OK, our first look at the Dell XPS One’s gorgeous display didn’t leave us quite as flabbergasted as astronaut David Bowmanstaring into the monolith at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But the absolutely gorgeous Samsung PLS panel—with its 2560x1440 native resolution—did leave us a bit slack-jawed. The XPS One’s $2,000 price tag might have contributed to that reaction, too; then again, a 27-inch Samsung Series 9 display built using the same panel costs $1,200 all by itself.
Dell’s XPS One 27 is a gorgeous computer. You’ll have to decide if it’s $2,000 worth of gorgeous
The display and a host of other features account for the $500 price difference between the XPS One and the Asus ET2701, but the CPU, GPU, and memory aren’t among them. Both machines ship with a Core i7-3770S, an Nvidia GeForce GT640M, and 8GB of DDR3/1600. Dell and Asus split the benchmark wins, with Asus taking first place in two of the six benchmarks, and Dell finishing first in the other four (although the CrystalDisk test wasn’t exactly a fair fight, considering the XPS One is equipped with a 32GB SSD).
The XPS One’s other features include an integrated TV tuner, a remote control, and a vastly superior wireless keyboard. Dell also bundles facial-recognition software from Sensible Vision that you can use in place of typed passwords to log onto the computer and into websites. Once you’ve established your credentials—and your face—with the software, the computer will automatically log you out when you move away from the PC, and automatically log you back in when you return. We’ve seen facial-recognition technology like this before, but it’s never worked this fast. The system routinely logged us in within five seconds of sitting in front of the camera—and it took even less time to log us out when we moved out of the camera’s field of view.
The XPS One is the only machine in our roundup to provide USB 3.0 ports, exclusively: two on the left side and four in the back. The rear I/O panel also features both an HDMI inputandan HDMI output, so you can run a second monitor. The speakers get plenty loud to compete with environmental background noise, but there’s a S/PDIF digital audio output if you want to connect powered speakers that have a DAC.
The HDMI and S/PDIF outputs on the XPS One are much more useful than the VGA
A media card reader, mic input, and headphone output are also on the left-hand side. There’s a slot-feed Blu-ray player/DVD burner on the right-hand side, but it lacks an eject button. That’s aesthetically pleasing, but it’s silly to make the user rely on software to eject a disc.The power button is also on the right side, which is the next best place to put it. Asus was the only manufacturer that put the power button in front, where you can see it easily and not accidentally press it while you’re repositioning the computer.
Dell hits all the right notes with this design: The XPS One 27 fully justifies its lofty price tag in our book.
Dell XPS One 27
Super high-resolution display; HDMI and S/PDIF out; 32GB SSD.
PC must be powered on to use its HDMI input and to charge connected USB devices.