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Dell XPS M2010: Giant laptop hits UK!

The giant 20-inch laptop everyone's been talking about finally hits UK shores -- and it's the most bizarrely wonderful thing ever

The Dell XPS M2010 is here! The machine that started life as a concept at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show is now available to buy via the Dell UK Web site. Ours arrived yesterday and immediately sparked the biggest debate we've had concerning a laptop. Some of us though it was the coolest thing ever, others were literally freaked out by it.

In case you've been hiding under a rock, the £2,000 XPS M2010 isn't actually a laptop. We call it a 'laps-top' because you'll need more than one lap (or a desk) to use it on. It's over 470mm wide and has a screen measuring 20.1 inches across the diagonal.

It resembles a large briefcase when closed and there's even a leather-bound handle you can use to haul it around -- see our photo story for more pics. Things get far more impressive when you open it up. Unlike most laptops there are three distinct sections to the XPS M2010: there's the screen, which has eight speakers across the bottom; the main base portion, whose central section raises up to reveal an optical drive; and the Bluetooth keyboard, which is completely detachable.

Using the laptop is like watching the Transformers -- everything it does happens in such a slick fashion. The DVD drive makes a fantastic whining sound when it opens and closes, you can see the disc spinning through a translucent panel, and it automatically spits the disc out after the drive panel rises. We felt a bit like the President of the US must do when he opens up his nuclear briefcase -- except the XPS doesn't let you wipe entire nations off the map.

The XPS M2010 seems rather ridiculous in concept, but it makes sense if you think of it as a portable desktop and not a genuine laptop. It's powerful enough to do everything you'd ask of a high-end desktop PC, thanks to the dual-core Intel T2600 CPU, 1GB of RAM and ATI Radeon X1800 graphics card, plus it can be folded up into its briefcase mode in a matter of seconds, thrown in the back of a car and transported to new locations with ease.

We like it. Watch out for a full review soon. -RR

Update: Read the full review of the Dell XPS M2010 in our Reviews channel.