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on January 17, 2014
Had a Dell Dimension with Windows XP for ten years. Due to the lack of future support(April 2014)for my beloved Windows XP I felt obligated to upgrade. After a lot of research I felt this computer would meet my desktop needs. I read many reviews, which were positive overall, on the Dell XPS series on various websites. The biggest debate I had was deciding between Windows 7 and Windows 8. One reputable review of Windows 8 from a popular computer magazine stated that Windows 8 was faster, more secure, and more stable than Windows 7. That convinced me to give Windows 8 a try. I then watched a few excellent Windows 8.1 tutorials on YouTube which helped a lot. I also found that Amazon was rated best to buy a computer so everything fell into place. Amazon also happened to have the best price, even over the manufacturer of this computer. This is my experience with this computer and Windows 8:

1. Super Fast! Way faster computer than my old Dell.
2. Good quality construction. I opened the case to see inside and I felt comfortable with what I saw, and I'm a perfectionist.
3. Windows 8.1 is not that bad and I can get used to it, and maybe even really like it!
4. It was a smooth transition from my old Dell.
5. Memory can be upgraded to 32Gb.
6. It is very quiet. I almost can't hear the hard drive working.
7. Was able to smoothly update from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. You need to update Windows 8 first, like another reviewer said.
8. Super fast start up of around 3 seconds from sleep mode.

1. Keyboard is OK. Not the highest quality. Not sure if I really like it. Seems kind of cheap as others have said. Mouse is OK also.
2. Had a glitch trying to get the required updates just for Windows 8. The status bar would not show anything being downloaded. I had to try a few times before it worked. I almost called Dell support.
3. Windows 8 can invade your privacy, if you let it. I want to keep Microsoft out of my life, as much as possible.
4. When you shut down the computer, it tends to stay on for 30 seconds or more and you can't immediately restart the computer until it goes off.

Overall, I'm very happy with this computer and I would recommend it to others. I'm not a gamer but I wanted a fast computer that will last and that has room to be updated over the years. I also wanted a graphics card with HDMI. FYI. The graphics card that came with this model only has DVI and HDMI connections, and no VGA out like in the picture on this site. (It does come with a small DVI to VGA adapter though.) I plan to run a cable to my TV to watch web content. Hopefully this Dell desktop will last me another ten years.

Update 1/30/14
Still happy with this computer. I have adjusted to Windows 8.1 and it's fine. I find that I don't use the tile Metro screen at all. It seems to be best for use with a tablet. I adjusted the settings to have it start on the desktop and bypass Metro. Front glossy black panel is hard to keep clean, however. Keyboard and mouse are fine. I don't plan to upgrade them.

I've been trying to figure out how I want to shutdown the computer each day. My goal is fast on/off times with a minimum of vampire power usage. With my old Dell I would use hibernate, but that wasn't an option on Windows 8.1 (until I found out that it was hidden and could be added). I used a power meter to check the vampire wattage used after various ways of turning off the computer. Here's what I found:

Sleep 0 watts
Hibernate 1.4 watts
Shutdown 1.4 watts

So it appears that sleep mode uses less than a watt after it powers off. I plan to now use sleep mode from now on to turn off my computer. Sleep mode also has super rapid on/off times as well, another bonus. By the way, I measured the power usage of the computer while on, without my monitor, and it registers around 40 continuous watts at low CPU usage, which is half the wattage of my old Dell.
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on September 15, 2013
I was very pleased that this computer was so easy to hook up. After all the complaints I read about windows 8 I have been pleasantly surprised that
I really like it. It is very different from my old XP windows but I think all for the better. I think it was a very good price for a good computer.
Also, Amazon gave a very quick delivery.
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on August 22, 2013
Nov 2014 Edit
After very light use up to Oct '14 of my Dell I discovered free Dell software on the machine which tests the computer. If you get any Dell, be sure, right away, be sure to do all tests. I, after the warranty was over, discovered that the hard drive was making errors and the software advised me to replace the drive because failure was immanent. Regardless of what brand you get, download a free program that will test your drive, and test it periodically. Google "download CrystalDiskInfo" to get suitable software that is free. I personally prefer to do downloads directly fron the software originator's site, to insure getting the most recent version.

Original review:
Be careful, this XPS 8700 is NOT what Consumer Reports just reviewed with a score of 77. This uses an older generation (edit: older gen = wrong choice of words; see the comments) main processor, the 5 series. If you are looking for the CU recommended model, be sure what you are looking at has the 7 series processor (Core i7-4770 Haswell). I had to rate it to get this review up; be aware I do not own this model (almost did). It is likely a good machine; just be aware and compare oranges to oranges. Compare this, for example with the Lenovo IdeaCentre K450-57317212 which has 2048 mg video memory as tested by CU, double what this machine has, and which with the same i5 processor as in this machine in some applications is likely to be faster than this one. The Lenovo is available "out there" for less, but be sure it has the 2048 video memory, if you want to go with the CU recommendation. The 573.. is Lenovo's specific model number.

Update:Just got the Core i7-4770 xps 8700 Haswell from manufacturer, shipped free for same 649 price plus tax, good till Sept 5 with $50 off coupon 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C (first character is either oh or zero)/or directlink available online . I wonder how long this update will stay here! Do an online chat to insist on getting the $50 with the coupon.
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on June 9, 2014
This was a needed replacement unit for my wife.
Had all kinds of problems with this computer and Windows 8 and 8.1 from the start.
Dell provided help by phone and then several replacement parts delivered by a tech. person
Since I live in an area way outside where a tech. person could go I had the parts delivered to a friends house and then he del. to me They were then installed by myself or a tech. friend living near me part of the time. All installations are fine. BUT!!!
We ended up with a replacement mother board so we could go to Windows 7 which I had to add.
I purchased a new unit and have a referbished mother board, referbished Graphic card, 3 different Dongles, and tech. work on all kinds of software and had to pay for some tech. help.
We reached a point when the Dell Tech. stopped returning my e-mail requests. It is a very complex story.
I would never buy another Dell computer.
My custom Cyberpower unit has been and cont. to be just fine after years of use. Will have them build what I need in the future.
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on March 12, 2014
After much research for what I needed, this machine delivered all I asked for. Not done moving in yet but expect all to go relatively smoothly.
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on September 27, 2013
This unit was easy to set up and all my old programs are work faster than on my older pc.
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on January 10, 2014
Needed to get my daughter an inexpensive PC computer capable of Video Editing and Gaming, and this seemed to have the most for the money and had good reviews. Of cause after getting Programs, Speakers, Monitor, Wireless Mouse, Mouse Pad, etc. I ended up spending about $1,100, which is not bad considering just the base Apple MAC (which I would have preferred) costs more then that.
Good processor, memory, etc. Video Editing and Gaming PCs can really be expensive. Good enough for her first computer or even down the road.
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on May 10, 2014
driver power state failure ,remember those words for you will become familiar with them.

Got this machine fully loaded:240 gb ssd ,3tb drive 32 gb ram.
Was supposed to come with 8.1,but came with 8,
BIOS was very old and drivers were too,
Nothing but hangs and freezes since the upgrades,
Dell tech support is clueless.
I now have an $1800 dollar boat anchor.

You do not want this machine.
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on August 19, 2013
This computer was easy to set up and is very fast. I am very pleased with the value and highly recommend it . My only complaint is Windows 8, I would rather have windows 7.
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on February 16, 2014
Computer is working as advertised...I wish they included cds' so we could reformat our self's. I really disagree with this...we bought the computer but Dell still wants control of our computer!
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