Dell XPS 18 hands on: An AIO that’s so thin and portable that it works as a tablet

Dell XPS 18 - in cradle

Back in December, Dell executives let it slip that the company was developing an 18-inch Windows 8 tablet and almost immediately we started thinking about all the possible applications for such a wonderful beast. Would it, at last, bring Surface Table-like functionality to regular living rooms? Could it be the ultimate second screen? We’re about to get those answers, because the device Michael Dell talked about at Dell World is real and it will be out next month.

Dell XPS 18 - front

The Dell XPS 18 isn’t being marketed as an 18-inch tablet, but rather as a portable all-in-one. That makes more sense, honestly, because calling it a tablet doesn’t really get across what this computer is capable of. Then again, Dell might have been able to get away with that since the XPS 18 is pretty thin and light for what it is, especially when compared to other portable AIOs out there (Sony VAIO Tap 20, we’re looking at you). It’s the kind of thing I can imagine actually moving from room to room on a regular basis, setting it up in the kitchen for entertainment while I cook, sitting with it in front of the big screen TV, and laying flat on a table for some games. It really is a computer the whole family can crowd around, and it will be great for game night.

The XPS 18 sports an 18.4-inch full HD display with very wide viewing angles and good color depth. It weighs 4.85 pounds with an SSD inside (5 with a hard drive), which is less than some laptops I can name. It also balances pretty well for something so big, and doesn’t feel like it would easily slip from my hands as I carried it. A small child would likely find it awkward to carry. As of right now, the XPS 18 is the thinnest (17.7mm) and lightest portable AIO available.

Two flip out feet integrated into the body make it easy to set the XPS 18 up on any sturdy surface, though only at one angle. If you want something more versatile or need to raise the screen up for proper ergonomics, Dell will also offer an adjustable metal stand for $50. Given the weight, the XPS probably won’t spend all of its time sitting at arm’s length. During our hands-on time, it felt comfortable and natural to hold it in my lap and use it that way.

A big tablet/portable all-in-one like this has a lot of potential, but will owners be able to realize it out of the box? Dell plans to bundle some multiplayer games with the XPS 18 (they aren’t great), and there are a few others out there for the downloading. Dell reps also mentioned that reading magazines and newspapers on a screen this big will be awesome. Drawing, browsing, watching movies, everything that a touchscreen device is good for, is easy. The Achilles Heel here is going to be app availability. How soon will a good enough selection of apps made for this form factor come out? We’d love to see Hasbro, Mattel, and Pressman Games jump on developing virtual board games for giant screens.

Sony VAIO TAP 20 vs Dell XPS 18
Sony VAIO TAP 20 vs Dell XPS 18

When the Dell XPS 18 launches in mid-April, consumers will have a range of configurations to choose from, starting at $900. At the lowest price, you’ll only get an Intel Pentium CPU, but Core i3, i5, and i7 will be available. It should get about 5 hours of battery life. Other specs include 4GB or 8GB of RAM, integrated graphics, 320GB or 500GB hard drive or 256GB or 512GB SSD, 8-in-1 card reader, two USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Di (Wireless HDMI for connecting to your TV). It will be available soon.

Do you think that Dell should have gone with giant tablet or does calling the XPS 18 a “portable all-in-one” make more sense to you? And, more importantly, are you intrigued?

Computing

Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Computing

Dell teases new XPS laptop with Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake for summer 2019

After teasing a mysterious Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop during Intel's keynote, Dell confirmed that it will announce a new 10th-generation Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop this year. The new XPS notebook could debut as early as summer.
Home Theater

QLED and OLED may have similar names, but they're totally different technologies

The names may look almost identical, but OLED and QLED are two entirely different beasts. In our QLED vs. OLED battle, we dissect the differences between these dueling TV technologies, and help determine which might be best for you.
Mobile

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Computing

Hackers are scoring with ransomware that attacks its previous victims

Computer viruses are always evolving. In a new one, dubbed "Ryuk," hackers are targeting PCs with ransomware that scours an infected network in order to pinpoint and attack and enterprises with big money.
Computing

An update to Microsoft To-Do will help you keep up with your resolutions

If you're looking to stay productive in 2019, you might want to check out the freshly updated Microsoft To-Do app, now with additional integration with the Windows 10 Start Menu and more.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Computing

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents with Adobe or a free option

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Computing

Nvidia’s next midrange card might be a GTX 1660 Ti, rumors suggest

Nvidia may be working on a non-RTX Turing graphics card called the 1660 Ti. Rumors suggest it will have around 20 percent fewer CUDA cores than the RTX 2060 and will lack ray tracing support.
Deals

From Samsung to HP, here are the best cheap Chromebook deals right now

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- with most…