Dell XPS One 27 All-in-One Desktop, Ivy Bridge-Infused

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We often mention that TV tuners are great for college dwellers and anyone renting a studio apartment or otherwise cramped for space, but it's particularly feasible in this case since the XPS One 27 wields such a large size display. It's not going to replace your 65-inch HDTV, but if you lack space for such luxuries, there's really no reason why you would have to make room for a dedicated TV set if you own a capable AIO desktop like this one.



Your specific bundle will depend on how you configure your XPS One 27, but at minimum, you can expect to receive a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, media center remote, various documentation, and drivers/utilities disc. Dell doesn't include a Windows disc or restore CD, though you can roll your own backup disc using the included software (see below).

The keyboard is pretty nice as far as Bluetooth planks go, with chiclet style keys that are slightly concave. It's mostly comfortable to type on and lightweight enough to lay on your lap. We also appreciate that it includes a numpad and dedicated arrow keys, albeit the latter is a little squished, which can be challenging to deal with if you use them to play games.

We're less thrilled with the clunky Bluetooth mouse, which is your standard-fare rodent devoid of any side buttons or special features to speak of. It is, however, ambidextrous, much to the delight of left-handed users and chagrin of right-handed users who are accustomed to being catered do.

Finally, Dell includes a power cord, and just the cord. The actual power supply is integrated into the chassis, so there's no power brick to contend with.



We're used to seeing squeaky clean desktops from boutique system builders and from rolling our own rigs, but it's extra special to find them on bulk OEM systems because it defies our expectations. To Dell's credit, the company's XPS line has mostly avoided loading up system builds with third-party crud, and the XPS One 27 is another example of that philosophy. The desktop on our review system wasn't littered with icons -- just a Recycle Bin -- nor was it bloated with performance robbing programs loading in the background.

The result is that our system cold booted into Windows in just 37 seconds and shutdown in 13 seconds, and that's after we loaded it up with a bunch of benchmarks and testing utilities. It's also after the mSATA SSD had a chance to properly cache the boot drive.

Dell didn't pre-load our system with any antivirus software, and as power users, we prefer this approach to the popular alternative, which is to plop a trial version of a paid security suite. At the same time, this could be disservice to less savvy computer users, which puts Dell and other bulk OEMs in a precarious situation. Ideally, we'd like to see Microsoft Security Essentials installed on OEM systems, which is a serviceable (and free) antivirus program that obviously integrates well with Windows.



Dell may not have pre-loaded the XPS One 27 with a bunch of useless third-party software, but it didn't totally neglect the software side, either. CyberLink's PowerDVD 9.5 is included so you can watch DVDs and, in this case, Blu-ray movies as well.

This is an older version of PowerDVD (version 12 is the latest), but it didn't matter to Robert Downey, Jr. when we fired up a Blu-ray of Iron Man, which looked superb on the 27-inch PLS display.


The XPS One 27 boasts a Full HD webcam that, during our tests, tracked smoothly and looked awfully sexy (or just awful if you don't dig 1990s style goatees). It also includes a dual digital microphone array for Skype stalwarts.

Working in tandem with the webcam, if you want it to, is FastAccess Facial Recognition software that you can use to login in lieu of using a password (or for added security if you opt to use both).



Since Dell doesn't include restore media by default -- or at least didn't with our setup -- you'll want to grab hold of a few optical discs and roll your own before you go mucking around the operating system. This will give you a safety net if something goes terribly wrong, whether from a virus or a poorly coded program that manages to bork Windows.

Dell's DataSafe backup utility pops up on its own after awhile, so unless you're really quick to mess things up, this shouldn't be an issue. And if you are accident prone and computer illiterate, call your nephew to save the day and toss him a Microsoft Points or iTunes card for his trouble.

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Comments
Dave_HH 2 years ago

Really nice machine by Dell here. iMac killer?

mhenriday 2 years ago

Thanks for the review, Paul ! Frankly, I have difficulty understanding the «space-saving» hype that always accompanies this form factor - after all, the all-in-one does have to be placed on a desk or a table (somehow, I suspect that few will choose to place this 16 kg bemoth on their lap and many will probably find it difficult to move around on a desk), which means that there's always room for a system unit (box) under the desk/table, unless that space is already occupied by the family dog. That being said, this does, indeed, look like a unit of whose preformance one needn't be ashamed ; I'm particularly impressed by the inclusion of that Samsung PLS panel, which by all reports should be a joy to use and which I'm seriously considering purchasing for my latest standard build, even if it means also shelling out for a new video card with the capacity to drive the monitor (which, for comparison with regard to mobility, weights only 6.6 kg). One question remains in my mind, however - how hot will the unit run in that relatively cramped space behind the panel and therewith, how long will it last ? As you pointed out, «Drinksropping two large on a system in today's economy is not a decision to be made lightly» ; one would like to know that, e g, the motherboard isn't going to give up the ghost due to overheating and poor ventilation....

Henri

karanm 2 years ago

Got to see a PLS panel in person and it is absolutely gorgeous, although I don't know if I would sacrifice the touch screen for that panel. In my opinion windows 8 is the perfect companion for AIO's but only if they have a touch screen.

