Pre-built systems are often “subsidized” by third party software. The software companies pay the computer vendor to include free or trial versions of their products on the system. While this lowers the cost of the system to the consumer, it’s annoying to have a brand new computer filled with “bloatware”, most of which will never be used, slows down the system, and annoys the user with nagging messages to buy or upgrade the software.
Fortunately, the Lenovo Erazer X700 is mostly free of bloatware. There are a number of third-party and Lenovo utilities, but most are either useful or innocuous. The only trial versions are:
- McAfee Internet Security
- Nitro Pro 8 (a utility to view, create, and edit PDFs)
- Microsoft Office 365
McAfee Internet Security is the only one of these apps that will proactively nag you. Other third party applications include:
- Adobe Reader
- Amazon Browser (basically a link to Amazon that opens in your web browser)
- FreeRide Games— Free downloadable games
- SugarSync Manager— A utility to synchronize files between your PCs and mobile devices. Requires a SugarSync account.
- Intel AppUp!-– Intel’s online software store
Lenovo software includes a branded version of the excellent Cyberlink utilities: Power2Go for burning CDs and DVDs and PowerDVD10 for playing DVDs. Lenovo Photos lets your order books or prints of your pictures, including printing on objects like mouse pads and cups. Lenovo Vantage Technology is a launcher application that provides one-stop access for the other Lenovo apps.
Pressing F2 during boot invokes the Lenovo Rescue System, and presents you with the option to restore the system to its factory state, or from a previous backup, as well as to re-install the standard applications and drivers. Sadly there doesn’t appear to be any way to create a bootable rescue disk, so if the Samsung 840 fails, you’re out of luck.
Erazer Control Center is where you do your overlocking. I’ll get into that in more detail in the Overclocking section.