Since we're "Mobile"TechReview, we don't usually cover all-in-one PCs, since they typically spend their lives tied to a desk rather that 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'Neil. 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. 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 1920 x 1080 IPS display is lovely: it's bright at near 300 nits, has lively and natural color saturation and very good contrast. Viewing angles are wide, making it perfect for sharing and touch works well. In fact, it's much easier to use Window 8 in desktop mode compared to 10.6 to 13.3" convertibles, tablets and laptops with touch screens since on-screen targets are larger. Dell includes a wireless keyboard and mouse with all XPS 18 models, and the keyboard feels just like a Dell XPS mobile keyboard (a good thing in our book). Both the mouse and keyboard are made by Logitech.