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Dell's New X18: 5 Pounds, 18 Inches

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the that-sounds-like-a-weird-baby dept.

Portables 138

MojoKid writes "Dell recently combined two trending PC design styles into a single system and called it the XPS 18 Portable All-In-One Desktop. The machine has all the power of an AIO desktop system and some of the portability of a tablet. To be clear, Dell isn't suggesting you'll want to tote this thing across town in ways that you might use an iPad. It's portable in that you can snatch up the 18.4-inch Full HD display from your home office and take it to the living room to switch gears from Google Docs to gaming with the kids, or take it upstairs for some late night surfing before bed. ... The main attraction, however, is that the PC itself is a portable display featuring an 18.4-inch IPS panel with a 1920x1080 resolution and full touch support. Performance-wise the XPS 18 holds its own versus mainstream all-in-one touch PCs, but with added ability to pick the 5 pound system up go virtually anywhere with it on a moment's notice."

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138 comments

This looks horrible (4, Interesting)

Maudib (223520) | about 10 months ago | (#43947293)

Really, its the worst of all worlds.

Re:This looks horrible (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947523)

A weak dual core CPU that's more power hungry than an ARM CPU, a battery that'll last an hour in real-life conditions within a year, a weight that makes it a pain to lug around, a size that makes hand holding it or carrying it anywhere a joke -- despite having lower resolution than an iPad or a Google Nexus 10, a small 32GB SSD that'll be more than half filled by Windows 8 which nobody wants of, a flimsy to stand it at an angle that'll break and can't be replaced. And again, you're stuck with Windows 8 which is far worse than even Vista.

This high end dual core computer with 8GB of RAM and an integrated GPU, or roughly the same specs as the Core 2 Duo computer you bought 5 years ago (but can't be upgraded), can be yours for only $1350! Enjoy your blocky fisher price interface!

This should sell almost as well as the Surface did.

Re:This looks horrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947527)

It could be worse: At least this one has better resolution than 1366x768

Re:This looks horrible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947605)

You look horrible.

But really, it looks completely fine. There is nothing wrong with its looks at all.
And it gets bonus points for not being a white piece of crap. White things make screens look smaller and less bright, it is a proven fact of vision and you can see it every day when you look out a window at night with the lights on.
And it is worse when the damn screens are shiny. FUCK GLOSS and anyone that likes it.

If I never already had a tablet and never needed a new one, I would get it. (after ripping out a bunch of the Win8 crap that comes with it, and still cry because I am using Win8)

Re:This looks horrible (0)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about 10 months ago | (#43947673)

Portable desktop? Just a marketing gimmick. It's too underpowered to be a desktop. It's more of a laptop rigged to look like a tablet with a keyboard because that's currently "sexy".

My present/aging desktop 12GB of RAM, 8 cores, clocks at 2.5 GHz, has 6 TB of SATA hard disk, and 20 TB of USB 3.0 backup disks. I plan to replace this with a top end Haswell soon with 48+ GB of RAM, 8 TB of hard disk (raid 10(?)--striped and mirrored).

I plan to replace my 5 year old laptop with a Haswell based laptop.

Both of these will probably outperform the Dell system and the Haswell's low power will probably beat the pants off it in a laptop in terms of battery life.

Re:This looks horrible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947955)

Good luck with that, Haswell doesn't support >32GB.
Neither does Ivy or Sandy bridge.
Including SB/IB/Haswell E3 xeons.

Re:This looks horrible (1)

YukariHirai (2674609) | about 10 months ago | (#43948547)

Portable desktop? Just a marketing gimmick. It's too underpowered to be a desktop.

Too underpowered to be your desktop, that is. Or mine. Or most of Slashdot's. (But then, so are basically all All-In-Ones and pre-builts.) But to the "average" home user who only uses a computer for email and web browsing, it'll be sufficient.

It's an interesting idea, but not practical for my use and costs more than I'd be willing to pay for such a thing.

My Girlfriend's Birthday Wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947297)

And I aim to please!

Re:My Girlfriend's Birthday Wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947433)

And I aim to please!

I think you've mistaken pounds and inches for grams and millimetres...

Am I missing something? (0)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about 10 months ago | (#43947327)

Haven't we had similar crap for a while now? What does this do that makes it newsworthy?

Re:Am I missing something? (2)

cbhacking (979169) | about 10 months ago | (#43947493)

Umm... no, we haven't. Existing all-in-one desktop PCs, or even 18" (~45cm) laptops, have weighed way more than 5lb (about 2.3kg). Usually more than twice that; 11-20lb (5-9 kg) is more common amon AIOs. Even if they were designed with a carrying handle, they were not designed with portability in mind; the handle was to make it easier to get the from the box to the desk. Additionally, while consumer touchscreen monitors have existed for a while now, they haven't generally been designed for any kind of portability either.

This thing weighs only a little more than my work laptop (which is admittedly a beast, but I carry it around a lot) without its power brick, and a lot less than my old (9lb) 18" "desktop replacement" laptop. Neither of those have touch, either, meaning they need space for a keyboard when in use and it's hard for more than one person to interact with one at any given time.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 10 months ago | (#43947711)

This thing weighs only a little more than my work laptop ...

Sure, but your laptop probably also has an Ethernet port, external monitor port, internal optical drive... (and not Windows 8) ...you know, things that help make it useful all around. Perhaps these things are not important to everyone, though I don't use wireless, so an Ethernet port is pretty useful for me.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 10 months ago | (#43947499)

They paid for the privilege? With that said a) it's as funny as fuck to watch all the apple flacks freaking out and b) when will tablet manufacturers just bite the bullet and come up with a pull-out superthin keyboard for tablets? I mean really it's not exactly a tough engineering problem.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 10 months ago | (#43947851)

You mean like the Asus Eee Pad Slider?

All the reviews I read liked it, but apparently no one bought the thing.

So that's why you're not seeing more of them, I'd wager.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 10 months ago | (#43948367)

I considered the Slider to be an experiment by ASUS based on the popularity of the original Transformer. It tested whether the G1 / 2 (also really popular) form factor would work at a larger scale. It didn't.

Re:Am I missing something? (4, Informative)

Monoman (8745) | about 10 months ago | (#43947543)

It has a touch screen with an OS designed for a touchscreen, a decent weight, decent display quality, decent performance .... not a great price. Theoretically price will come down if it catches on.

Please link to "similar crap" if I have missed something.

Re:Am I missing something? (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#43947753)

Windows 8 was NOT "designed for a touchscreen". It is Windows 7, a non-touchscreen OS, partially updated to be touch-enabled. The first layer or two has been revamped to work reasonably well for touch, to the detriment of 'regular' mouse/keyboard use, but lots of it hasn't been redesigned to be used with touch, keeping existing small controls which are designed to be easily [for most people] to interact with using a mouse, but much more difficult to properly select using your finger.

That's one big dick... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947329)

Oh, wait...

Re:That's one big dick... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947399)

that's what she said

Re:That's one big dick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947975)

Maybe some kind of car joke will be deemed funnier at Slashdot...
How about: That's one big stick shift...

Nah, probably not.

I've got one on the way (2)

Monoman (8745) | about 10 months ago | (#43947331)

I'm going to try one out. The home computer form factor is going to change. I have tried the Asus Transformer and like it. The removable keyboard works great but to be a primary home computer it needs to have a larger display and larger keyboard. I was hoping Asus they would release something in the 15-17 inch range in the Transformer series but I don't think that has happened yet. The Dell XPS18 is a bit larger than I was thinking but it is getting decent reviews so I'll give it a shot ... it will be my first shot at Win8 too (sigh). Sure it isn't a lightweight but its no Sony Tap 20 @ 11 Lbs.

Re:I've got one on the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947421)

Sure it isn't a lightweight but its no Sony Tap 20 @ 11 Lbs.

It's around 5lbs. Much lighter than others devices that are similar in size.

Re:I've got one on the way (1)

Monoman (8745) | about 10 months ago | (#43947529)

Yeah I didn't mean it was heavy. Hopefully they get touchscreen weights to very competitive levels and we'll see things like a 15" or 17" Transformer. AIOs like the XPS 18 sub 4 LB with some of the features it is currently missing (HDMI out, eSATA, etc)

Re:I've got one on the way (1)

bmcage (785177) | about 10 months ago | (#43947835)

Why the windows logo on it? Is that some sort of requirement to get OS discounts? Would be nicer with Dell logo there, and no dell logo at the left top....

Like the Windows key (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43948065)

The Start button on these tablets has the Windows logo for the same reason that the Super key between Ctrl and Alt on a standard PC keyboard has the Windows logo. Yes, Microsoft requires it.

Re:I've got one on the way (1)

BrianH (13460) | about 10 months ago | (#43949039)

FWIW, the Windows logo on the XPS 18 is the updated version of the Super (Windows) button, and it's an active part of the tablet. Pressing it returns you to the Start screen so that you can change programs or launch something new (or hide you pr0n from the GF when she walks into the room). The button exists on all Win8 tablets because MS requires it.

Also the title of my autobiography. (4, Funny)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43947337)

5 pounds, 18 inches baby

Re:Also the title of my autobiography. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947479)

5 pounds, 18 inches baby

I don't get why you sound so self-satisfied... anyone who weighs five pounds and is 18 inches tall must have a very small penis.

Re:Also the title of my autobiography. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947501)

That the size of your chode, bro?

Re:Also the title of my autobiography. (3, Funny)

Richy_T (111409) | about 10 months ago | (#43948397)

Why would anyone care about your attributes when you were born? That's nothing unusual for a baby.

apples price for the same thing $1800 base (2, Informative)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 10 months ago | (#43947341)

apples price for the same thing $1800 base

Apples Tablet Pricing (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#43947483)

apples price for the same thing $1800 base

...and its hurting them across the board. Ironically the exception was the launch of the original ipad which started at $500 the device closest to this one...and (stupidly) its latest model is still that price.

