Dell’s Canvas 27 ‘do surface’ works flat-out to boost your productivity

Over at CES, Dell has introduced its new Canvas, a spacious touchscreen that complements your existing PC and monitor setup, and acts as an innovative ‘do surface’ in the company’s words, along with its first VR-ready mobile workstation.

The Dell Canvas 27 is a 27-inch IPS touchscreen fashioned from Gorilla Glass, boasting a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and supporting 20 points of touch recognition.

The idea is that you lie it down close to horizontal in front of your monitor, and the display acts as a secondary workspace, allowing you to interact with applications via simple touch, a stylus or Dell’s ‘totems’.

The stylus is called the Canvas Pen and it comes equipped with two programmable buttons, and offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity (along with six interchangeable nibs). The totems are small physical objects which can be placed on and used to interact with the screen, in the same vein as the Surface Dial.

The Canvas 27 weighs in at 8.4kg and it boasts 100% Adobe RGB colour gamut coverage, and some neat touches like an integrated (magnetic) penholder.

Dell calls it an ‘interactive pen and touch display’ and the device should be out at the end of March priced at $1,799 (around £1,460, AU$2,490).

Precision 7720

Dell also unveiled its Precision 7720, a 17-inch mobile workstation with a premium design. It’s VR-ready courtesy of a choice of Kaby Lake processors and powerful graphics solutions from both AMD and Nvidia.

CPU-wise, the choice of Intel’s seventh-generation models runs from the Core i5-7300HQ through Core i7 processors and up to the Xeon E3-1535M v6.

On the graphics front, if you go Nvidia, you can pick from the Quadro P3000 with 6GB of video RAM up to the Quadro P5000 with 16GB. With AMD the choice is between a Radeon Pro WX 4130 with 2GB of memory, or a Radeon Pro WX 7100 with 8GB.

As for system memory, it’s possible to specify up to 64GB of DDR4 ECC RAM running at 2400MHz, or up to 32GB of DDR4 SuperSpeed memory clocked at 2667MHz.

Clearly, then, this is something of a beast of a machine when it comes to performance, and storage options run up to 4TB across three drives – one hard disk, one SATA SSD, and one PCIe NVMe SSD – with RAID support.

The 17.3-inch display can be a simple TN panel with a resolution of 1600 x 900, or you can step up to an IPS panel with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, or go all the way with a UHD IGZO screen (3840 x 2160) that offers 100% Adobe RGB colour gamut.

Dell is calling this model the world’s most powerful mobile workstation, and it will be available on February 28 with prices starting at $1,799 (around £1,460, AU$2,490).

Dell also has the Precision 5520 which is a 15.6-inch workstation along the same sort of lines, offering a similar selection of Kaby Lake processors and choice of Full HD or UHD IGZO screens, although you can only specify up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM (2400MHz) and there’s only one GPU choice: Nvidia’s Quadro M1200 with 4GB of memory.

This particular model is available now, however, with the price tag starting at $1,399 (around £1,135, AU$1,940).

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Workstation AIO

Dell also revealed a new workstation-class all-in-one, the Dell Precision 5720, which can be equipped with Kaby Lake or Skylake Xeon E3-1200 processors, up to 64GB of system RAM, and either Radeon Pro WX 4150 (4GB) or Radeon Pro WX 7100 (8GB) graphics solutions.

This AIO has a 27-inch UltraSharp 4K (3840 x 2160 resolution) screen – which can optionally be an InfinityEdge display – and the PC boasts an integrated 10 speaker sound system.

The Precision 5720 is due out in the first week of April with prices starting at $1,600 (around £1,300, AU$2,210).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).