When Dell launched its big-hearted XPS One RED last year, we liked it a lot. It had a few flaws that left us preferring simpler, cheaper all-in-ones like the Apple iMac or Asus EeeTop, but it was a promising start.
Now the One is back in the form of the XPS One 24. It's bigger, it's better and most importantly it's cheaper than before. The question is, do we recommend it now?? ?
The most obvious refinement is, of course, the screen. The huge 24in panel is – by the looks of it – an IPS-powered monster and every one of its 1920x1200 pixels look beautiful.
Crisp, colourful and accurate, it's a massive improvement on the 20in screen, and far better reflects the build quality of the rest of the machine.
This starts off, as before, with the hefty glass bass and works its way through a very solid single unit with a tilting stand. There's no height adjustment, but at the same time there's no slippage from the grippy hinge.
Like its smaller sibling, there's an array of finger sensitive buttons on the front for media controls, and an excellent keyboard with integrated trackpad that makes navigating the One almost as easy as the touch screen HP Touchsmart IQ800.
The V-shaped rear means it's bulkier than an equivalent iMac, but all in all, it's a successfully tasteful design.
Inside, the One 24 has had more than a couple of upgrades. The CPU is a powerful quad core processor, and it's coupled with a GeForce 9600M graphics card.
Note the suffix there, though – the telltale sign that this is a laptop 3D chip, and is therefore still a little underpowered for HD gaming on the One 24.
Still, this makes no pretensions to be a games machine. The trouble is that it's haunted by the same major flaw as the original XPS One: it's just too noisy for a PC you can't stick under the desk to muffle.
Movie playback is hampered by the audible DVD spin, and the processor fan shifts from Gale Force to Moderate easily enough, but has no silent setting we were able to engage.
Price-wise it's not a happy comparison either. Even the lower specced, dual core model costs more than a 24in Sony LV or iMac. Which means we can only really recommend it if you absolutely need the extra computing power this offers, otherwise it's second place again.