Obviously you could choose an Android device and cut another $200.

People forget what relatively good value the iPad was for a launch device.

Re:Apples Tablet Pricing (4, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 10 months ago | (#43947561)

...and its hurting them across the board.

You're talking about the most popular tablet by far.

Ironically the exception was the launch of the original ipad which started at $500 the device closest to this one...and (stupidly) its latest model is still that price.

Of course. Apple typically don't reduce the price of their premium model, they just rev the hardware each year. For example it's double the dpi of the first gen.

But they do sometimes introduce lower priced models. Such as the iPad mini in this case. At $329.

This business model has made them the biggest, highest earning, most successful tech company today. Stupid? No, they know their business far better than you do.

Re:apples price for the same thing $1800 base (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 10 months ago | (#43947489)

Reality: Apple doesn't have a direct equivalent of this. But the closest (desktop OS, nearest to 18" screen) is the base model iMac. Which gives you a 21" screen for $1300, vs this Dell for $1350.

Re:apples price for the same thing $1800 base (2)

cbhacking (979169) | about 10 months ago | (#43947647)

A 21" screen without touch, in a vastly more heavy case that doesn't have a battery, in a machine that can't be operated without (realistically) both mouse and keyboard.

I don't deny that Apple doesn't have any equivalent of this thing, and thus the GP's post was silly, but that base model iMac costs almost as much and yet is missing all of the things that are designed to appeal about this computer. It really is a giant tablet which is designed to also be used like a desktop (contrast with the Surface Pro, a tiny laptop / slightly thick tablet).

With that said, the iMac (or almost any other AIO) has better specs for the price. This is not a computer you buy because you want a desktop that you might have to move sometimes. It's much more aimed at being the new Desktop Replacement laptop (I have a 4-year-old 18" laptop; it weighs almost twice what this thing does and lacks a touchscreen).

Re:apples price for the same thing $1800 base (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 10 months ago | (#43947703)

I don't deny that Apple doesn't have any equivalent of this thing, and thus the GP's post was silly

Indeed.

As to touch screen the iMac is indeed lacking it. But it's uselessness of a touch screen for a desktop OS is demonstrated by the photo of the product on the first page of TFA. What's that sitting next to the keyboard?

If Microsoft had pulled off Metro as a new interface for Windows, maybe this product would have a point. But the reality is no one likes Metro, and Microsoft is having a rethink of the software and (another) re-org of the company in order to change direction.

Re:apples price for the same thing $1800 base (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 10 months ago | (#43948339)

apples price for the same thing $1800 base

There is another advantage Apple has that is almost never disclosed.

The Apple WiFi hardware and TCP/IP stack is so much better than others.

I had need for a second 5Ghz link and hung a $100 little apple box off to the side of my Netgear box. I ended up turning the power almost off for both 2.4 and 5Ghz radios of my Netgear box. The single Apple 5Ghz link is all I need when I thought I needed two for streaming media.

I suspect it is antennas and software... nothing impossible for others to do but clearly better WiFi I/O. Folk walking out of the Apple store do get a better product.

Re:apples price for the same thing $1800 base (1)

fermion (181285) | about 10 months ago | (#43949043)

30 years ago Apple sold the equivalent of this, one of the first machines that could easily be transported and used at the home or office, and it cost $5,000 in todays dollars. It was 16 pounds, could be packed up in less than five minutes, and it was the status symbol to be carrying it through the worlds airports.

Computers and the movement away from terminals meant that there was a market for a single machine that could be used at home and the office. The Osbourne tried to meet this need before the Mac, while Compaq made the defining all in one transportable PC.

Now, however, everything can go on drop box and corporate MS licensing means that one can have MS Office everywhere. Machines are no longer $5K so most of us can have one at the office and one at home. There is no need to make the sacrifices of having one machine, unless there are other factors involved. If there are, a laptop equivalent to a desktop is in the $1K-$2K range, which is really why desktops are fading fast, and MS is panicking. Get a laptop, hook it up to a screen at home, and if you want to take it with you, you can.

But of course MS panicking means they are going to totally misread the situation and promote silly product like this. The current issue is not about home or office. It is about between the home and office, and how do we compute. It is not 30 years ago when it was cool to pull out you Compaq and plug it in a work. This so called all in one does not have the advantages of a laptop. It does not have the advantages of something like an all in one iMac, where the screen is not sitting directly on the table. It has a touchscreen with is clearly useful for on the go computer use, but who uses 18" for on the go anymore. The most popular screen size now for laptops is around 14". Bigger screen were needed when pixel density was lower, and are needed for desktop use where screens are further away. But in the same way that most do not wear their Bluetooth headsets because they look a bit of git, pulling out an 18" tablet is going to do the same.

slashdot is engadget now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947349)

posting every tiny rev of every model of laptop/phone/tablet from every manufacturer?

Am I missing something? (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#43947355)

This seems to be a mediocre, unnecessarily page-broken review of a machine with mediocre hardware specs. Did I miss anything important?

