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Dell XPS One 27: Can An All-In-One Make Us Love Windows 8?

Meet Dell's XPS One Touch 27

Windows 8 represents Microsoft’s first earnest effort to bring mobile users back to the desktop (Ed.: Or is it the other way around?), where they can find huge quantities of local storage and vast computing resources to be more productive, create content, and game in a truly enveloping environment. A 5" screen just can't hold a candle to three 1920x1080 displays for any of those tasks.

For those of us glued to our desktops, not necessarily concerned about a convergence of phones, tablets, game consoles, and PCs, the Windows 8 interface is jarring. We saw it from your comments as soon as the operating system debuted. But we've been using it since last year and navigate around it fairly smoothly, particularly on multi-monitor configs that circumvent that interface almost entirely.

What about the folks using Windows 8 on a PC with a single screen? That's where the operating system seems to run into most of the resistance. The one thing hurting Microsoft the most with its touch-based interface is the lack of PCs with touchscreens.

Dell saw that coming.

If you have a mobile device with Windows on it, you already know that consistency between interfaces is nice. Really, though, you want functionality to match. A touchscreen turns Dell’s XPS One 27 from a device that resembles a super-sized tablet to a device that actually works a lot like one. And that capability adds only $200 to the price of the most entry-level $1,399 model.

Of course, Dell wants to show off. So we're testing something a little (lot) more deluxe.

Dell XPS One Touch 27 (2710) $2599 Configuration
PlatformIntel LGA 1155, H77 Express, Embeded PCIe Graphics
CPUThird-Generation Intel Ivy Bridge-Based Core i7-3770S (3.1-3.9 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, 65 W Max TDP)
RAM2x Nanya NT8GC64B8HB0NS-DI (2 x 8 GB) DDR3-1600 SO-DIMM, CL11
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GT 640M: 645 MHz, 2 GB GDDR5-4000
DisplayCapacitive Touch 27" LED Backlit Glossy LCD, 2560x1440
Webcam2.0 Megapixel w/dual microphone and sliding cover
AudioRealtek Integrated HD Audio with Waves MaxxAudio 4
SecurityKensington Security Slot
Storage
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda ST2000DM001: 2 TB, 7,200 RPM, 64 MB Cache, SATA 6Gb/sSamsung MZMPC032HBCD-00000: 32 GB MLC Cache Drive, mSATA 6Gb/s
Optical DriveHL-DS 8x Slot Loading DVD Burner/BDR Combo HL-DT-ST DVDRWBD CT40N
Media Drive8-in-1 SDXC/MMC/MS/xD flash media interface
Networking
Wireless LANIntel Advanced-N 6235 802.11n PCIe
Wireless PANIntegrated Bluetooth Transceiver on Wireless Combo Card
Gigabit NetworkAtheros AR8161 PCIe 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
IEEE-1394None
TelephonyNone
Peripheral Interfaces
USB6 x USB 3.0 (4-rear, 2-side)
Expansion Card1 x empty Mini PCIe (for optional TV tuner)
External Hard DriveUSB-only
AudioHeadphone, Microphone, Rear Out, SPDIF
VideoHDMI Out, HDMI In (Display-Only)
General Stats
WeightPC 34.4 lbs, Peripherals 1.6 lbs, Total 36 pounds
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Edition, OEM
WarrantyOne-year parts/Labor w/In-Home Service

The extra $1,000 brings with it a slew of upgrades, including the Core i7-3770S CPU, 16 GB RAM, the 32 GB SSD cache drive, a 2 TB hard drive, and Blu-ray reader/DVD burner.

  • JohnUSA
    A very important and crucial point: Touch screens are doomed to fail as users will find out soon that their arm, wrist and hand will get tired and sore soon as they keep extending their arms to use this pain producing gadget.
    Who ever invented the desktop touch monitor should be shot.
    Reply
  • fnh
    JohnUSAA very important and crucial point: Touch screens are doomed to fail as users will find out soon that their arm, wrist and hand will get tired and sore soon as they keep extending their arms to use this pain producing gadget.Who ever invented the desktop touch monitor should be shot.
    There's probably some use for a touchscreen-desktop monitor productivity-wise.

