Dell Finally Does An All-In-One PC Right (By Cloning The iMac)

Dell has sold various all-in-one computers for years. These systems were mostly insipid, humdrum computers not fit for anything other than being a family’s portal to Facebook. Even with touchscreens, Dell’s all-in-one systems failed to be serious contenders in the space.

Enter the XPS One 27. Announced today and detailed by Engadget, this all-in-one-system is a clone of the iMac. Even the 2560 x 1440 screen resolution is the same. To Dell’s credit, the XPS One 27 ships with Intel’s latest generation of processors while the Apple iMac is still stuck with the older chips — something Apple will no doubt address in the next revision. But it’s hard to ignore the similarities. Hell, even the computer’s support tower has a large hole for cable management a la iMac.

The XPS One 27 is powered by an Ivy Bridge Core i5 or i7 CPU with either an integrated Intel GPU or a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT640M dedicated graphics card. With prices starting at $1,399, systems can be configured with up to 16GB of memory and with a 1TB, 2TB or 32GB SSD hard drive. The backside houses four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports along with HDMI, VGA, and a gigabit Ethernet connection. There’s a slot-loading Blu-ray drive and an optional TV tuner. In all, the XPS One 27 is a fine all-in-one computer with enough power to justify a spot on even an engineer’s desk — too bad Dell didn’t have the design know-how to make an original casing though.

Dell has seemingly given up. At this point in Dell’s anemic life they are just keeping up with Joneses. There was a time when Dell was one of the trusted consumer brands. The firm has never been a design leader with systems more utilitarian than beautiful, but that formula doesn’t work in today’s marketplace. But over the years Dell has managed to release systems like the Adamo XPS and to a less extent, the Dell Streak, that showed the computer company had a bit of life left in its corporate tubes. The XPS One 27 shows the opposite. Dell might be dead.

Lenovo gets it right time and time again. The Chinese PC company consistently releases computers with new designs in novel form factors. Look at the Lenovo all-in-one lineup: Not a single model looks like an iMac while still offering serious computing power. This design-first strategy seems to be working as Lenovo as profits are soaringsomething Dell cannot brag about.

There have long been whispers that Dell is looking to exit the consumer business. That division is leading Dell’s losses anyway. And consumers will not miss Dell if the company turns to simply releasing clones of iconic products.