Re:Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947431)

Nope. You didn't miss anything. That's pretty much it.

Auto-Pager. (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#43947497)

This seems to be a mediocre, unnecessarily page-broken review of a machine with mediocre hardware specs. Did I miss anything important?

Yes using Auto-pager. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/autopager/ [mozilla.org] I don't know if there is an equivalent in other browsers, but it automatically loads next pages when you reach the end of a page...and I rarely get this problem of page-breaks. It used to work on the mobile firefox version.

Re:Auto-Pager. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#43948167)

I dropped autopager because it had known bugs that were making other extensions shit themselves. Has the author developed competence?

Why would you only want an 18" screen on a Desktop (2)

PastTense (150947) | about 10 months ago | (#43947411)

18" desktop screens are something from a decade or so ago--why go back?

Re:Why would you only want an 18" screen on a Desk (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 10 months ago | (#43947625)

Because typical users use one app at a time, and 18" is plenty for web browsing, email and word processing. Most web designs don't take advantage of widths in excess of 960 pixels anyway.

Re:Why would you only want an 18" screen on a Desk (2)

Khyber (864651) | about 10 months ago | (#43947661)

Because lugging a 22" around makes you look like a tool?

Re:Why would you only want an 18" screen on a Desk (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 10 months ago | (#43947715)

Because it's not a desktop. It's a giant portable (laptop/tablet/whatever - in this case, tablet) which can be set up on a desk. The common term for this class of device is "desktop replacement" and implies high-end laptop specs plus a large screen, intended to remove the need for an actual desktop while still being something you can put in a backpack or briefcase and take on a plane, or remove from your desk and take to a meeting, or walk across the office to show something to a co-worker, or take to lunch so you can continue working while you eat if you're in a time crunch, or... you get the idea. They're popular among college students as well; they don't take up much space in a classroom or dorm room, but have generous screens (compared to the typical 12-16" laptop screen).

My last computer (lasted me 3.5 years as my primary machine) was an 18" desktop replacement laptop. It weighed almost 9lb (far more than this thing), lacked a touchscreen, and had poor specs by desktop standards. On the other hand, it could run for a few hours (typically 2-3 real-world usage, which gets you through a class or two no sweat) on battery, was a trivial item to move when going home for the holidays or moving to a new apartment, and was fantastic for LAN parties.

This is just the logical extension of that trend. Touchscreen but no built-in keyboard to reduce weight (although you can of course grab any bluetooth or small USB keyboard to use with it). Battery life is nothing special but it's not *supposed* to be an all-day portable. Screen is huge for a portable but nothing exciting for a desktop, except that it's intended to be placed nearer to you on the desk and still has great resolution, so the effective viewing area and viewing angle are the same (and it's easier to use touch when you want to.

It's a niche market, but if I was looking for another machine like my old laptop, I'd be very interested.

Throw away screen. (5, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about 10 months ago | (#43947423)

I've always thought it was a bad idea to build the computer into the screen. The problem is that when the computer becomes outdated, you have to dump a perfectly good screen. I have LCD screens that I've used for many years with different computers as I upgrade the hardware.

Re:Throw away screen. (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 10 months ago | (#43947507)

Exactly. Now when the difficult-or-impossible-to-upgrade internals are obsolete or worn out, they can sell you an entirely new system.

Also known as the Apple business model.

Re:Throw away screen. (2)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 10 months ago | (#43947639)

Apply all-in-one models have a display input so that you can keep using the screen after the internals have been superseded.

Re:Throw away screen. (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 10 months ago | (#43947603)

That's one side. The other side is of the traditional separate component PC is the tangle of cables cascading down the back of the desk onto the floor, which typically doesn't get touched by anyone who vacuums, resulting in a long standing pile of detritus and dust.

It also means you can't easily pick the computer up and take it to another room, or put it in the car to take to another place, when you want.

And finally reusing a screen means you don't get the benefit of the latest screen sizes or resolutions.

Swings and roundabouts. You pay your money and you take your choice.

Re:Throw away screen. (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 10 months ago | (#43947897)

What 'latest screen sizes and resolutions'?

LCD display sizes and resolutions have been stagnant for a decade.

I can't even go out and buy an LCD that's as high resolution / pixel density as the two CRTs I just gave away (20" visible, 2048 x 1536)

If anything, screen resolutions are getting worse. Most desktop monitors are 1920 x 1080 at best. Not terribly long ago, that would have been 1920 x 1200.

Asus has a 3840 x 2160 display coming out soonish, but it's a 30" screen. Still nowhere near the pixel density of the 12-year-old IBM 3840 x 2400 monitor.

I keep hoping Apple will release a 'retina' desktop display, but they don't seem likely do. So I'll keep using my Dell U2410. (The 10 in that model number stands for 2010, by the by. There's a 2412, but it's not better - it's just cheaper.)

Re:Throw away screen. (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 10 months ago | (#43947969)

I can't even go out and buy an LCD that's as high resolution / pixel density as the two CRTs I just gave away (20" visible, 2048 x 1536)

And yet rather than keep them and use them you gave them away, buying an LCD instead. So your implication that screens haven't got better is given the lie by your own actions.

