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Dell XPS One 27 Big and Bold All-In-One PC
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Dell XPS One 27 Big and Bold All-In-One PC

When FedEx arrived at my door with the huge box containing the Dell XPS One 27 I knew right away I was in for an experience. A peek inside the box revealed the biggest monitor I have ever used..so I dove right in. Heavier than it looks the XPS One 27 was still not too heavy for one person to handle. Settled in on my desk installation couldn’t have been simpler..plug in the power cord..an Ethernet cable to my router and hit the power switch..in less than two minutes I was watching Windows boot up on a spectacular…no make that really spectacular…screen.

I should probably leave the best for last, but I can’t resist it..let’s start with that beautiful screen. Boasting a resolution of 2560 x 1440 the 16:9 ratio Samsung PLS panel puts most monitors..certainly those that don’t sell for medium four figures..to shame. Big and bright with vivid colours and deep blacks and razor sharp text the screen is a pleasure to work with. While the screen is glossy enough to be a decent mirror when it is off..I didn’t have any trouble with reflections in use..and my office can get pretty bright in the afternoon with full sun streaming in a big window to my right.

As far as design goes..this is a good looking unit..the front is pretty much just a huge black slab mounted on a good stand that provided a good range of movement for tilting the monitor but no up and down or swivel.. The back looked sleek with lots of nicely rounded curves.. It actually looks quite stylish from the back  which is plastic..mainly to keep the weight down I suppose.

Under the hood the XPS One 27 is essentially a big powerful laptop..as big as it is there is still no room for a  for a normal-voltage Intel Core processor. The low-voltage “S” versions are the only choice. Mine arrived with the Intel Core i7-3770s, the most powerful processor Dell offers in this model. The overall specs while not bleeding edge are still fairly impressive:

  • 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7-3770s processor (3.10GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.90GHz)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
  • 8GB3 Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz
  • 2TB – 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache + 32GB SSD SRT enhancement
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M 2GB DDR5

While the specs may look more like a high end laptop than a powerful desktop I found the day to day performance on a par with my bleeding edge homebuilt tower..which by the way would blow the doors off the Dell on benchmarks..but as I have often said we don’t do benchmarks in normal use of computers and they serve only for bragging rights. Part of the impressive real world performance of the XPS One 27 is due to the the 32GB mSATA SSD iwhich s a MiniPCIe-sized board that works with Intel’s Smart Response Technology (SRT) to boot the system quickly, load apps quickly, and come back from sleep quickly. Essentially, the 32GB SSD acts like a hybrid drive with the 2TB main drive. You can’t see the SSD in Windows as a separate drive, but you will feel the extra performance compared to a similar system without SRT.

Performance wise the XPS One is great for most home, office  and multimedia applications but it is not a serious gaming machine..it. Most modern 3D games are only playable at 1600 x 900 or 1920 x 1080 at low-to-medium detail, and games played at those resolutions don’t look great when stretched to 2560 x 1440. Anyone who wants to do serious gaming will need to look elsewhere.

The Dell XPS One 27 comes with a decent amount of connectivity..for starters 802.11bgn wireless and Bluetooth 4 is  built in. There are four USB 3 ports on the black..even though they aren’t painted blue like most they are USB 3..as well as ethernet and a cable connector for the built in TV Tuner as well as  HDMI in  and out ports. You will also find a digital audio port.

On the left side there are another 2 USB 3 Ports..one is a “Sleep Charge” port which will remain active even though the system is off. That way, you can charge your tablet or phone. They are flanked by headset and mic jacks as well and a SD card adapted. The built in speakers provide surprisingly good audio with decent bass. On the right there is a slot loading DVD burner..Blu-ray is optional and the power button.

Right now this is the best all-in-one you can buy..a fantastic screen, really good audio and plenty of power for all but the most serious gamer. On fist blush the XPS One 27 is a tad on the pricey side..but you have to consider a comparable monitor alone would cost over $1000..thus the starting price of $1299.99 seems almost like a steal. The model I tested was the top of the line with a top of the line price of  $1999.99.. currently $300 off at $1699.99 in Canada. Available online from Dell

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Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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