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Portables Hardware

Dell's New X18: 5 Pounds, 18 Inches 138

Posted by timothy
from the that-sounds-like-a-weird-baby dept.
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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Dell's New X18: 5 Pounds, 18 Inches

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  • This looks horrible (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Maudib (223520) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @02:50PM (#43947293)

    Really, its the worst of all worlds.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 whic

      • No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame.

        • The difference is that slashdot geeks wanted the iPod to do what was impractical in 2001 whereas this Dell device is competing with existing devices.
      • Horrible idea and will never sell. No one wants a 18.5" 5lbs screen in their lap. How do I know? How well have laptops over 17" been selling? How well have laptops over 4 lbs been selling lately? Exactly. Future is tiny, lightweight tablets/phones that you carry in your pocket and then dock (wirelessly hopefully) to large, cheap LCDs when you reach your destination. I'm almost there, 2 lbs 11" multitouch dell latitude xt docks with two large LCDs at home and office.
      • "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"

        `We ran our laptop battery rundown test on the system, and the XPS 18 returned a battery life of 4 hours 38 minutes [pcmag.com].'
    • The "refreshments" must be amazing.
    • by d3matt (864260)
      Totally disagree... My wife recently got one and absolutely loves it. It's absolutely great to watch movies on in bed. It's fast enough for email, internet, etc. The screen is gorgeous. The dock is awesome. And to the guy who says it doesn't have wireless... it has N...
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      I can't understand why companies would want a Slashvertizement. Invariably the first comment slates the product and the rest of the discussion then goes on to tear it apart. People only come to Slashdot for the comments since the news is available elsewhere.

      Not all publicity is good publicity.

  • Haven't we had similar crap for a while now? What does this do that makes it newsworthy?
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      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 porta

      • 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.

        • by cbhacking (979169)

          I''ve literally not once used the optical drive in that work machine; ISOs and bootable flashdrives are much more convenient and all the software I need is downloadable anyhow. The ethernet I rarely use, but if I needed it on a device the doesn't have it (like my tablet), I'd grab a USB NIC.

          WiFi is fine if you run it through a VPN, which is required for my work anyhow.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • by mrbester (200927)

          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.

    • by Monoman (8745) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @03:40PM (#43947543) Homepage

      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.

      • 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.

        • by cbhacking (979169)

          Y'all much have really fat fingers... I used Win7 on a smaller (and higher PPI) touchscreen than that one. Win8's a breeze by comparison, and I avoid Metra stuff anyhow!

      • by mapkinase (958129)

        I am curious about cooling of this thing. Something tells me that cooling will be compromised if I take this 5 pound 20 inch board to my bed. Unless I misunderstood "taking upstairs ...before bed..."...

        Overheating is becoming a major problem in portable devices.

      • Or the price will come down *a lot* if it doesn't catch on.

  • by Monoman (8745) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @02:57PM (#43947331) Homepage

    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.

    • by bmcage (785177)
      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....
      • 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.
      • by BrianH (13460)

        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.

    • by d3matt (864260)
      My wife loves her's. It's way better for watching movies than any laptop we've owned.
  • by decora (1710862) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @02:58PM (#43947337) Journal

    5 pounds, 18 inches baby

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @02:58PM (#43947341)

    apples price for the same thing $1800 base

    • 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.

      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @03:45PM (#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.

    • 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.

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        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

        • 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.

    • 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 cle

    • by fermion (181285)
      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

      • I presume you're taking about the Lisa, which was an utter flop. It also was nothing like this, except that it had an integrated enclosure and screen and was based on a graphical UI (which was about the same as the Macintosh, if that's what you meant). It was not portable, it was not battery powered, it did bot have a large interface, it was not a tablet form, it was not color, it had no touch screen.

        Actually there are two niche markets for these, with side markets which will come on line when the price get

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday June 08, 2013 @03:02PM (#43947355) Homepage Journal

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

    • 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.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

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

    • by alfredo (18243)
      It runs Windoze
  • 18" desktop screens are something from a decade or so ago--why go back?

    • 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.

    • by Khyber (864651)

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

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      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

    • by toddestan (632714)

      It's 1920x1080, which is the same resolution of just about every monitor up to 27". So unless you want to step up to a rather bulky 27" (or 30"), there really isn't any benefit of the larger screen other than wasted desk space.

  • Throw away screen. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mspohr (589790) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @03:15PM (#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.

    • 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.

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

    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @03:55PM (#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.

      • 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

        • 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.

          • 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 s
          • 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.

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            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 ge

            • by tepples (727027)

              why wouldn't you in theory be able to do the same kind of shenigans with a crt?

              Color CRTs can't address the phosphor areas behind individual holes in the shadow mask. They address whatever phosphor is on the other side of where they're aimed.

        • by Pubstar (2525396)
          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.
          • by cbhacking (979169)

            Wy spend $400? Mine $298, DHL Express shipped (two days from Seoul to the US west coast), and they even included the AC plug adapter (mains adaptor to our overseas friends). Seller had many thousands of positive reviews; it was one of the best transactions I've ever made online.

      • 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.

      • by Smauler (915644)

        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

        • At the very least you haven't counted the cable that supplies the monitor with power.

          At the very least you've ignored the monitor power cable, that will also be there. That it isn't plugged into the main box is not relevant, it's part of the tangle.

          And I took the effort to highlight the word "easily" because of course people move traditional PCs. But it's not easy like it is with an all in one. That's another thing you managed to ignore,

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Khyber (864651)

      " 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 scree

  • 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?
  • Sounds like Dell has given birth to an abomination.

  • 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?
  • 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 (Score:4, Informative)

    by GoJays (1793832) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @03:40PM (#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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      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 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.
    • by Virtucon (127420)

      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 ther

      • by Pubstar (2525396)
        Copied from another post I made: 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.
      • by toddestan (632714)

        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..

        This has to be a custom-made screen pretty much only for this device. I mean, you don't see 1080p TVs under 22", and you don't see 1080p desktop monitors at 18" either, meanwhile 18" is too big for laptops. So it's not like they just shoved some mass-produced 1080p 18" panel in there. So if it's a custom job, why 1080p?

        • by Virtucon (127420)

          Huh? On the contrary there are 18/19" TVs with the same resolutions as the laptops..

          TVs... [google.com] And Take a look at this for laptops [google.com]

          The laptops, while few, are available and not for everybody but they do exist as off the shelf and xoticpc for example puts them together. Trust me the Alienware models IMO are also discontinued and also boat anchors.

          What's sad is seeing 18" (18.4) with 645p or 720p like the Qosimo model in that list. Those pixels have to be big and square. Kind of like
          looking at old 8Bit Graphic [youtube.com]

  • by idbeholda (2405958) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @04:01PM (#43947651) Journal
    Mine is 5lbs 2oz and 19 inches. Oh, wait, they're talking about portable desktops. My bad.
  • by Stoutlimb (143245) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @04:18PM (#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.

    • 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!

  • 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 w
  • by houbou (1097327)
    Bring it down to Windows 7, increase the RAM to 16 GB and make it a 1TB HD and I'm sold. For sure!!!!!
  • 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.
    • by Monoman (8745)

      *Supposedly* they don't have plans to refresh it with the Haswell this year. Hopefully Dell will get some decent feedback and update it with the Haswell, a video out for a second monitor, and whatever else the AVERAGE home user needs.

  • 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

  • Why does timothy seem to get sucked into approving press releases more so than the others?

  • by BrianH (13460) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @08:51PM (#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 a

  • The return of the luggable ...

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