Yes there are other improvements beyond "screen sizes and resolutions" that one would miss out on when reusing a monitor from an old computer. The size advantages of LCD over CRT was one. And resolution comparisons between the two aren't quite as simple as you suggest. LCD enables sub-pixel rendering. That wasn't possible on CRT.

Subpixel rendering isn't exactly a panacea (2)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43948157)

In theory, subpixel rendering triples horizontal resolution, boosting 1920 pixels across to 5760. In practice, because of the low-pass filtering needed to avoid color fringing, it boosts perceived horizontal resolution by 50%, giving the equivalent of 2880x1080 for a 1080p monitor. It's analogous to how 480i is blurrier than 480p because of the filtering needed to avoid interline twitter. Because the vertical dimension has no subpixels (at least in monitors that don't pivot), it doesn't make smaller point sizes readable and thus doesn't help the user fit more text onto a monitor. Furthermore, a lot of frameworks appear to apply subpixel rendering only to text, not to bitmaps or vectors. Or has this changed on recent operating systems?

Re:Throw away screen. (2)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 10 months ago | (#43948177)

I gave them away because the phosphor coating was wearing out and they got very, very dim.

The person I gave them to didn't have a working monitor at all, so 'dim' was better than 'nothing'.

CRTs wear out after ten, twenty years of use. LCD backlights get dimmer over time, too.

The difference is, I can't go buy a new CRT any more. Otherwise I sure as hell would have.

Re:Throw away screen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43948653)

Little known fact: the phosphor coating on the screen was as good as the day the monitor rolled off the line. The emissive coating on the cathode, not so much. If you're really attached to a CRT monitor you can try adding a turn to the flyback transformer to boost the filament voltage. The image will gain quite a bit of brightness, although possibly at the expense of focus.

(If you don't know to discharge the CRT before monkeying with the flyback transformer, it will be a quick and easy lesson to learn.)

Re:Throw away screen. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#43948429)

LCD enables sub-pixel rendering. That wasn't possible on CRT.

...what does this mean? ? ? that it's possible to rig your text antialising based how the subpixel rgb layout is on the screen?

why wouldn't you in theory be able to do the same kind of shenigans with a crt? except that you didn't need to because the text looked ok anyways.
(if it's oversampling that you mean.. then again, why not on crt?). so why bring this up as an advantage when having to do it is a disadvantage.

personally the reason why I prefer lcd's is that most crt's I ever saw had notable change in geometry when going from all white screen to all black screen. friggin annoying.

Re:Throw away screen. (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about 10 months ago | (#43949073)

Go look on eBay for 27" IPS panel monitors. $400 gets you a 2560x1440 resolution monitor. Sure, they are Korean no name brands, but there are plenty of reviews out there that can tell you which ones are good.

Shut down, carry to other monitor, start up (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43948129)

It also means you can't easily pick the computer up and take it to another room, or put it in the car to take to another place, when you want.

To carry a game console into another room, you shut it down, disconnect the power and video cables, move it, connect the power and video to the other monitor, and turn it on. The procedure for a slim PC is no different, especially for a Wii-sized Mac mini or an Xbox 360-sized Acer or Gateway. But you're right that such a use case is often limited to 1920x1080.

Re:Throw away screen. (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 10 months ago | (#43948643)

The other side is of the traditional separate component PC is the tangle of cables cascading down the back of the desk onto the floor, which typically doesn't get touched by anyone who vacuums, resulting in a long standing pile of detritus and dust.

My PC has 3 cables out the back... DVI, Power, RJ45. You can lose one of those with wireless - if you want to use wireless all the time, I personally don't. Power is pretty essential. The DVI is the one cable you don't need on a laptop or tablet (my DVI is a faux HDMI which also does sound, too). It just plugs into any screen, and works.

Now... the fact my PC weighs about 20kg, has no sides and bits falling out of it, and refuses to boot for a few minutes after it has been moved... irrelevant, I still move it about the house relatively regularly.

Re:Throw away screen. (3, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | about 10 months ago | (#43947677)

" The problem is that when the computer becomes outdated, you have to dump a perfectly good screen."

Umm, we have these things called standards. I took a screen from a DV-6000 and threw it into a much older Toshiba Satellite. I'm using that screen right now to read your hilariously wrong words. The best part? I could take this Toshiba apart, and toss it inside my 32" Samsung A550 TV, and using the laptop connector cable plug it right in and it will work. I've done it before with my defunct DV-7 laptop.

Re:Throw away screen. (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 10 months ago | (#43947869)

Well going by the current trend of laptops stuck at 1366x768 the screen should be fine for a while. I'd love to buy an IBM T221 display but they still go for a good amount used.

Re:Throw away screen. (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 10 months ago | (#43948405)

I've always thought it was a bad idea to build the computer into the screen. The problem is that when the computer becomes outdated, you have to dump a perfectly good screen. I have LCD screens that I've used for many years with different computers as I upgrade the hardware.

