PROS / With six USB 3.0 ports and both HDMI input and output ports, the XPS 27 is primed as a multimedia machine.
CONS / The line’s starter model only has integrated Intel graphics, which don’t perform as well as dedicated, discrete graphics cards.
VERDICT / The Dell XPS 27 doesn’t have a 4K screen or gaming-grade graphics, but for the average family that wants a solid, flexible computer for their den, it’s an excellent choice.
The Dell XPS 27 is the PC you think of when you want an all-in-one computer for your home office or den. It’s a lot bigger than the super-slim all-in-ones the competition offers and weighs in at a hefty 35 pounds, but if you need an easy-to-use PC for the whole family, with a big touchscreen and solid speed, it has the goods. If it came with a dedicated graphics card and an even higher-resolution screen, it would be a contender for our number-one pick; as it stands, the XPS 27 solidly earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
As its name implies, Dell’s XPS 27 has a 27-inch screen. If you’re used to displays that measure 19 or 23 inches from corner to corner, 27 inches will feel utterly massive; you won’t want to go back. There’s plenty of room for multitasking, and thanks to a 2560 x 1440 resolution (commonly called 1440p), images are bright and crisp. The other 27-inch all-in-ones we reviewed have even higher resolutions, but don’t be disappointed – especially if you’re used to 1080p screens, 1440p will feel lusciously expansive.
Like most all-in-one desktop computers, the XPS 27 has a touchscreen and runs Windows 10, with its native touch support. At any time, you can flip back and forth between the included wireless mouse and keyboard and touch-based navigation. When multiple people share a computer screen, touch-based navigation can be a blessing.
Dell gave the XPS 27 a standard DVD player, so you can watch DVDs or play CDs right from the system. Like most of its competition, however, it can’t play Blu-ray discs, so you need to plug in a game console or Blu-ray player if you want to watch HD movies from disc.
The entry-level XPS 27 model is powered by a fourth-generation Intel i5-4460S processor, running at 2.9GHz. We’re in the sixth generation of Intel processors right now, so buying a computer with a two-year-old processor might seem silly. Generation isn’t everything, though, which is why we rely on PassMark’s excellent benchmarks. The i5-4460S earned a solid PassMark score of 6,350 – about average for all-in-one systems and more than powerful enough to handle most users’ needs.
The exception is gaming. Even the best all-in-one computers aren’t often designed with the gamer in mind, and with its basic, integrated Intel graphics, the XPS 27 doesn’t break that mold. Gamers needs dedicated graphics cards to play the latest games, but the XPS 27 has its CPU handle all graphics computations. You can play games on the system, but you can’t crank up the quality.
A family computer would be nothing without connectivity, and it’s here the XPS 27 shines. Six USB 3.0 ports let you plug in multiple peripherals and accessories at once, without having to constantly switch cables back and forth. More valuable, though, are the HDMI ports on the back of the computer.
Many PCs have HDMI outputs, which let you plug in an external monitor, TV or projector so you can use multiple displays at the same time. Relatively few, however, have HMDI inputs. With the XPS 27’s HDMI input connector, you can plug in a Blu-ray player, a console like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, or even a cable box so you can watch TV right on your computer screen.
Help & Support
Dell’s name is recognized the world over, but many of us have had as many negative experiences with their customer service as positive ones. Our sister site Laptop Magazine does an annual survey of the top computer brands’ technical support teams every year. In their most recent analysis, Dell came out near the bottom of the pack, with 40-minute average call times. You’ll get your problems addressed when you give Dell a call, but it might take you longer than you’d like.
The Dell XPS 27 is the perfect computer for your family’s den or a loved one’s home office. It’s a little on the heavy side and can’t handle intense gaming, but if you’re looking for a nice, big-screen all-in-one with no-fuss setup and plenty of connections for peripherals like printers and Blu-ray players, it will deliver.