'If you can't beat 'em, clone 'em' seems to be the mantra behind this stunning 27inch all-in-one PC design. With Apple's iMac continuing to sell like hotcakes, we can forgive Dell for crafting its premium all-in-one in the same form as Apple's trendsetter. The iconic aluminium body and stand has been replicated, but Dell has chosen to make the border of the screen black plastic rather than shiny silver.
The front of this PC is dominated by the edgeless 27in display. Built by Samsung, the screen uses PLS (Plane to Line Switching) technology to deliver rich colours and stunning brightness over a wide viewing angle. With a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440, individual pixels are hard to spot and we were constantly impressed at the crisp image quality. Dell has cleverly included a Blu-ray drive to take advantage of the beautiful screen, and the built-in stereo speakers were surprisingly capable of delivering clear movie audio, even at louder volumes.
With the launch of Windows 8, Dell is releasing a version of the XPS One 27 that will feature a touchscreen. When paired with the new Metro interface, a touchscreen will be a hugely compelling option for those torn between the iMac and the XPS One 27. But even without the touchscreen, the hardware inside is reason enough to consider the XPS One 27. The powerhouse buried within the slim case, which varies between 32mm and 72mm, is Intel's new Core i7-3770S. This quad-cored, Hyper-Threaded processor is basically a power-tuned version of the i7-3770K and with a maximum TDP of just 65W, it's perfect for the thermally challenging conditions found inside a stuffy all-in-one chassis. It accomplishes this by dropping the base frequency to 3.1GHz and then limits the maximum Turbo speed of 3.9GHz to just a single core.
Dell has paired this potent CPU with Nvidia's new GT 640M GPU, an extremely power-efficient GPU designed for laptops. As expected, it's not quite powerful enough to run games at 1080p, let alone this PC's native resolution, but dropping the screen down to 1,280 x 720 (720p) should deliver a smooth experience. Running 3DMark 11 in the 720p Performance mode, this PC scored a respectable P1967 points, proving its chops for occasional gaming performance.
Overall system performance was much more impressive, though, thanks to the combination of the speedy CPU with 8GB of DDR3-1600 RAM and a Samsung 32GB SSD used for caching. Our PCMark Vantage benchmark score of 11,495 PC marks makes this all-in-one around 15% faster than the next closest, and is reflected by the system's excellent response in day-to-day tasks. Surprisingly, the machine remained relatively quiet during all of our benchmarks.
Dell has set a new benchmark for all-in-one performance and screen quality with the XPS One 27, and with touchscreen versions coming with Windows 8, this is a compelling product that points to the future of consumer PCs. Obviously, the price reflects the quality of the components used within, but those looking for the ultimate in slim Windows-based computing will find very little to complain about with this beauty. Whether Apple will complain about the borrowed styling is another thing entirely…
Special features :
- 2,560 x 1,440 display
- Blu-ray drive
- Nvidia GT 640M GPU
Pros : Beautiful 27in display, powerful components for an all-in-one, capable of 720p gaming, touchscreen versions with Windows 8.
Cons : Rather pricey
Verdict : 9 out of 10. Editor's choice!
Available from Dell, retailing for $2,500.