All-in-one computers have been around for a few years – Apple arguably invented the space with the first iMac in 1998. All-in-ones typically combine the guts of a computer and the display into a single package, sometimes even adding a touchscreen for good measure.

Now we’re starting to see companies take the concept a little further by adding batteries that let you pick up your desktop PC and carry it around like a tablet.

The latest entry is the Dell XPS 18, a Windows 8 computer with an 18.4 inch touchscreen, a 5 hour battery, and a starting price of $900.

Dell XPS 18

The entry-level Dell XPS 18 features a 1920 x 1080 pixel display, and an Intel Pentium ULV dual-core processor. If you’re willing to pay extra you can trick out the XPS 18 with specs including an Intel Core i7 processor, up to a 512GB solid state disk, and up to 8GB of RAM.

Dell’s XPS 18 isn’t the first all-in-one desktop that can also be used as a tablet. But it’s one of the most portable. The Sony Vaio Tap20, for instance, is about the same size and shape — but it weighs more than 11 pounds. The Dell XPS 18 weighs just under 5.

Asus also has an 18 inch all-in-one that can be used as a tablet… but the Asus Transformer AiO is actually a two-piece machine. There’s a desktop station which runs Windows software and a detachable 18 inch tablet display which runs Android. The Asus model has a relatively hefty starting price of $1200.

So the Dell XPS 18 appears to be the most affordable, portable device in its class… at least until the next portable all-in-one desktop comes along.

Now I guess we get to see whether anyone really wants or needs this type of computer, or if most PC buyers would rather just buy a cheap laptop or desktop and spend the money they save on a tablet that weighs less than 2 pounds and offers even longer battery life.

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8 replies on “Dell XPS 18 takes all-in-one to next level: This desktop is a tablet”

  1. Not sure why all of the negative comments…I’m buying one for sure. I already own a Windows 8 tablet (ASUS TF810C with docking keyboard), but there are times when I simply need a bigger screen. I usually connect it to my Dell 24″ monitor at those times, but that monitor is not easy to lug around to different rooms in the house and has to be plugged into an outlet, so it stays put on my desk, which means I can only use a large screen while sitting at my desk. With the 5lbs XPS 18, I can carry it to the kitchen, family room or even out on the patio and won’t have to worry about plugging in and can do my work without having to squint to look at a small screen. It’s like Dell read my mind and created something that I truly have a need for. Can’t wait to get it.

    1. I’m struggling to find this information online so hopefully you read this and can let me know (!) presuming that you now have the tablet – the XPS 18 does not have an HDMI or DisplayPort output, so how is this achieved to connect the XPS 18 to a Dell 24 ” monitor, for example via DisplayPort?

  2. Why not a 48″ tablet?! You could lay it out down and browse with your feet… a dance app! (Could even double as a nice TV!)

  3. This is why Dell will continue to suck. They don’t understand consumer needs. The 12″ Duo was neat but poorly executed well ahead of similar designs by Lenovo.

    Dell had a nice design in the Dell Streak Android phone and they just don’t understand how to support their customer base and 1 year later Samsung beat them with the Galaxy Note, arguably similar 5″+ phablet but Dell dropped the ball as usual.

  4. Here’s the deal for me…. I need a large touchscreen monitor, but most cost thousands and are specialized low-production devices. If devices like these become more common, then I wouldn’t mind taking the computer along with the display to save a few bucks. 🙂

    Only trouble is I doubt any of these AIOs have VESA mounts. 🙁

    1. It’s not hard to fashion your own VESA mount out of a sheet of aluminum/steel, and use either Velcro or double sided tape to hold it to the back of this unit. It’s only 5 pounds, and the large surface area means pretty low force applied per square inch. Stable, yet not difficult to remove. Or, you could get a little more creative and create a VESA mount that you could slide the AIO into, eliminating the use of Velcro or double-sided tape completely.

      Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

  5. Just portable those surfing session on the balcony or in the garden but I bet its a glossy screen…
    Maybe its supposed to be a home automation remote for giants?

  6. I don’t see how this is going to be practical:
    – An 18″ tablet is not exactly comfortable to lug around in your house.
    – It is also way too big to take it with you outside of the home.
    – Touchscreen for desktop work is still a nonsense

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