HP and Asus released the first 27-inch Windows-based all-in-ones this year, but with 1,920x,1,080-pixel resolution screens, they failed to match Apple's high-density, 2,560x1,440 iMacs. Dell's new XPS One 27 does.
Dell says the starting price for the new XPS One 27 is $1,399. That puts it ahead of the $1,249 HP Omni 27, but on par with the Asus ET2700I. All are also at least $300 below the most affordable 27-inch iMac.
At least for now, those other 27-inch all-in-ones also all use second-generation Intel Core CPUs, aka Sandy Bridge. The XPS One 27 has third-generation Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, aka Ivy Bridge. All PC vendors will move to third-gen Core chips eventually, but for now, Dell seems to have a processing-performance advantage.
Like the other 27-inchers, the XPS One 27 doesn't have a touch screen, likely due to the high manufacturing costs. Dell has, however, transitioned to a pedestal design for the XPS One and a pair of new Inspiron Ones (23 and 20-inch models, the former with a third-gen Core option, the latter with only second-gen Core or budget Pentium CPUs). Dell's older all-in-one had a foot-and-kickstand chassis, but it moved to the pedestal design as "a result of direct customer feedback."
The high-resolution display puts Dell ahead of its consumer-oriented Windows-based competitors, but video professionals might still prefer the large iMacs due to the XPS One 27's underwhelming graphics card options. The Intel HD 4000 graphics core embedded in the Dell's new Core i7 and Core i5 chips is a viable 3D processor, but neither that chip nor the Dell's GeForce 640M upgrade option is a match for the iMac's high-end AMD Radeon HD 6970M.
Dell says its new all-in-ones will be available in Asia today, and throughout the rest of the world "in the coming weeks." I expect we'll see PC line updates from multiple vendors over the next month in the gear-up to the back-to-school shopping season. It will be interesting to see how long Dell can hold onto its apparent competitive edge.