And now all the computer screens have migrated to HDTV monitor aspect ratios.

It is my older LED screen that gets used because it is much taller and lets me read more. The modern screens are always demanding one or more mouse events to see content from top to bottom.

Web content managers should not bend to the demands of programmers to have big rich displays to work on. The result looks great on their desktop but pisses customers off that are smart enough to know...

Yes programmers need a tall screen but their preview screen should be a modest grandma's laptop. I happen to be in the market for a better screen and it is DARN difficult to find a screen worth the asking price. Fine if I want to watch a movie but more expensive than my monster HDTV so I keep shopping and yes graphics display cards are part of the issue.

Frankenstein (0)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 10 months ago | (#43947425)

Since the PC makers have now given early signs of freaking out about the tablet, can we expect more Frankenstein 8 pound, Mac monitor shaped, Frankenstein, 20 inch screen, Frankenstein, detachable flexi-keyboard, Frankenstein, rubberized to protect damage, Frankenstein, Windows 8, Frankenstein computers that cost $1200 and have an appeal to the consumer that Gasohol did in the 1970s as a replacment for Gasoline?

Desktop Replacement (1)

kelarius (947816) | about 10 months ago | (#43947481)

We've been trying this with laptops for over 10 years now, and it never really took, why do they think that it's going to work any better for a "Tablet" now?

So basically it's a laptop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947513)

with a detached keyboard & mouse... And a smaller screen to boot! (My laptop screen is larger!)

Gee, the joy of juggling N unconnected items. (Screen/computer, mouse, keyboard... Plus headphones, plus .... Does this thing even have a battery?) Does it come with a box to carry everything around in?

Remember not to block the vents (airholes) on any of these devices! Yeah, that ought to work well in a bed.... At least with a laptop I can put it on a hard surface, one of those breakfast-in-bed trays, and angle the screen appropriately... (Something else to add to the box...)

Re:So basically it's a laptop... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43948197)

The purported advantage of a tablet over a laptop with a comparably sized screen is that the unconnected items put together, including the stand, are still lighter and thinner than some of the 10" laptops that companies were selling during the netbook fad. And yes, this thing has a battery, though in practice it might not last longer than a UPS.

Desktop Computer and Tablet (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 10 months ago | (#43947531)

If the summary was unclear to you, what this is is actually a screen with a computer built into it.
You can use it as a regular desktop computer by using a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, or you can use it as a tablet.

It wouldn't be a bad idea if there was a good operating system that worked well as a desktop and as a tablet too.

Underpowered (4, Informative)

GoJays (1793832) | about 10 months ago | (#43947541)

I ordered a XPS 18 at launch to use to demo our website at a trade show. It was ordered because it was the largest screen "tablet" in production. At 5 pounds with an 18 inch screen expectations were high for the device. However on testing, the machine is very under powered. The i5 processor runs at 1.8Ghz, it is advertised to run "up to" 3.2Ghz and doesn't list base speed, and we upgraded to 8GB of RAM. The hard drive is advertised to have SSD available, however it is only really a boot drive, anything installed is run off of a traditional 5400 RPM drive. The battery life was average at best, 4 hours with moderate use.

We were using the tablet to demo our website, since a solid wifi signal or internet connectivity is not guaranteed at these types of shows, we have to rely on a VM running a LAMP server on the computer. Even with only a CLI version of CentOS running using 1GB of ram, and minimal processing specs, it caused the system to run at a crawl. It was painful and very disappointing. Needless to say, we returned the machine and went with the Lenovo Yoga 13 IdeaPad instead, and it did the job.

5 lbs, 18 inches? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947557)

5 lbs, 18 inches?

Sounds like the ladies are talking about my...

Home Office->Living Room->Bedroom . . . ? (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 10 months ago | (#43947611)

So for the average Slashdotter, that would mean:

Mom's basement->Mom's basement->Mom's basement

I don't see the portability value there.

For me, personally, it would mean more like:

My sofa->My sofa->My sofa

It cuts down on my commuting, so it must be good for the Global Carbon Warming Footprint, or something like that.

Why such lousy resolution? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 10 months ago | (#43947643)

They brag about the display but it is only 1920x1080. We did better than that with CRTs in that size range over a decade ago. I know I'm not the only person who has been waiting for the resolutions to finally start taking off.

Re:Why such lousy resolution? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 10 months ago | (#43947853)

In other words, http://xkcd.com/732/ [xkcd.com]

Incidentally, I still watch movies on a monitor from 2004. Some of my friends think it's small (as in spatial dimensions), because they got a HDTV a couple of years ago.

Small monitor caveat (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43948217)

Small monitors are fine if you live alone. But they can be a pain for two to four people to fit around, which is why it is customary to watch movies on a larger monitor in the living room.

Re:Why such lousy resolution? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 10 months ago | (#43947895)

This has been asked and answered many times here. 1080 because that's what the lowest common denominators LCD makers put out these days. LCD^2..