Nathanthephotog 2 years ago

Just goes to show how ridiculously overpriced standalone 27 inch monitors that boast more than 1080p are.

alexorangutan 2 years ago

Intel says the i7-3770S is a quad-core processor - maybe you know better?

alexorangutan 2 years ago

I'm sure that was a type-o (halfway down the thrid page) when you described it as "one of Intel's new 22nm Ivy Bridge processors, a dual-core CPU clocked at 3.10GHz..." This is really a fine and thorough review by the way, though I did read elsewhere that the noise-level from the fans (and the thermal design as a whole) is a more serious issue on the XPS One 27 than you make it out be here

Dave_HH 2 years ago

Good catch and corrected, alexorangutan! Thanks. We had it listed correctly in other areas of the article.

lancorp 2 years ago

I just received one of these and wanted to clarify a couple of things that the reviewer got wrong.

First, the keyboard and mouse are not Bluetooth. They use a traditional USB nano-receiver just like Logitech, etc., except the receiver is hidden inside the 2710 (under a trap door on the bottom). I like the keyboard (not the mouse, so much) but mine didn't work because apparently my receiver and KB/mouse were mismatched at the factory.

Second, the back is not aluminum. It's plastic. Also, for those who want to "upgrade" their 2710, it is VERY easy to take the back off (two screws and it slides right off). Once the back cover is off, the hard drive, memory and other critical components are just a few screws from being completely accessible.

Also, for those interested, the 2710 does seem to support RAID (in the BIOS, but there are only two SATA ports, so you have to lose your DVD drive if you want to add, say, two SSD's to the system. Also, SATA 1 seems to be a 3GBps port, and SATA0 is 6GBps. Bummer.

Lastly, there is an issue (at least with mine) with the fans. Once the cooling fans ramp up during heavy usage, they stay there. They don't slow back down once things cool off. Rebooting the system resets the fans. I'm sure that's a BIOS issue of some sort. Overall, the system CPU and GPU run hotter than I think they should. The CPU is around 50C when idle and the GPU (nVidia) is in the 60C's when idle. (using HWINFO64 for readings). When I had the back off, the heatpipes and CPU heatsink were burning hot!

Overall, though, it's a nice system with the latest tech and a beautiful screen (good like an iMac!).

mhenriday 2 years ago

Thanks for your posting, Iancorp ; it's always of great interest to hear from users who have practical experience of the system being discussed ! You seem to confirm my suspicions with respect to ventilation problems, which I suspect are going to limit the longevity of the system. I hope, however, that you don't encounter these difficulties....

 

Henri 

lancorp 2 years ago

Me too!  Because of the KB/Mouse problem and now the fans, I may ask for a replacement and once I receive that, I'll re-paste the CPU and GPU.

The GPU just has a heatsink/fan on it, just like a traditional video card, no heatpipe.  The CPU has the heatpipe and an exhaust fan blowing on the radiator out the top/center.  Still that heatpipe and heatsink are blazing hot!

 

 

mhenriday 2 years ago

Well, Iancorp, you can count yourself lucky that it's a Dell and, according to the review, easy to work on for an All-in-One, rather than, say, a new Mac Book Pro, which as Paul Lilly pointed out in this review (http://hothardware.com/News/Teardown-Reveals-New-MacBook-Pro-Models-a-Bear-to-Repair/), seems to be specifically designed to keep users from performing any maintenance at all, including replacing the battery....

Henri

ivamg one year ago

I wish to upgrade processor and graphic card by myself.

I wish to upgrade CPU to i7-3770s (I have i5-3450s now), and Graphic card to GTX 675MX (MXM 3b) - I have GT 640M now.

Does existing motherboard allow to make this upgrades? Does it have sockets for CPU and Graphic card to upgrade them?

lancorp one year ago

While you can upgrade the CPU by changing the chip in the existing socket, if you have an i5 without GPU now, then you've actually got a blank spot on the motherboard.  No socket.  No way to add a GPU.  

BUT, the i5-3450s has the lowly Intel 2500 integrated graphics, but the i7-3770s has the MUCH MUCH better Intel 4000 Graphics.

So, while you are limited, the i7 choice will give you more speed in both processing AND graphics.

Otherwise, you need to sell your current unit and check out the Dell Outlet for some great deals on i7 units.  This week I picked up a fully equipped i7 unit for $1000.  Dell has a coupon sale right now that applies.

NJM 2 years ago

This is a lovely machine with a top notch spec. Saw it yesterday on the Dell site with £200 off!!

Not too sure about the issue of overheating that has been mentioned on here. All computers run hot, that is why they have fans!!

Yes, the all in ones are more compact etc, but the iMac 27" all in one has been out on the market for ages now and there are no problems with that to my knowledge. Also, as these machines (iMacs) are used mostly in the design industry in an office environment, they are much more likely to be on ALL day as opposed to a couple of hours for personal use.

I raised this issue with Dell UK who say they are unaware of any problems and certainly have not had any complaints about overheating from this or any other all in one model

mhenriday 2 years ago

Here a comment from a person who makes a living repairing computers....

Henri

geeks2you one year ago

Fixing all-in-one computers can be a bit more difficult than standard desktop towers. However it isn't impossible. Geeks 2 You has been doing it reliably for a long time now.

mhenriday one year ago

Geeks 2 You, have your noticed any differences with regard to type, frequency, and severity in the problems you are called upon to repair on all-in-one computers, on the one hand, and those you see on conventional desktops, on the other ?...

Henri

MarkChing one year ago

I use currently I mac 27" in windows mode (yes i know cutting resources in half), designer by trade, heavy vector, heavy rastor, getting in to video ... how does this machine match-up to imac for processing and speed ?

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