(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Rendering Multiple CPUs||Rendering Single CPU|
Even if it's fair, the Dell's higher cost will seem like a lot for mainstream shoppers, but fortunately it also has the performance to back up its price tag. Lenovo's $1,350 IdeaCentre B520, with its Core i7 CPU, is the only higher-end all-in-one that consistent outperforms the Dell. You will notice the iMacs have an edge on our tests that rely on iTunes and QuickTime, but as those are both Apple-made programs, the iMacs have an advantage running them in OS X. The Photoshop and Cinebench tests are arguably more informative due to their operating system agnosticism, and here the Dell is faster by a slim margin.
The Dell also makes a workable gaming PC, but it will have a challenge playing games at its native resolution. You will have better luck playing demanding games like the Witcher 2, Max Payne 3, and Battlefield 3 at 1,920x1,080 pixels and dropping down the image quality settings. At that lower resolution, the XPS One 2710 will play most present-day PC games at an acceptable frame rate.
Connectivity options on the XPS One 2710 include HDMI in and output (the latter for adding a second monitor), and, straightforwardly, six USB 3.0 jacks. This might be the first Windows desktop I've seen with USB 3.0 exclusively, as opposed to mix of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. Audio jacks include an S/PDIF output, as well as separate speaker and headphone analog jacks. There's a TV tuner on the back as well, and I'd happily trade that for a Blu-Ray drive.
Like most all-in-ones, you can't easily access the interior of the XPS One 2710. That leaves you especially reliant on the Dell's service and support. Its policies compare well with those of its mainstream competition. You get 24-7 phone support, a one-year parts-and-labor warranty, a variety of support resources online, and various diagnostic tools on the system itself. Phone support quality, of course, varies from support rep to support rep.
Aside from a few polish and configuration gripes, I like this computer quite a bit, not least because it finally brings Windows all-in-ones on par with Apple in terms of screen resolution. It's also faster than the 27-inch iMac on many programs, and has a lower price. For those considering a high-end all-in-one purchase, wait a few weeks to see what, if anything, emerges in the way of a new iMac, but keep the Dell XPS One 2710 at the top of your list.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Apple iMac 27-inch
Apple OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.7; 3.1GHz Intel Core i5 (second generation); 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Radeon HD 6970M graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive
Asus ET2700I (Core i7, April 2012)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 2600S; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 540M graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive
Dell XPS One 2710
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 3450S; 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 2GB Nvidia GeForce 640M graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive
HP Omni 27 Quad
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 2400S; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB Intel HD Graphics 1000 (embedded); 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive
Lenovo IdeaCentre B520
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-2600; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 555 graphics card; 2TB 7,200rpm hard drive
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 3120M; 6GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB Intel HD 4000 embedded graphics chip; 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive