Dell XPS M2010

When you think of innovation, Dell isn’t the first company you’re likely to think of. After all, it’s built its business on being aggressive in established markets rather than exploring new ones.

Which makes the Dell XPS M2010 even more of a curiosity. Not only is Dell breaking new ground with a completely new take on the notebook form fact it’s also the first machine we’ve seen with a 20-inch screen.

(Out of interest, Acer is the only other company at the moment to offer this panel size, on the Aspire 7000 series.)

Quality of the 20-inch Super-TFT screen is excellent, and displays at a WSXGA+ resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels. Images are sharp and colourful and the screen is fully positional for optimum visibility. A 1.3-megapixel webcam is built into the panel for internet video and photo use.

Weighing in at an amazing 8.2kg, this is an imposing beast that is finished in black with a cool sheen to it.

You maybe thinking, why would I want to carry such a machine around, let alone let it in my house? While it may have a carrying handle, which also supports the screen, this notebook has been designed to be a part of your living room as an all-in-one multimedia machine. The obvious question has to be: why does it even have a battery? The simple answer is, to give you the option to use it where you want.

It’s an impressive piece of kit to look at, with the pop-button optical drive and a detachable keyboard – ideal for sitting on the sofa and typing away rather than sitting on top of the screen. The keyboard uses Bluetooth to communicate with the notebook and is a good size and we found it really comfortable to use.

Powered by the 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo T2600 processor, you’ll also find 2048MB of memory, which is more than enough to get things done. What’s more, with 240GB of storage space, you won’t be complaining that your media files don’t all fit on there. The only way you could pack more power into this notebook would be too switch it to a Core 2 Duo processor, which no doubt Dell will be doing in the coming months.

The ATI Mobility Radeon X1800, which isn’t the fastest card out there, handles graphics but it’ll certainly run the latest generation of PC games with ease. For using as a home multimedia centre, both 5.1 and 7.1 audio outs allow for connection to external audio equipment. A DVI-out port can equally be used with external digital displays.

Verdict

Is there any bad news involved here? Well, you’ll find that the asking price for this piece of innovation is £2299 (inc. VAT).

Not exactly within most people’s price range but then again this isn’t a machine to suit everyone.

If you need a desktop PC in a semi-mobile form factor, this is the height of style and so unique, you’re likely to be the only person in the neighbourhood with one.


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