DELL XPS 27 USABILITY
Once you’ve finished admiring the gorgeous screen, the XPS 27 loses a bit of its sheen when you actually start using it. That’s all down to the bundled wireless keyboard and mouse, which are disappointingly basic.
The keyboard feels a bit spongy and the ergonomic mouse has tiddly side buttons that aren’t all that easy to reach. They’re a bit like the headphones you’d get with a new phone: they work, but you wouldn’t want to live with them forever.
At least you don’t have to plug the USB dongle in and waste a USB port, as both work over Bluetooth.They both take AAA batteries, though, which feels a little cheap. Apple’s Magic Mouse and keyboard both charge over Lightning and are included in the box.
At least you can ditch them and use the touchscreen, with easel mode really coming into its own once you open up Photoshop or any graphic design app. With no need to add a separate graphics tablet, you can keep your desk clean and concentrate on the task at hand.
The stand isn’t completely sturdy, though. It has a tendency to wobble when you apply pressure, or tap the screen with any significant force. That’s disappointing to see in a machine that costs over £2500 (RM13,815).
Dell doesn’t include a stylus in the box, either. Digital artists will need to add their own.
Let’s be honest: the only real competition is Apple’s 5K iMac. No other all-in-one desktop comes close in terms of design, and it’s the machine to beat when it comes to screen quality too.
The XPS has fewer pixels with its 4K screen, but by the time you’ve added a Core i7 CPU, doubled the amount of RAM and swapped the base model’s Fusion Drive for a 512GB PCI-E SSD, the 5k iMac will set you back RM15,679 - almost RM2000 more than the Dell. It only works as a fixed desktop system, too - if you want to draw on-screen, you’ll have to buy an iPad Pro instead.
The Apple has better peripherals, but whether Windows or Mac OS is better for work will boil down to your personal preference.
Microsoft’s Surface Studio has some art-friendly features, but you still can’t get hold of one in Malaysia. When it does eventually arrive, we’re betting it’ll cost more than the XPS too.
Dell XPS 27 verdict
The XPS 27 is Dell’s best all-in-one yet: it’s powerful, it has a gorgeous display, and that tilting hinge helps it stand out from Apple’s class-leading iMac.
It’s a strategy that works: if you’re handy with a stylus, have a serious Photoshop addiction, or mix music for a living, there’s plenty here to like.
Those unique features have a few minor imperfections, though, and the design is going to divide opinions. Sound quality is excellent, but there’s no escaping those speakers. If you want minimal, the iMac should still be your weapon of choice.
The hinged touchscreen will definitely earn Dell some fans, though. Swap out those bundled peripherals and this stands out as one of the best Windows all-in-one systems out there.