Earlier this year, Dell caught our attention with an all-in-one desktop that offered powerful performance, flexibility, and one of the best Windows 8 experiences found on a desktop PC. Freshly updated with Intel’s newest Haswell processor, the Dell XPS 27 Touch All-in-One (2720) continues to impress. With a gorgeous high-resolution touch display and a host of features, the Dell XPS One (2720) is the cream of the crop, and snags the Editors’ Choice for high-end all-in-one desktops from its predecessor.
Design and Features
The XPS 27 One (2720) features a big, beautiful touch screen, with an articulated stand to adjust both the height and angle, letting you easily transition between the normal upright monitor position to a low angle more comfortable for tapping and swiping at the screen. The 27-inch display offers 2,560-by-1,440 resolution, a better than 1080p quality, and an IPS panel that looks good from nearly any angle. It also offers capacitive touch with 10-finger tracking, making it ideal for use with Windows 8.
Surrounding the display is a thick black bezel, with a layer of edge-to-edge glass covering the screen and allowing edge swipes and other Windows 8 gestures. Just below the display is speaker bar “chin,” and the sound quality is quite good. The volume is robust but not so loud that you can’t turn it down to a reasonable level, and the clarity is as good as you’ll get without a separate speaker system. The sound quality is further boosted with Waves MaxxAudio software enhancement and 5.1 surround sound (via HDMI).
Included with the XPS 27 One (2720) are two wireless peripherals, a wireless mouse and keyboard. The mouse, while a little blocky in design, is pretty good, with an ambidextrous design. The keyboard is very good for a bundled accessory, with a simple design and sculpted chiclet keys that offer smooth typing action and more key motion than most chiclet keyboards offer.
The all-in-one chassis places the internal components behind the display, and while it may not be as trim as the Vizio 27-inch All-in-One Touch PC (CA27T-B1) (which shifts the components to the base) it’s still very self contained. Thanks to an internal power supply there’s no clunky power brick to clutter up your desk, and the XPS 27 One (2720) is outfitted with a slot-loading optical drive (DVD+-R/RW), two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot on the easily accessible edges of the monitor. Given the great display we might have liked Blu-ray to be standard, but alas, no.
On the back of the system you’ll find more ports. Two more USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports are great for most peripherals and storage devices, but media fanatics and video pros will welcome the addition of a Thunderbolt port. Previously found almost exclusively on Apple products, like the Apple iMac 27-Inch (Late 2012), Thunderbolt offers much faster data transfer than USB 3.0 (up to 10GBps), and opens up an array of options for not just storage, but also monitors (it doubles as a mini DisplayPort), with new peripherals on the horizon.
The XPS 27 One (2720) is also equipped with HDMI-in and -out connections, meaning that not only can you connect the all-in-one to a second monitor or projector, but you can also connect it to your game console or cable box and use the 27-inch display for TV and gaming. An Ethernet port is available for wired networking, but the XPS 27 One (2720) is also equipped with Kireless Wireless N 1202, which offers both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Last but not least, the 2-megapixel webcam above the screen offers 1080p video capture, and has a built-in lens cover to defuse any hacker-related paranoia.
A 2TB, 7200rpm hard drive offers spacious storage for all your data, and it’s paired with a 32GB solid-state drive to ensure rapid boot times and snappy performance. Preinstalled on the drive is Windows 8, along with a handful of apps and programs, like CyberLink Media Suite, and Amazon’s Kindle Reader. A 30-day trial of Microsoft Office 365 is pretty standard, but a one-year trial of McAfee Internet Security is rather generous. Dell also covers the XPS 2720 with a one-year warranty that includes tech support and remote diagnosis, in-home service, and premium phone support.
The XPS 27 One (2720) boasts a 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-4770s fourth-generation processor, a step up from the Intel Core i7-3770s used in the previous Dell XPS One 27 Touch. Paired with 8GB of RAM, the new CPU offers solid and speedy performance, but with only a narrow lead—the XPS 27 One (2720) scored 4,958 points in PCMark 7, where the previous iteration scored 4,905 points, and the quad-core equipped Vizio AIO came even closer with 4,926 points. Despite the similarity in scores, the new XPS 27 One (2720)’s Haswell processor is faster, with a Cinebench score of 7.55 points, and faster performance in processor-intensive tasks like video transcoding (32 seconds in Handbrake) and image manipulation (2 minutes 58 seconds in Photoshop).
The XPS 27 One (2720) is also outfitted with an Nvidia GeForce GT 750M discrete GPU. While this contributed to the impressive media performance, don’t expect high-powered gaming performance without sacrificing some detail. In 3DMark 11, the XPS scored 4,647 points at Entry settings, and 922 points at Extreme. In actual game tests, the XPS produced playable scores at lower resolution—55 frames per second (Alien vs. Predator) and 38 frames per second (Heaven)—but at full resolution, with the detail settings turned up, frame rates dropped to unplayable levels. If you’re willing to back off of the detail settings and drop the resolution a bit (to 1080p or so), you should still find most games playable.
Though the improvements are iterative, the new Dell XPS 27 Touch All-in-One (2720) impresses us with all the same details that made us fall in love with the previous XPS 27, and a boost in performance thanks to a new fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia graphics. It drops the Blu-ray player we liked, but accordingly drops the price, and still offers the best Windows experience we’ve seen in a desktop PC, making it a clear pick for Editors’ Choice.
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
|Storage Type||HDD, SSD|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GT 750M|
|Type||All-in-one, Touchscreen All-In-One|
|Processor Family||Intel Core i7|
|Monitor Type||LCD Widescreen|
|Primary Optical Drive||DVD+/-RW (Plus Minus)|
|Screen Size||27 inches|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||2032 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc