OK in the meantime I did some reading, turns out that this is called Optimus.
I downloaded a little tool that can tell me whether the GPU is activated or not. It turns out that even if I run a somewhat GPU heavy program like Rastertek's terrain with water reflection (tutorial 16), it never starts the GPU automatically on that laptop and even if it did, like I said, the program does not benefit (fps about 30 with both IGP/Nvidia for tut16) or some programs even run slower if I force the GPU rather than the IGP. Makes absolutely no sense. The drivers seem up to date as well.
So I'm wondering if there are ways you ought to create your device & swapchain to accommodate this Optimus system. I was able to enumerate the second adapter in fact and print out its name, but if I create the device with that adapter explicitly rather than automatically with a NULL parameter it fails to create the device & SC.