Dell XPS 18 Review | My New “Ridiculous” Computer

“I just bought a new computer”. Normally this is something someone will post to FB, grab a few likes and move on, however the computer I recently purchased is pretty unique, so I thought I would share it in a more detailed post.

I recently picked up the Dell XPS 18, an 18-inch All-in-One / tablet. You read that right. It’s essentially an 18-inch tablet. Except, well, it’s not.

The Dell XPS 18 functions primarily as a desktop. It’s large screen size means it has a full-size monitor “built right in”. It’s secondary purpose is as a tablet. 18 inches is pretty massive for a tablet but the picture below will hopefully make the use-case a little clearer.

Dell XPS 18 as a Tablet

You see, the XPS 18 is not meant to be held in one hand like smaller tablets; instead it is perfect company resting on your lap on your couch. It comes with a charging stand that you can set up on your desk and when you want to relax with it on the couch, you simply grab it off the stand and away you go!

You can see in the main image (above) that it is a very flexible device. You can lie it flat, stand it up, put it in the stand or hold it in your hand.

The decision to pick it up wasn’t easy, though. I spent months agonizing over which new computer to buy to meet what I thought were simple requirements:

  • 90-95% use as a desktop
  • 5-10% as a tablet

I was pretty excited about the Surface Pro 2, an amazing tablet that operates as a full desktop, but the price tag blew me away and the 10-inch screen was lacking, considering I would use it primarily at my desk. There were very few machines that were both portable and powerful with good screen real estate.

The XPS 18 is definitely the best of both worlds. It weighs 5 lbs so it is easy to grab off the stand and carry around, it’s quite fast and comes with ample storage (500GB). Complete with 8GB of RAM, it can run anything you throw at it easily, with the exception of intense games.

So if you’re looking for a new desktop with some versatility, try the Dell XPS 18. It does help that I got it on sale for $699 down from over $1,000.


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Laptop vs. Smartphone vs. Tablet (Are Tablets Useful?)

laptop-smartphone-tabletI recently made an appearance on The Digital Marketing Lounge to discuss with Shum the benefits of using tablets as well as to discuss the future of tablets and some specific models as well. Check out the full podcast.

Personally, I do not quite understand the popularity of tablets. I think that a lot of the movement of the market can be explained not by the perceived benefits of the devices but rather the fact that they are “new”, “cool” and “interesting”. With all of the hype going around, it is easy to see how consumers could easily be roped-in to pick one up.

The reason I say this is because I see hardly any benefits of owning a tablet vs. other technology most people probably already have. Let’s look at the tangible benefits of existing technology and compare it with tablets.


  • Powerful
  • Entirely open – free to install anything

  • Productive (physical keyboards, bigger etc.)

  • Too big, however, to be truly portable


  • Extremely portable
  • Access to a plethora of apps to accomplish various tasks on-the-go

  • However, too small to be truly productive


  • More productive than a smartphone, less productive than a laptop
  • More portable than a laptop, less portable than a smartphone
  • Limited access to applications (limited to those in marketplace)


    Not all smartphones are created equal. Some people with smartphones may not understand how they could get away with just using a smartphone but with a phone like the iPhone 4, you can be amazingly productive. In fact, in almost every single way, the iPad really is just a bigger version of the iPhone (minus the phone of course).

    As you can see from the above comparison, tablets fall somewhere in between a phone and a laptop but never fully replace either. In other words, you probably wouldn’t be able to get by with just a tablet. Chances are, you would also need a laptop or phone or both to accomplish various other tasks. I am not saying that there are no benefits in owning a tablet but I believe that consumers are better off sticking with the combination of a laptop and smartphone for the time-being – until we see tablets that can truly fully replace both.

    In the full podcast, Shum and I, discuss both sides of the issue.

    What do you think? Are you running out to by a tablet? If so, why? Just because they are cool, or do you actually feel like they add enough benefit?