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Dell XPS 18
What's Hot: Portable yet works well as a desktop PC, Sharp and colorful full HD IPS touch screen, very good build quality.
What's Not: Not the machine for gamers, at 5 lbs. and 18.4" the tablet isn't wildly portable. No HDMI, VGA or DisplayPort for second monitor.
Reviewed July 14, 2013 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
Since we're MobileTechReview, we don't usually cover all-in-one PCs, since they typically spend their lives tied to a desk rather than taking trips in a laptop bag. The Dell XPS 18 is one of the few all-in-ones (or AiOs) that's at home on your desk and it's a tablet too... a really huge tablet. The XPS 18 has an 18.4" full HD IPS touch screen and it weighs 5 pounds, which is about the same weight as the average 15" laptop. Color us impressed. Of course, at 18.4", it has a bigger footprint than anything other than an 18.4" gaming notebook, so you won't be tucking it under your arm unless you're Shaquille O'Neal. It's unlikely that you'll be toting the XPS 18 everywhere you go, but it's perfect for those who want to take it from room to room in a house (use it in the den as a PC, then bring it to the living room to watch Netflix) or in an office where it might be the desktop machine you take with you to deliver a presentation. Cool. Yes, you could do the same with a laptop, but the huge touchscreen is much better for a home movie watching session or sharing a presentation with folks who are seated more than a few feet away.
The XPS 18 runs Windows 8 64 bit on ULV Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs with Intel HD 4000 graphics (Ivy Bridge). Before you grumble about the lack of dedicated graphics, remember Dell designed this with portability and battery life in mind. It's not intended to be a super-powerful desktop system. That said, since it shares the same third generation Intel Ivy Bridge internals, it's just as capable as current Ultrabooks: MS Office, HD video playback, email, web, social networking, image editing and even some HD video editing are well within its purview. It can play casual games and older 3D games but it's not a good choice for a gaming PC with the latest 3D titles.
The XPS 18 has flip out feet so you can use it as a desktop or laid flat on a table with the far end elevated a bit to make it easier to see the tablet and interact with it. Dell offers a compact but very weighty metal stand with a rubber coated foot and tablet backrest for $99. They call it a charging stand because you can plug the compact notebook style charger into the stand and it will charge the tablet via a pogo pin connector on the lip of the stand that contacts the bottom edge of the tablet. The stand is included in some bundles like our review unit that sells for $1,329. It has a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3337U CPU, 8 gigs of RAM, a 32 gig caching SSD and a 750 gig hard drive. The base model is $879 and it runs on a Pentium processor that we wouldn't recommend, it's just too slow. The Core i3 is $979 (stand not included). There's a Core i7-3537U for $1,429.
The tablet is very sturdy thanks to an internal magnesium frame and an anodized aluminum back cover. It doesn't flex or creak and looks and feels like a high quality piece of consumer electronics. The tablet has two USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5mm combo audio jack and an 8-in-one card reader. It has stereo speakers that are fairly loud and full and an integrated webcam that worked well with Skype. The tablet is available with Intel N-2230 dual band WiFi or Killer Wireless-N 1202 for those who need seriously strong WiFi. Bluetooth 4.0 is standard. The tablet supports Intel WiDi wireless display.