Dell XPS 14 Notebook Review: Optimus Infused

Accessories & First Boot

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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