Mesh import assign material by object where is this in V7?

doing a comparison test on speed of working with meshes, before I install V8

but unlike in V5 so as to get a better texture image one selects the object, go toothpaste (icon) (yes i know its a paint tube but i forever think toothpaste !) and choose asign material by, and change layer to object, then browse to the jpg that was expirted along with the .obj,

in V7 I dont see that option.

Where is it ?

also the image is somewhat slightly milky , in V5 it looks like the actual item.

took 38secs to import a mesh of
Open double precision polygon mesh: 2815946 vertices, 5138685 faces

is that good ?

V5 took 45 secs. and 30 secs to save.

V7 save instant.

the defaullt open options idffer, which is best ?