variant on the iMac all-in-one is a step up for the Windows side of the fence. A 27-inch, 2560x1440 IPS screen, attractive styling, beefy, extremely loud audio capabilities and a bevy of useful ports elevates it beyond the standard.
The screen is glossy — sometimes feeling a little too glossy — and the only adjustment you'll get is tilt; which is understandable, given the sheer size and weight of the thing.
There are basic touch controls at the bottom right, which borrow heavily from Dell's UltraSharp monitor line. Bring your hand close, and the buttons will light up. Press any of them, and a general, easy-to-follow context-sensitive menu will appear on the screen. It's impressively elegant, if limited in the case of the XPS 2710, offering only volume, screen brightness and input switching.
Yes, input switching; the XPS 2710 features two HDMI ports on the back — one in, one out — so you can either add a second monitor (which, unlike the XPS, will be limited to 1080p in resolution), or use the XPS itself as a monitor for things like your PlayStation.
While Dell is usually one of the few companies that put effort into HDMI input filtering, in the case of the XPS, we've got a basic effort. It does support 24p and YPbPr, but in our HQV tests it showed that while it was doing a little noise reduction, it failed everything else, making it not good for interlaced content. Both of our Mission: Impossible III test scenes showed judder in horizontal and vertical panning. The upshot? It's great for games consoles, but not the best for stand-alone Blu-Ray players.
There are two USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks and an SD card reader on the left-hand side. Flip it around to the back, and you get another four USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet and SPDIF, if you're a bit more audio inclined than most. There's a loop in the neck to allow cable management to keep things nice and tidy.
The right-hand side fits in a BD-ROM, which should actually be fine for watching movies, as the Windows software you'll be using will address the problems with the HDMI input noted above.
The top features dual microphones on either side of the webcam, which in a cute move can actually be blocked by a shutter, in case you want to ensure privacy.
The two areas that could use the most improvement are the wireless keyboard and mouse — not to say that they're bad at all, but the keys feel shallower than most, and, while the mouse works fine, we'd like to see something a little more ergonomically minded.
The heart beating inside of the XPS 2710 is a Core i7 3770S @ 3.1GHz, which is married with 8GB of RAM, a 2TB hard drive, a 32GB SSD cache and a GeForce GT 640M.