Starting about 4 years ago in a laptop you could get this kind of screen size in a 1920 x 1200 resolution (WUXGA). [wikipedia.org] In the past 4 years I've had three laptops, two ASUS and One Alienware (Dell). Two of which supported 1200p. Unfortunately my latest ASUS only supports 1080p and as almost everybody on this website will tell you, it's a step backwards. While there are now higher res laptops coming out they're all in the 14" range. Great size for a traveler in an airplane, lousy if you want to write code or work on large documents. Since you can get the Retina (2880x1800) in the Apple I believe it will be a few years before you see that higher res in the 16-18 laptop/portable form factor but the demand has to be there otherwise, nobody will make them.

Even this guy wants higher resolution in laptops. [maximumpc.com]

resfail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947659)

So.... this thing has an 18 inch display with the same resolution as my phone?

Sorry. Resfail.

Why is it that we seem to have gone backwards in this way? My Dell laptop from like 2001 or 2003 or something had a higher resolution than this 2013 thing. And many are even worse, like 768 vertical. We've been madly going backwards.

UEFI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43947693)

Does it have UEFI DRM?

Turn it off (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#43948537)

Like all other x86 and x86-64 PCs that ship with Windows 8, this one lets the PC's owner turn off Secure Boot. Microsoft requires this on x86 and x86-64.

Wasted article (2)

Stoutlimb (143245) | about 10 months ago | (#43947725)

Why is some mediocre product launch even news on Slashdot? Maybe I'm jaded on this, but it's not exactly new technology. Haven't tablet pc's running a Windows OS been around since windows XP was new? I can hear 2002 calling, they want their tablet back. I can't see anything remarkable about this. This is not news, this is advertising. What blows my mind is that some people post like they're excited about it. It makes me question giving up Slashdot altogether.

Re:Wasted article (1)

Pokey.Clyde (1322667) | about 10 months ago | (#43948307)

Why is some mediocre product launch even news on Slashdot? Maybe I'm jaded on this, but it's not exactly new technology. Haven't tablet pc's running a Windows OS been around since windows XP was new? I can hear 2002 calling, they want their tablet back. I can't see anything remarkable about this. This is not news, this is advertising. What blows my mind is that some people post like they're excited about it. It makes me question giving up Slashdot altogether.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

portable pc (1)

nickmalthus (972450) | about 10 months ago | (#43947843)

I like the concept of a portable pc vs. a laptop. I don't travel as much as I used to and didnt want to spend 1500 on a decent laptop. Instead, I bought a 1080p 22 inch acer led, a itx fm2 motherboard, 16gb ram, AMD 4ghz 4 core APU, a ssd, and a 1tb hard drive all in compact mini-itx case. All of this plus a keyboard fit in a large backpack. Now it is heavy, takes a few minutes to assemble and disassemble, and does not have battery backup but I feel the increased productivity and price per performance is well worth it.

Yes, but does it make calls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43948039)

I for one welcome the Mega-Phablet

mmm (1)

houbou (1097327) | about 10 months ago | (#43948193)

Bring it down to Windows 7, increase the RAM to 16 GB and make it a 1TB HD and I'm sold. For sure!!!!!

Dell Is Toast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43948277)

It's a good thing they've got a boatload of cash in the bank to live off of, because unless they can get with the times and convert themselves from a warehouse/assembly line company that's gone through a Bain-style outsource-gutting into a technology company that knows the difference between technology workers and forklift operators, they're done.

Re: Dell Is Toast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43948415)

I believe there is a market for DELL, even as a custom box builder. Their laptops are overall, very good. As long as the price/performance is great, I will continue to buy DELL.
As a parent, I can either get an IPad (a consumption device), or a computer (a creation device). One is a glorified interactive TV. The other is FAR more capable.
Will this guarantee the survival of DELL? Not necessarily, but DELL is still at the top of my list.
Fwiw, I own an iPad.

I AM buying this to lug around... (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 10 months ago | (#43948311)

I'm waiting on them to bump to Haswell but I'm looking at this to replace my XPS 17. I'm a consultant and I usually just work off of an 13 inch ultrabook but I have times where I need something bigger for doing some of the analytical work. This would give me a larger screen and cut over 2 lbs at the same time.

big screens are so yesterday... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 10 months ago | (#43948331)

my ideal computer:

as many cores as I can cram in -
as much RAM as I can cram in -
as much SSD storage as I can cram in -
  - to a walkman sized box

a couple USB ports, one commodity, easily replaced DC power port

(stay with me here)

an LED-based projector unit built-in, maybe an HDMI port to help things along should I feel the crushing need to plug in a TV or monitor (or I can't find sixty diagonal inches of blank wall, and really where does that happen??)

EITHER a USB or wireless mini keyboard OR a sideways-projecting laser "surface" keyboard built in.

The whole thing including wall wart could weigh the same if not less than a netbook - hell, it could be a project...

