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Now This Is Computing; Dell Has a Winner Here, or Take That Apple

  • Mar 8, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
Pros: Great performance, slim design; beautiful display; 6 USB Ports

Cons: None have come to light yet.

The Bottom Line: The Dell XPS-One is a high performance workhorse that will more than meets my current computing needs and future computer needs; I swear.

Anyone in my household will attest that I do not need yet another PC. They would undoubtedly argue that the house is overflowing with PC’s of every size and description. They would be partially right, the house has a considerable number of PC’s, but they all serve a purpose, and let’s face it I make my living from “playing” with PC’s. So when my favorite software company released a new version of their back-up solution, one that could be ideal for my client-base, I had to try it out. Problem: it requires a stand-alone server and I had none available. So rather than buy a new server platform I decided to re-purpose my primary desktop and purchase a new. After much internal debate, I choose the Dell XPS-One Desktop PC.

Like I stated above I spent a considerable amount of time debating about what kind of system to get, but in the end I decided that I was tired of the big bulky desktop and I wanted something more streamline instead. Streamline, but powerful and with all of the flexibility (or close to it) of a traditional tower-type PC. The Dell XPS-One comes closer than any other all-n-one computer I researched, even the vaunted Apple iMac. Dell engineered the PC around a beautiful 20” diagonal active matrix digital flat screen display, with Intel’s newest Core Duo 64-bit processors /w a whopping 4MB of L2 cache.

Packed into the rear of the display is a 320GB SATA-II hard drive, 2GB DDR2 dual channel memory, DVD/RW drive, and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400 video card. Dell shipped my XPS-One with Microsoft Vista Home Premium; I wanted Vista Ultimate but that was not a configurable choice. In fact very little about the XPS-One can be configured; the systems are all pre-built for quick shipment. In fact I got my system a scan two days after I ordered it!

The Computer

In The Box

o Dell XPS-One desktop computer
o Quick Installation Guide
o User’s Guide
o Wireless Keyboard & Mouse
o Software Media

Computer as Configured:

o Processor Family: Intel Core2 Duo E6550 (2.20GHz 4MB L2 Cache)
o Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium
o Installed RAM: 2.0GB DDR2 SDRAM @ 667MHz
o Hard Drive Capacity: 350GB SATA II 7200RPM w/DataBurst Cache
o Graphics Card: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400
o Primary Optical Drive: 8x CD-RW/DVD Combination Drive
o Secondary Optical Drive: None
o Network Interface Card (NIC): Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet
o Media Card Reader: 8-n-1
o Speakers: Dell built-in
o Monitor Type: Widescreen digital LCD
o Screen Size: 20 inches

Dell designed the XPS-One for the home user as an entry-level media-center computer. There are a total of (6) USB 2.0 ports on the XPS-One; four on the back of the unit, and two on the left side of the display where the speakers are installed. There is also one Firewire port on the back as well as an RJ-45 port and an s-video port. A small webcam sits on top of the display.

The coolest features of the XPS-One are the multi-media controls that line the lower right hand side of the display. They are touch sensitive; just wave your hand in front of them and they light up in a pretty blue that is easy to see against the black background of the display. To the right of them sits the lone DVD/CD player, which lights up in a semi-circle blue when I disk is inserted.

Another “cool” feature of the XPS-One is the wireless keyboard and mouse that ship with the computer. I like to look and feel of the keyboard, which has an on/off switch and highly functional keypad. The wireless mouse—a Logitech—is responsive, but far too basic for my tastes. The transceiver for both units in hidden inside the computer, so one of the USB ports is not taken up.

Software

In addition to Windows Vista Home Premium, Dell for includes a 15-month subscription to Symantec’s Norton Protection Center, which includes antivirus, inbound firewall, anti-spam, and privacy protection. Other software titles include: Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007, Roxio Creator & My DVD 9.0 DE, Adobe Elements Studio, and Adobe Photo Elements 6.0. This is in addition to a bevy of other useless, space-wasting software that I quickly removed.

CD-ROM and or DVD media is included with the computer, making re-installation easy. And yes the Windows Vista software is also in the box!

First Impressions:

I am in love with my new Dell XPS-One! Yes, all you iMac users out there, the folks in the PC world are cable of building a stable and user friendly computer every bit as fun as an Apple. Despite what might think of Windows Vista, the OS is stable and well-behaving on the right hardware platform. I can hear the snickers from the Mac crowd and I understand your derision, but Vista has it good points.

The XPS-One is a good compromise between size and performance. The 20” display gives me plenty of room—I now have no problem fitting two applications on the desktop side-by-side for instance—and fits nicely on my desk.

Service and Support

Dell takes my enjoyment of the XPS-One experience very seriously; case-in-point: I received an email with a plethora of support information a few days after I received the unit. I have never received an email after purchasing other Dell home systems before and I have purchased my fair share. In addition, my unit comes with a 2-year in-home warranty that comes with 24/7-access to phone and online help as well.

Dell provides a full featured user’s manual with the XPS-One as well as a cleaning cloth for the screen. A set of head-bud’s and a microphone complete the computers load-out.

Upgrades

Both the hard drive and memory in the XPS-One can be upgraded. The back cover can be removed by lying the unit down on its face and removing to retaining screws on the bottom. The XPS-One will take a total of 4GB of RAM in two slots; I checked before I purchased the unit and addition RAM can be had at Crucial.com or Kingston.com for a fair price. The computer can be fitted with DDR2 SDRAM @ 667MHz or 800MHz.

Conclusion

The Dell XPS-One all-n-one computer is powerful home workstation that is more than adequate for Windows Vista and Media Center duties, and is fitting replacement for my now re-purposed desktop tower computer. Though a tad expensive, the XPS-One is wonderfully engineered, attractive (love the smoky glass base) and easy to master. And despite the rather mundane sounding speakers, I love the fact I no longer have to have my former space-hogging Altec Langsing’s on and under my desk.

The Dell XPS-One is a high performance workhorse that will more than meets my current computing needs and future computer needs; I swear.


Recommended:
Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 1799.00
Operating System: Windows
Processor: Other
Processor speed: over 1000
RAM: More than 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): Over 50

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About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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The Dell XPS One dxcwrk2 comes with 667 MHz processor. Features hard drive with 20 GB capacity.
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