Dell XPS One 27 review

28 Jan 2013

A fine all-in-one PC with great build quality and a glorious 27in display, but we'd advise against the optional touchscreen

Price when reviewed 
1,700
5

All-in-one PCs are nothing new, but the Dell XPS One 27 is enough to make anyone sit up and pay attention. As the crowning glory of Dell’s all-in-one range, this behemoth mounts a 27in IPS display atop a flexible stand, and crams in as much top-flight hardware as your credit card can handle. Now that it’s available with an optional touchscreen, this premium-priced all-in-one looks to be the perfect match for Windows 8.

Where Apple’s latest iMacs major on stick-thin slenderness, Dell’s XPS One 27 opts for a more heavyweight build. Levering the hefty 16kg chassis out of the box immediately reassures as to the Dell’s burly build quality, and with the chassis finished in a mixture of metal and soft-touch black plastics, it’s as stylish as Windows all-in-one PCs get. This is every inch the luxury all-in-one PC.

Dell XPS One 27 - front with keyboard and mouse

Living large

The star of the show is the 27in display. With a huge 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, the Windows 8 Start screen is blown up to massive, pin-sharp proportions, and there’s enough space to spread several applications across the desktop side by side.

Image quality is very good indeed. It's not quite up there with the best 27in monitors we’ve seen, but there’s little cause for complaint. Both photographs and movies sparkle with life thanks to the screen’s glossy finish, and the 297cd/m2 maximum brightness and 697:1 contrast ratio help to deliver vivid, punchy images. If there’s any reason to nitpick, it’s due to the Dell’s colour reproduction: with an average Delta E deviation of 4.7, the panel’s colour palette isn’t as accurately rendered as the best 27in monitors.

Cram a Blu-ray into the XPS One 27’s optical drive, however, and you’re unlikely to care. The inky blacks and bright whites of the IPS display lend high-definition images tremendous punch, and it does a good job of keeping motion smooth and smear-free. Allied with a decent pair of integrated speakers, the XPS One 27 makes a convincing media PC. There isn’t as much bass, nor the clarity of dedicated speaker sets, but Waves’ MaxxAudio software makes the most of the hardware at hand. And if only the best will do, there are both analog and optical digital outputs available on the XPS One 27’s back panel for ferrying audio to external speakers.

Dell XPS One 27 - keyboard and mouse

Covering the Dell’s display with fingerprints won’t be anyone’s first impulse, but its touchscreen encourages you to do just that. The panel supports full ten-point multitouch, and all the usual Windows 8 edge-swipe gestures. It’s just as responsive as the best touchscreen devices we’ve used, and Dell has also bundled a compact wireless keyboard and mouse for normal usage. The keyboard’s slightly concave Scrabble-tile keys grip the finger nicely, and the mouse, while a mite plasticky, is comfy and accurate.

The Dell’s adjustable stand helps you to get the most from the XPS One 27’s touchscreen. This provides 80mm of height adjustment, and cranes right down to desk level, tilting backwards for more comfortable touch operation. Unlike some touchscreen PCs we’ve seen, however, it doesn’t fold back completely flat, instead tilting to around 30 degrees.

Details

Price ex VAT £1,417
Price inc VAT £1,700
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Warranty

Warranty 1yr on-site

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 2,032GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Screen size 27.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency 3.10GHz
Processor socket FCLGA1155

Motherboard

Motherboard chipset Intel H77
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 0
Memory sockets total 0

Graphics card

3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 4000/Nvidia GeForce GT 640M
DVI-I outputs 0
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0
Number of graphics cards 2

Hard disk

Capacity 2.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 1.81TB
Internal disk interface SATA/600
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 make and model Samsung PM830
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity 32GB
Hard disk 2 spindle speed N/A

Drives

Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader

Monitor

Resolution screen horizontal 2,560
Resolution screen vertical 1,440
Resolution 2560 x 1440
Contrast ratio 697:1
Screen brightness 297cd/m2
DVI inputs 0
HDMI inputs 1
VGA inputs 0
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Speaker type Stereo
Peripherals Wireless keyboard/mouse

Case

Case format All-in-one
Dimensions 664 x 249 x 501mm (WDH)

Rear ports

eSATA ports 1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
3.5mm audio jacks 3

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 8
Recovery method Recovery partition

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 76W
Peak power consumption 155W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 155fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.94
Responsiveness score 0.73
Media score 1.08
Multitasking score 1.00