Dell's XPS 27 all-in-one brings big sound

It's tough to stand out from the crowd in PC design these days, and there's so many variations one can make on the all-in-one theme. For the XPS 27 AIO, Dell decided to address an oft-ignored aspect of computers: audio. For all the space-saving benefits AIO systems provide, some of the charm disappears if you have to plug in a separate set of speakers to listen to music or watch people rap about cats. Dell teamed up with Grammy Award-winning music producer Jack Joseph Puig to design the XPS 27, an all-in-one PC that doesn't leave the speakers up to the user or compromise with sub-par sound.

The XPS 27 doesn't try to hide its audio aspirations. The computer has six speakers right on the front, two down-firing speakers, and a port design that Dell says will increase bass response. Dell claims the system is two times louder than Apple's 27" iMac and has ten times the bass of HP's Envy 27. For those of us that own headphones and speakers that we researched before buying, this might sound a bit like bragging about the audio quality in a Smart car, but it's definitely a step toward a truly single-cord computing experience.

Seeing as the XPS 27 is a Dell product, there are plenty of customization options from the base model. The 4K IPS display sitting above the speakers can include optional touch capability. The touch-enabled version includes a stand that allows the system to shift down to a more touch-friendly angle, and has a maximum brightness of 300 cd/m². Meanwhile, the regular screen is slightly brighter, cranking up to 350 cd/m².

For the insides of the beast, you can pick from Core i5-6400 or Core i7-6700 CPUs, add up to 32GB of RAM, and even throw in an optional AMD R9 M470X graphics card. Dell says an upgrade to a Radeon M485X is coming later, as well. For storage, there are a plethora of options, including SATA SSDs up to 2TB and up to a 1TB M.2 SSD.

Despite being an all-in-one system trying to eliminate even more cord clutter than its nearest relatives, the system has plenty of conectivity options. Dell Includes two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support are included, along with five USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI output, an SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, and audio jacks. The XPS 27 is available now on Dell's site starting at $1,499.

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