Beware the Dell proprietary power supply scheme (1)

EvilXenu (706326) | about 10 months ago | (#43948575)

I picked up a tricked-out Dell XPS 17 laptop a few years back. It worked great until it stopped recognizing my genuine Dell PS (just outside of my warranty period too... which SUCKED). That in turn caused the thing to run at a REDUCED clock speed and REFUSED to charge the battery. After a bit of digging, it turns out that there is a 1-wire protocol between the PS and the laptop. If that goes down, you are left with a slow running, paperweight. Dell doesn't like you running after-market PS on their devices, but also screws legitimate customers because the engineering behind it sucks.

The thing that irritates me the most is that I *know* this is just a software check in the BIOS. If they would release an unlocked BIOS, I'd be good to go.

Needless to say, I've never bought another Dell since then. I've been extremely happy giving ASUS my business instead.

Boo hiss (1)

jameshuckabone (2648439) | about 10 months ago | (#43948671)

I don't understand society. I bought a kick ass Samsung Series 7 gamer on Craigslist that I use for producing things that make me a bunch of money. I go all over hell's half acre with it. It weighs over 10 pounds. You know what I do to move it around? I put it in a bag and use my goddamn body to lift all 10+ pounds of it. I know it's no 5 pounds, but I manage. I survive. Maybe I'm special? Stronger than most?

I don't get the hate. (4, Informative)

BrianH (13460) | about 10 months ago | (#43948981)

My office was on the pre-launch wait list and we got some of the first XPS 18's Dell shipped. For your average person, with average computer needs, it's actually a really nice solution. First off, this really isn't meant to be used like a typical tablet, and is more of a "lap computer". The foldout legs allow it to work beautifully as a presentation piece (I've been using it to do R&D demos), and when reversed it actually makes a very nice tabletop touchscreen.

Is it the most powerful computer in the world? No. Mine is the i5 with 8Gb and it's performance is about average for a modern desktop computer. You're not going to run the latest games with everything cranked all the way up (the lack of discreet graphics puts an end to that), but my son plays SW:ToR and it averages about 40fps with everything turned up. That's nothing amazing, but it's really not bad either. You have to remember that the XPS 18 isn't meant to compete with powerful desktops...it's an Ultrabook in a tablet form factor, and it delivers Ultrabook level performance. When viewed through that lens, the performance is just fine. On the Windows partition, I've run everything from Office to Visual Studio with no real complaints.

The battery life on mine has been fairly good. From a full charge, it will do about 4.5-5 hours of light duty work (web browsing, etc) with the screen brightness turned down a bit. When my son was playing SW:TOR, he got about two hours out of it with the brightness all the way up. That's not the greatest, but you have to remember that we're talking about an 18" 1080 screen.

The portability is actually better than you would expect as well. You're not going to be walking around using it in your hand like an iPad, but it's very well balanced and much easier to handle than it looks. I purchased the messenger bag style case for mine, and usually carry it around like a laptop. When I'm moving around the room, I just tuck it under my arm, where it feels much lighter than its advertised 5lb weight. The back of the XPS 18 is metal, there's a heavy rubber bumper all the way around, and the "gator glass" screen is slightly flexible, which make it fairly durable. Mine has already taken a few falls without any marks or damage.

There are a couple of things I'm less than thrilled about. The power button is poorly placed and is exceptionally easy to accidentally press by hand. I had to reconfigure it in both Win8 and Xubuntu (yes, it dual boots just fine) to ignore inputs from the power button entirely. The foldout legs are well built and seem like they'll last a while, but Dell's folding mechanism uses a poorly designed magnetic holder. Basically they placed magnets on the back of the legs and then placed the regulatory stickers over the top of them to hold them in place. It took two weeks for the stickers on one to peel loose, after which the leg began flopping out on me. It was an easy fix with a bit of superglue, but it was a disappointing to see them cheap out on such a simple detail. Like others, I'm also disappointed in their choice to use a 5400RPM hard drive over a SSD, or even a 7200. The HDD is probably the biggest performance killer in the design. Finally, I'm irritated that, even after a month of tweaking, I haven't managed to get the touchscreen working in Xubuntu 12 LTS. I don't know what Dell did with the drivers for this thing, but none of the standard Linux touchscreen drivers work at all. Because of that, you can only use Linux on it when it's sitting at its base station with the physical keyboard and mouse. It makes a fine Xubuntu workstation when sitting on the base, but I'd really like to get the touchscreen working on it so I can use it as a tablet.

All in all though, I'm fairly satisfied with it. I'm not going to use it to replace my desktop, but since getting it a month ago I've nearly stopped using my previous tablet (Xoom) and have completely stopped carrying my Ultrabook around. My Apple wielding co-workers have largely reported the same. If Dell would offer this in a 15" version and make it a bit more portable, I think they could give the tablet makers a serious run for their money. It really is THAT good. Having a "real" computer in your hand, instead of a hobbled app-only tablet, simply gives you a lot more flexibility in how you use it.

Oh, and for those who said that they'd like it if it would run Win7...it will run 7 just fine. One of my co-workers is rabidly anti-Win8, and the first thing he did was a Win7 downgrade. It works great for him.

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