Single page Print

Pre-installed software
Laptops that come pre-loaded with oodles of useful and not-so-useful software are, unfortunately, a fact of life these days. As part of our refreshed laptop test suite, we're taking a closer look at just how much bloatware comes with each system. The boot time measurements later in this review will help highlight the performance impact of some of that bloat, too, but for now, let's see what the N82Jv comes with fresh out of the box:

Yes, the default desktop background advertises the notebook you've already purchased. (If you can't read that text at the bottom, by the way, it says "splendid 'super-sonic' multimedia enjoyment.") Asus piles on the application shortcuts, most of which point to its own software. Sharp-eyed readers will also have noticed the two gadgets at the top right: Intel's Turbo Boost Technology Monitor and Asus' Super Hybrid Engine gadget, which lets you switch between regular and polar-bear-saving modes. For more details about Super Hybrid Engine, check out our review of the U33Jc.

Poking around Windows' "Uninstall a program" control panel reveals the full extent of the N82Jv's software bloat:

Oh, the humanity! I see no fewer than 16 entries for Asus software, and I'm afraid even to start counting the bundled third-party apps, which includes Skype, Trend Micro Internet Security, Microsoft Office 2010 (in trial form), CyberLink PowerDVD 9, Times Reader, and... Smileyville.

To be fair, the N82Jv ships with a fast processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB 7,200-RPM hard drive, so this infestation has less of a performance impact than it would on, say, a cheap little ultraportable (or a netbook, heaven forbid). Bundling some of that software presumably allows Asus to keep its margins from getting too tight, as well, which ought to translate into cheaper laptops for consumers. That said, I think this is the longest list of pre-loaded software I've ever seen on a notebook.