removed by Microsoft in Windows 7.

Gadgets can be helpful depending on a user's work situation. Gadgets are available for all kinds of tasks from displaying hardware information to Internet search forms and multimedia players.

This article reviews five desktop gadgets that are hardware related. Their usage as well depends on the user's situation. A desktop computer users will not necessarily run a gadget that is displaying the remaining battery power while a netbook user might not be interested in the a gadget that displays the load of each cpu core.

Notebook Info 2

The name of the gadget already implies that it has been designed for mobile computer systems like netbooks or notebooks. It can display a variety of information including battery level and status, WiFi network status, cpu and ram usage, power-plans, uptime, a clock, alarm and calendar and more.

The settings can be used to display only the relevant items on the computer desktop. It is for instance possible to get rid of the calendar if that is not needed.

download it here

All CPU Meter

This gadget displays cpu related information including the used, free and total computer memory and the load on each cpu core. It did however detect eight cores on our quad-core test system.

cpu usage

download it here

Drives Meter

Can display hard drive information like the number of used, free and total space of each hard drive. A total of six hard drive partitions can be configured in the gadget's options.

drives meter

download it here

Wired Network Meter

This gadget displays many network information like the internal and external IP address or the up and downstream of the selected network adapter.

network meter

download it here

Wireless Network Meter

From the same developer as the wired network meter but created for wireless connections. It displays the same information as the wired network meter plus information about the connection (secure, not secure) and the signal.

wireless network meter

download it here

The gadgets should be compatible with both Windows Vista and Windows 7. Interested users can browse the more than 3800 gadgets offered at the Windows Live Gallery for other gadgets.

What's your take on Windows gadgets? Are you using them at all? If so, which are you using?


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  1. Vu said on February 6, 2011 at 3:06 am

    wow! these are some fantastic gadgets! this is the problem with the windows live gadgets gallery. it’s too hard to find the gems among the garbage. the reviews system is often broken, as is the sorting system.

  2. Phil said on May 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Yepp, nice gadgets.
    But they’re all looking like a piece of crap.

    The gadgets are too unordered , too colorful and even when they aren’t like that, they using eye-hurting colors.

  3. Carbon6 said on May 8, 2010 at 1:02 am

    I’ve always thought the backgrounds could be improved a lot on some of the more common gadgets.
    But some very useful ones can be found at

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