Dell XPS 14 Notebook Review: Optimus Infused

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Dell plucked our XPS 14 fresh off the factory line and beamed it to us faster than the speed of light so we could be one of the first to see it, and as a result, our test unit came in barebones form. That means no retail accessories, like a user guide or driver disc, and it also means no pictures of any accessories. Sure we could have snapped a photo of the power cord, and if that's the sort of thing that excites you, please accept our semi-sincere apologies.

Based on our prior experience with Dell products, you can expect the usual assortment of paperwork and other odds and ends that you'll ultimately toss aside.

Included in Dell's new XPS line is Nvidia's 3DTV Play software. Don't confuse this to mean the laptops themselves are 3D capable -- they're not -- but if you hook one up to a 3D HDTV, the software is able to play back 3D content. You will, however, have to bring your own HDMI cable and 3D shutter glasses, neither of which are included.

To our surprise, a first boot into the Dell XPS 14's desktop revealed almost no bloatware. And the few that were shoveled into the system were neatly tucked away in the dock rather than cluttering up the background. Skype comes pre-installed, as does a trial of Microsoft Office and McAfee software.

On average, the XPS 14 booted in 1m11s and shutdown in just 22 seconds. Part of the credit goes to Microsoft because of how well Windows 7 runs compared to its predecessor, and Dell deserves kudos here as well, provided retail shipments ship as lean as our sample did.

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JArnott 4 years ago

Great review. I ordered mine the other day (i7 740QM) so i'm looking forward to it. One thing you didn't mention - the speakers. What are they like?

rapid1 4 years ago

I would love to hear how that XPS 17 I assume with an I7 and some USB 3 goodness works for sure. As for this unit being the relative comparably size (or slightly larger I guess) as a netbook it seems dead on the money to me.

Paul_Lilly 4 years ago

Above average for a notebook. They're capable of getting comparatively loud, and while the bass isn't anything to brag about, the EQ settings are surprisingly effective.

JMonrol 3 years ago

The xps core I5 is ok on the overall, sound good, rather when on 3d game, Only dislike is the flimsy key board, really bad quality...

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