The Good Sleek, attention-getting design; high-quality, adjustable 20-inch LCD; speakers offer crisp, rich audio; detachable Bluetooth keyboard and Media Center remote will work well from the couch or during a presentation; top-of-the-line components deliver high overall performance and competent gaming capability.
The Bad Absurdly expensive; TV tuner and some other A/V connections aren't built in; too heavy to be truly portable.
The Bottom Line A striking feat of engineering that's sure to garner attention in a stylish home or on a multimedia-intensive sales call, the Dell XPS M2010 is simply too expensive and impractical to be anything more than a curio for the rest of us.
Dell XPS M2010
With the XPS M2010, Dell has forgotten completely why laptops were invented in the first place. And that's a good thing--or at least an interesting thing. The company has packed an impressive multimedia experience into a form factor that's far more portable and self-contained than any other desktop PC's and considerably less compromised than that of other laptops that make do with smaller displays, cramped keyboards, and minimized feature sets. Unfortunately, with a base price of $3,500, the XPS M2010 is also about as expensive as a semester at a state college; the target market here is clearly those for whom money is no object. Something between an all-in-one desktop PC and a proper laptop, the XPS M2010 accommodates a fold-out 20-inch display, a detachable Bluetooth keyboard, a premium set of components, and most of the trappings of a modern Media Center PC, including an impressive sound system; a pop-up, slot-loading DVD player; and an integrated video camera and microphone for videoconferencing. It's a striking feat of engineering that's sure to garner attention in a stylish home or on a multimedia-intensive sales call, but for the rest of us, it's too impractical and too expensive to be anything more than a cool, techno-curio.
One thing is certain: the XPS M2010 is guaranteed to turn heads. Covered with subtly marbled, charcoal gray "soft-touch paint" that does a decent impression of leather, with the lid closed, it looks more like a piece of business-class luggage than a laptop. When you slide the two latches open and lift the lid, the black interior, chrome highlights, and glowing blue lights give the XPS M2010 the sleek look of a high-end stereo component. Despite its many movable and removable parts, we found the laptop solidly constructed and easy to open and close, though the paint starting peeling at one of the corners after some rough play.
Dell says that the XPS M2010's footprint takes up less space than a typical desktop computer; we're not so sure. Measuring 16.75 inches deep, 19.25 inches wide, and 3 inches thick, the XPS M2010 is definitely larger than any other late-model, desktop-replacement laptop we've seen, including the 19-inch Eurocom M590K Emperor. It's quite big even next to the desktop competition: small form-factor PCs from niche gaming vendors such as Shuttle and Falcon Northwest, and even business systems such as the Lenovo ThinkCentre M series, are all considerably more compact, though far less easy to quickly pick up and move. That said, between the display, the CPU, and the keyboard, the XPS M2010 weighs 18.3 pounds; with its bricklike AC adapter, it reaches 20.8 pounds. Though it's more portable than almost any desktop PC, it's simply too heavy to regularly carry any further than from room to room or out to the car.
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