The Dell XPS 27 brings ten speakers, 4K Infinity Edge display to the desktop for creators

For a few years, Dell had one of the most potent all-in-one PCs on the market with their high-end XPS 27. That system has not been overhauled in years, so it's great to see the all new XPS 27 that brings new concepts to the entertainment PC.

In short, Dell is taking its 4K Infinity Edge display and jamming it into a PC that is built around sound and high visual definition. In fact, there are no less than ten speakers packed into the new XPS 27 both for audio aficionados and those who like to create and work in music.

For the display, Dell is putting a 27-inch UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) InfinityEdge IPS touch display in this beast. Featuring 100% Adobe RGB display gamut and Dell's PremierColor software users can configure and remap the color spectrum to their needs. Plus, Windows Hello.

Built around sound

The XPS 27 always had a stunning display with the previous version (which I used for years) at QHD+. This time, however, the company is focusing heavily on sound for audiophiles and professionals too:

Working in coordination with multi-Grammy Award winning producer Jack Joseph Puig and the engineers at Dell, the XPS 27 creates a new standard for audio and video creation and consumption. The XPS 27 boasts the best sound for an All-in-one PC. The XPS 27 sound system has a distinctive integrated sound bar which includes ten discrete speakers powered and controlled by digital dynamic amplifiers producing 50W per channel. It's also the world's first PC with a pair of independent, down-firing full range speakers that augment front-firing speakers for heightened sound ambiance. These speakers are tuned to work in conjunction with the stereo drives to fill the room with sound. The results are unbelievable.

More specifically here is what those speakers are and what they do:

  • Two tweeters produce clean high notes and crystal clear voices with lively, yet accurate stereo imaging.
  • Four full range drivers provide a powerful punch and clear, accurate midrange.
  • Two passive radiators reinforce the lows, packing the rich, full sound of a larger speaker into the sleek built-in design and provide deep bass.
  • An additional pair of independent, down-firing full range speakers are tuned to work in conjunction with the stereo drivers to fill the room with sound.
  • Dynamic amplifiers sense the power used by the driver to adapt known speaker modeling parameters to the content being played and avoid excursions.

That all sounds a little crazy to me, pardon the pun, but it's surely going to pique the interest of people who work in video or music creation. Dell throws out some claims too including that this XPS 27:

  • Outperforms the HP Envy 27 and the 27-inch Apple iMac in total loudness and overall frequency response
  • Is louder than the HP Envy 27 and the 27-inch Apple iMac
  • Is 2x louder than 27-inch Apple iMac
  • Has more bass than HP Envy 27 and 27-inch Apple iMac
  • World's first PC with down-firing speakers that augment front-firing speakers for heightened sound ambiance

For now, we'll take Dell at their word. Clearly, though, they see this as a challenge to HP and Apple's all-in-one PCs, especially in the audio and video department.

Full Specifications

The rest of XPS 27 – like all Dell computers – is heavily user configured during the purchase process. This not only allows various price points, but also lets users get the most out of the device.

XPS 27

XPS 27

Here are the full specs:

Dell XPS 27 (2017)

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CategoryDell XPS 27 9560
Processor options6th Gen Intel Core i5-6400 Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.3 GHz)
6th Gen Intel Core i7-6700 Processor (8M Cache, up to 4 GHz)
Display27" 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) touch (300-nits)
27" 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) InfinityEdge (350-nits)
LED backlit
100% Adobe RGB (typical)
>1000:1 contrast ratio
StandArticulating for touch
Tilt only for non-touch
Memory options8GB – 32GB DDR4 SDRAM at 2133 MHz
4 SoDIMM slots – supports up to 64GB memory
Graphics optionsIntel HD Graphics 530
Storage options1TB SATA hard drive
2TB SATA hard drive
2TB SATA hard drive + 32GB M.2 Solid State Drive with Intel RST
512GB or 1TB m.2 PCIe SSD
Wireless802.11 ac (2.4GHz & 5.GHz) + Bluetooth 4.0
802.11 ac (2.4GHz & 5.GHz, 2x2) + Bluetooth 4.0
WebcamHD (720p) webcam with wide, quad array digital microphones
Hello Compliant infrared facial recognition camera
Ports and connectorsSide ports - USB 3.0 with PowerShare
SD-card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
audio jack
Back ports - USB 3.0 (4), HDMI-out (1), DisplayPort 1.2 (1), Thunderbolt 3 (supporting Type-C, DisplayPort, USB3.1, PS) (2)
Gigabit Ethernet
audio out (1)
ExpansionUp to 3 total bays: 2 2.5" HDD / 1 M.2 PCIe X4 SSD slot
Power supplyInternal 360W PSU
AudioTen speaker sound system powered by dynamic amplifiers capable of 50W per channel at <1% THD coupled with Jack Joseph Puig Signature Series powered by Waves MaxxAudio Pro Over 90dB SPL tightly controlled over 70Hz - 20KHz Stereo Power (watts) ~50W per channel @ 1% THD Frequency response ~70Hz – 20 KHz
Keyboard and MouseDell Premium Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
Starting weightTouch: 38.2lbs (17.3 kg)
Non-touch: 28.7lb (13 kg)
ChassisAll-in-one constructed of CNC machined aluminum

