Software, Accessories, & First Boot
The keyboard is pretty nice as far as Bluetooth planks go, with chiclet style keys that are slightly concave. It's mostly comfortable to type on and lightweight enough to lay on your lap. We also appreciate that it includes a numpad and dedicated arrow keys, albeit the latter is a little squished, which can be challenging to deal with if you use them to play games.
We're less thrilled with the clunky Bluetooth mouse, which is your standard-fare rodent devoid of any side buttons or special features to speak of. It is, however, ambidextrous, much to the delight of left-handed users and chagrin of right-handed users who are accustomed to being catered do.
Finally, Dell includes a power cord, and just the cord. The actual power supply is integrated into the chassis, so there's no power brick to contend with.
The result is that our system cold booted into Windows in just 37 seconds and shutdown in 13 seconds, and that's after we loaded it up with a bunch of benchmarks and testing utilities. It's also after the mSATA SSD had a chance to properly cache the boot drive.
Dell didn't pre-load our system with any antivirus software, and as power users, we prefer this approach to the popular alternative, which is to plop a trial version of a paid security suite. At the same time, this could be disservice to less savvy computer users, which puts Dell and other bulk OEMs in a precarious situation. Ideally, we'd like to see Microsoft Security Essentials installed on OEM systems, which is a serviceable (and free) antivirus program that obviously integrates well with Windows.
This is an older version of PowerDVD (version 12 is the latest), but it didn't matter to Robert Downey, Jr. when we fired up a Blu-ray of Iron Man, which looked superb on the 27-inch PLS display.
The XPS One 27 boasts a Full HD webcam that, during our tests, tracked smoothly and looked awfully sexy (or just awful if you don't dig 1990s style goatees). It also includes a dual digital microphone array for Skype stalwarts.
Working in tandem with the webcam, if you want it to, is FastAccess Facial Recognition software that you can use to login in lieu of using a password (or for added security if you opt to use both).
Since Dell doesn't include restore media by default -- or at least didn't with our setup -- you'll want to grab hold of a few optical discs and roll your own before you go mucking around the operating system. This will give you a safety net if something goes terribly wrong, whether from a virus or a poorly coded program that manages to bork Windows.
Dell's DataSafe backup utility pops up on its own after awhile, so unless you're really quick to mess things up, this shouldn't be an issue. And if you are accident prone and computer illiterate, call your nephew to save the day and toss him a Microsoft Points or iTunes card for his trouble.