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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.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.