Besides the fantastic display and audio system, Dell throws in a Windows Hello IR camera too for good measure.

The choice for 6th Gen Intel chips is no big deal as Kaby Lake on the desktop brings nothing to the table, but the choice of AMD over NVidia is a bit odd. For performance, you're talking an equivalent roughly to the NVidia GeForce 970 compared to the AMD Radeon R9 M485X. That does bring some GPU power, but the XPS 27 is still far from being anything like a gaming laptop.

Bottom line and Availability

Combined with the Windows 10 Creator's Update due this spring and it's not hard to see how this is Dell's take on the Microsoft Surface Studio.

Instead of competing directly with the Surface Studio's slant towards artists and engineers, Dell is going after a different group of creative professionals. That's a smart choice. While the Surface Studio is a great product it clearly has limitations that this XPS 27 does not. If you work in video production, the XPS 27 is what you will want to get.

Dell is looking to make the XPS 27 all-in-one available starting today, January 5, for orders. Pricing starts at $1,499 and goes up depending on configuration.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • And so it begins. So glad Microsoft took the approach they did with the Surface line as a standard bearer, and reference point. Its only going to get better from here.
  • They just announced the Studio a couple months ago. Usually Microsoft is secretive about their Surface devices so it's unlikely that the Studio influenced this product. 
  • True, but Creators Update might have: Dell most certainly is aware of Microsoft's roadmap for Windows 10 to an extent, and the latter's focus on creatives could've influenced the development of this product.
  • This device and Canvas had been in development for a few years too. I think Dell was privy to what/where Microsoft was going. I mean, look at the Canvas and it's "Totems". That is not a coincidence ;) Clearly, the companies talk about hardware.
  • I agree with what Daniel said :)
  • @peterfares I think its common practice for Microsoft to share a little bit of their plans with Dell, HP, and the like so this was definitely their take. I was drooling at this machine until I scrolled down and saw AMD GPUs only. Adobe's software suite heavily is skewed towards NVIDIA chips. Like Daniel mentioned it is an odd choice. They could have at least offered both options. I think this speaks to their choice to push this towards audio related creatives more than anything else. I was all set to throw my money at them too.
  • @Murani Lewis The key to the GPU concern might be with that Thunderbolt3/USB-C port. An external GPU (eGPU) with NVidia card connected to this might just do the trick for Adobe users as well as gamers. That solution would also add a degree of future proofing that no internal GPU might have (especially given the price). This AIO + Dell's canvas are looking very appealing for a DAW or VW.
  • ah I can see your point. I'd love confirmation on this aspect using an external GPU.
  • I think I am confused on what an "InfinityEdge" display is. Can anyone shed some light? (I thought infinity meant no bezel)
  • An audio or video specialist or even someone who cares about audio or video would not buy a system with integrated audio. Integrated audio IS useful for people who need audio and care a little bit about it but don't want to take the space and wires needed for a separate audio system.
  • Those speakers actually suck when drawing on the device in "flat mode".
  • WOW! That's all I can say for now! 😋
  • Doesn't Kaby Lake provide the DRM needed for Netflix/Amazon video 4k playback on computers? It's a shame that with a screen like that to not be able to see past 720p (from what I hear Neftlix, Amazon video etc.. cap computer playback at 720p) on the subscription services when not working.
  • Annoyed by the specs and unnecessary speakers haha. As someone who works with graphics design, video, and audio production, this machine is just so far behind. Atleast the HP has a better graphics card and doesn't have an unnecessary speaker array that's ugly on it. The speakers are great I'm sure you are a casual listener who doesn't already own speakers. But no professional would edit on built in speakers regardless of what they sound like lol.
  • If they are gearing this towards professionals then comparing loudness is the last thing anyone is interested in. I want to know the frequency response and sensitivity of this thing. It's a nice try but you're better off with a good pair of monitors if you're serious about audio
  • Interesting, but ugly design.