Dell XPS One review

Dell's all-in-one faces up to Apple, so how does it fare?

Dell XPS One all-in-one desktop
Although the build is one of super high quality, the XPS One is a bit on the slow and noisy side

TechRadar Verdict

A highly desirable machine, but too costly and strangely noisy to buy


  • +

    Robust design and construction

  • +

    Brilliant screen


  • -

    It costs how much? Really?

  • -

    Super loud in operation

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Dell's XPS is 'One', because behind that shiny 24-inch panel is all the computer you'll ever need – no tower required. It's also 'One' because every time someone talks about it, they automatically feel obliged to add the definitive article. We'll be making a point of not doing that.

If you're going to get all messianic on us, you crazy marketing men, you've got to be able to deliver the superlative computing experience – and unfortunately Dell's latest XPS doesn't quite do that. It's close, yes, but isn't good enough to take the Matrix-inspired title.

The first thing that Dell gets right is the screen. It's a stunning IPS affair that's clear, accurate and has the stylish viewing angles of a fish-eye lens. The speakers, too, aren't just there to give it an endearingly jug-eared look – they're a decent enough pair that make other similarly unified computers sound flat.

In fact, the whole machine reeks of quality. It feels tough and well-rounded. A solid, V-shaped body is supported by an unflinching hinge, mounted on a hefty glass base. Along the side of the panel are capacitive touch controls for media, and the Bluetooth keyboard with its integrated trackpad is an object lesson in how it should be done.

Sure, Apple's iMac has a more refined and elegant look, but we wouldn't kick the Dell off our desktop in the morning. So why does the name leave the faint ring of hubris lingering in our ears?

First up, there's the price. The quad-core chip is nice, but the whole thing is held back by a middling mobile graphics card, which means gaming is pretty much out of the question.

So it's not quite the all-rounder you'd expect for that much cash. You could buy two quad-core Advent 200s for that and still have enough money left over to ease your brand-name envy.

Benchmarks: With fairly poor scores all round, you wont squeeze many pixels out of this machine

Worse, though, is the noise it produces. The iMac and Sony JS are silent – as you'd expect a computer that sits three inches from your face to be. The XPS, on the other hand, is blowy at the best of times and positively unpleasant when playing back a Blu-ray movie.

It's a shame, because we really do like the XPS One and if it were just a little better we'd be campaigning to make it the standard desktop PC here at Future Towers.

All it needs is a better cooling solution and a superior graphics card and it would be a superb all-rounder. And for this amount of money, that's what you'd expect to be getting.

As it is, though, the XPS is less a Matrix-style supermachine and more a Dick Emery also-ran. Well, it's a One, isn't it?