    But as a Windows 8 saviour? Hell no!
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    The alternate review is a great Value-addition to this article.
    Its important to get a informal, subjective review from a general user. Numbers are very important, but they dont tell the complete picture.

    +1 for more "Average Joe" impressions in gadget reviews.
    Reply
  • killerclick
    Touchscreens on desktops will never go mainstream. It's just a fad they're trying to push, like 3D was a few years back. People don't like to have to sit close to screens and use their arms to control them - that's why TVs have remotes. Touchscreens on desktops solve nothing and improve nothing. Sure it's more intuitive to touch something than point and click, but anyone who can't figure out pointing and clicking won't get much out of using a computer anyway.
    Touchscreens on laptops might suck less as a concept, but laptop screens suck by design because they're so small.
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    JohnUSAA very important and crucial point: Touch screens are doomed to fail as users will find out soon that their arm, wrist and hand will get tired and sore soon as they keep extending their arms to use this pain producing gadget.Who ever invented the desktop touch monitor should be shot.I find these all-in-one touch screens helpful for kiosks, data centers, production, (kitchen - maybe :P), POS, as a replacement for other tools such as keyboards and mouse - simply for convenience. But yes, not a tool to be used for 8hours work in-front of a computer. And if you would have this for those application I mentioned, this is too damn expensive and ludicrous!
    Reply
  • ta152h
    Quick answer, no.

    Touchscreen has no place on a desktop, unless you have Felix Unger with plastic gloves touching it. It's messy, and it's hard not to feel like a retard while using it.

    This is a solution in search of a problem. I haven't heard too many complaints on the keyboard/mouse interface. I have heard plenty of complaints about Windows 8.
    Reply
  • thinslicedbread
    Every time Tom's (or any other site for that matter) posts anything about Windows 8 or touch-screen PC's you always, ALWAYS, get people who instantly denounce such products almost as if they are "of the devil himself". As a power user, or anyone who actually comes to Tom's to read "tech-y" articles - Yes, Windows 8 is probably not for you. That's fine and dandy. But I get so tired of people just instantly proclaiming Windows 8 a failure because of the changes that Microsoft has made to it. While no, it does not have a start button, anyone who has used it for more than a day can tell you that it doesn't really matter. I tap the Windows key and start typing what I want and Windows finds it for me. The start screen gives me a quick overview of important applications without having to actually OPEN the application to find the information. I love my ASUS Vivo Tablet (Windows RT), and I find myself using that more often than my laptop or desktop when I just want to look something up or read and respond to an email.

    Case in point: I set my girlfriend up with what I thought was a really nice setup. A touch screen AIO in her spare room. It had (read: HAD) Windows 7 on it. She was constantly complaining about how she hated it when it either did not register her touches or the limited gestures that I so painfully set up. She went months without even turning the damn thing on. She complained that she couldn't do anything with it because it was just too hard to get a simple task done.
    Windows 8 comes out last October and I figure I'd give it a shot and if she still didn't like it, I'd have an extra computer in my man cave for something. I can't keep her off the thing. She absolutely loves it. She loves the live tiles, how it recognizes her gestures, how easy it is to navigate. I could go on...
    What I wish people would realize is that Windows 8, while it will probably not be as widely accepted as our beloved Windows 7, it is still a pretty solid step forward. If you are a power user (myself included) you will probably never install W8 on your desktop or even your laptop. But it is a fantastic piece of software that can change how people use computers.
    Reply
  • magic couch
    On the file compression page the graphs show winRAR being faster than 7zip yet the article says 7zip is faster. Were the graphs reversed?
    Reply
  • edwuave
    instead of touch, bundle with Kinect motion control = so much win.
    Reply
  • clifftam
    It looks like a PC version of an iMac to me.
    Reply