Dell has been relatively quiet on the all-in-one PC front, but they haven't been idle. Today, it's announcing a fresh new look for it's Inspiron One all-in-ones, as well as lending the performance-oriented XPS brand to a new 27-inch all-in-one PC. The XPS One 27 all-in-one starts at $1,399, and it's equipped with a 27-inch display (a first for Dell) running at a 2560 x 1440 quad-HD resolution. Pixel density becomes especially important when you're dealing with a desktop this large, and during our (admittedly limited) hands on time the XPS One 27 didn't disappoint: images appeared bright and vibrant, while text and video complemented the spacious resolution well.
While attractive, the design isn't especially fresh. The edge-to-edge glass is a nice touch and complements the aluminum frame, but it sits on a fairly typical pedestal stand; you'll get a few degrees of tilt, but it lacks height adjustment options. The XPS One 27 also lacks a touchscreen — a common thread for the few 27-inch all-in-ones on the market.
The XPS One 27 will offer two Intel Ivy Bridge processors to choose from: the 2.8 GHz Core i5-3450s and the 3.1GHz Core i7-3770s. The standard XPS One 27 configuration offers 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. You can opt to dial the RAM up to 16GB, and storage options include up to 2TB of hard drive space, as well as configurations that couple the hard drive with a 32GB mSATA SSD. If you'd like to get some gaming done on something a bit beefier than Intel's HD 4000 integrated graphics, you can upgrade to a 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 640M.
The machine offers a fairly typical complement of ports and connectivity options. Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi are standard, and Intel's WiDi is available as an optional extra. The left side of the screen hosts the requisite headphone and mic jacks, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and a multi-format card reader. On the right, there's the power button and a slot-loading optical drive; DVD is standard, but there's also a Blu-ray option. The rear of the PC offers four more USB 3.0 ports (don't you just love Ivy Bridge?) though one was taken up by Dell's generic wireless keyboard and mouse combo. You'll also find the Gigabit Ethernet jack, S/PDIF optical audio output, HDMI in and out ports, as well as room for the optional TV tuner. The display's face offers touch-sensitive control buttons that light up once your hand hovers near them, and fade into the PC's frame when they're not in use. It's a nice touch, but the eject button on the far right is the only one that's clearly visible — good luck remembering what the rest of them do.
Also announced today are the Inspiron One 23 and One 20 all-in-ones, equipped with 23- and 20-inch screens, respectively. The Inspiron One 23 offers a Core i7-3770s at its highest configuration, but the rest of the line (and all Inspiron One 20s) will be saddled with second-generation, Sandy Bridge processors. Aesthetically they're very similar to the XPS One, but the specs harbor a few compromises: HDMI becomes an optional extra (replaced by a VGA output port), and some of the USB 3.0 ports are supplanted by older USB 2.0 parts. The Inspiron One 20 loses the slot-loading drive altogether, offering a traditional tray-loading drive (though Blu-ray remains an option). Smaller screen sizes beget smaller resolutions: 1920 x 1080 on the 23-inch model, and 1600 x 900 on the 20-inch model.
The Inspiron One 23 and Inspiron One 20 start at $749 and $529, respectively. Like the XPS One 27, they lack touchscreens, leaving all three of these new all-in-one PCs at a serious disadvantage once Windows 8 shows up (provided you care about touch, of course). There's no word from Dell on what its plans are later this year, but Microsoft's touch-centric operating system is bound to bring plenty of new finger-friendly all-in-one PCs, as well as breathing new life into old ones. The XPS One 27 and refreshed Inspiron One PCs are launching in parts of Asia today, and won't be arriving in the US for a few more weeks, so we'll just have to wait and see how they perform in the wild.