Friday, January 06, 2017

Dell’s new XPS 27 All in One 2017 introduced at CES

Precision 27 5000 Series All-in-One Workstation

Dell has just revealed the all-new XPS 27 all-in-one refresh this year. They haven’t updated this product segment for nearly four years so it was really due for an upgrade. I’m currently using the last-generation, Dell XPS 2720 and it still is an awesome beast of a machine albeit with a quite older 4th-gen Haswell Intel i7 CPU.

So what’s new?

1. Display

First really the obvious one is the display. This one packs a UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD display with a resolution bump to 3840x2160 (from the old 2560x1440). I can attest that the XPS 27 has gorgeous IPS panels that are factory color calibrated.

It also uses Dell’s Infinity Display technology with edge to edge display allowing for more thinner bezels at the expense of your webcam’s location. Speaking, the old 2720’s had a unique but critical security feature on their webcams, they had a toggle cover that you can flip to show the webcam, or hide it when not in use – these new ones doesn’t seem to have that thanks to being integrated below and due to Windows Hello needing to see you all the time.

2. Build Chassis

The new XPS 27 now uses aluminum instead of the plastic (that resembled aluminum) This should make the unit tougher and more solid – no more creaking and bending plastic I guess. I just hope that servicing this unit is still easily like the one it replaced.

3. Speakers

While the XPS 2720 had pretty average all-in-one speakers, the MaxxAudio plugin that Dell included makes up for it. This new one obviously would sound better since it has 10 speakers and front-facing at that.



Complete technical specs:

  • Display: UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD 3840x2160 Edge to edge
  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700 Processor
  • Memory: 8, 16, 32GB. Supports up to 64GB Memory
  • Storage: 2TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive + 32GB mSATA SSD
  • Ports: 4x USB3, 1x HDMI-out, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 2x Thunderbolt 3, Ethernet port
  • Camera: 720p Windows Hello compliant
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0

Differences from the old XPS 27 AIO

1. No HDMI-In

One thing that I noticed on this newer model spec is that it removed the HDMI-In port of the last model. I’m not sure why they did this but this makes the display kinda useless if you only want to use the display with your game console or video player - with this, you can’t. (the Surface Studio also doesn’t have HDMI-In). This really negates the beauty of the display.

I have used my XPS 27 display for playing Xbox games before and while I haven’t used it for a while now, it adds more value to this device in cases where the machine innards will become outdated and you can still salvage and use the high-end and expensive display for other purposes or for a secondary monitor.

2. Increased RAM slots

More RAM slots the better. So this new one is better - up to 64GB Ram. Wow.

3. No Blu-ray Player

This one is really not that important but a Blu-ray player on a desktop machine is pretty useful than none at all.

4. External USB Receiver (for Mouse and Keyboard)

The last model had kept the Logitech unifying receiver inside the machine. It has the exact same dongle and was plugged on an internal USB socket. So technically, that socket can still be used in the future for a small usb drive which is great. However, this new one only has 1 USB slot on the side of the machine (as opposed to 2 usb slots on the old) wherein that small dongle will reside. It doesn’t look nice with it protruding an all – not a problem if you use Bluetooth peripherals though.

Pricing and Availability

Dell XPS 27 AIO is available on in the U.S. starting at $1,499.99.

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