With narrow bezels and a sleek new design, Dell’s 2019 Inspiron 27 7000 All-in-One’s minimalist look allows it to blend seamlessly into nearly any living space whether it’s a kitchen, bedroom, living room, office or college dorm room. Its 27-inch display, open stand and soundbar-style stereo speaker gives it the look of a modern TV.
Starting at $950 (£929, AU$1,549), the Dell Inspiron 27 7000 comes in gloss black and metallic silver with a non-touch display. Available configurations depend on where you live: In the US, they include include Core i7 or i5 processors, integrated or Nvidia MX110 discrete graphics, 8GB or 12GB memory, a 256GB SSD plus 1TB hard disk drive or 512GB SSD, as well as a touchscreen option. In Australia and the UK, the configurations are the same, but instead of 12GB RAM you can get 16GB, and the components in the base configurations differ.
Some purveyors of all-in-ones compromise on speed in order to make the PCs thin. In this case, that means Dell uses a low-power laptop processor, necessary to keep the heat down, compared to competitors such as the HP Pavilion 27. The Dell also uses a mobile discrete graphics processor, the MX110, which is a marginal step up from integrated Intel UHD 620/630 graphics. But if you’re planning on playing games, the 2GB video memory that comes with the MX110 lets you hit the minimum requirements for a lot of them.
The Inspiron also uses the version of the 10th-generation Intel processors that use last-generation technology (Comet Lake) rather than the more current Ice Lake technology. All you really need to know about that in this context is that “10th generation” marketing claims aren’t an important selling point.
|Price as reviewed||$950|
|PC CPU||1.6GHz Intel Core i5-10210U|
|PC Memory||8GB SODIMM 2.67GHz|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce MX110|
|Storage||256GB SSD+1TB HDD, 1 x SD card slot|
|Ports||3x USB-A, 1x USB-C, audio jack, 1x HDMI in, 1x HDMI 1.4 out|
|Networking||Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home 1903|
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to stick to a sub-$1,000 budget, you can’t get the 12GB configuration, which is the minimum amount of memory we can really recommend — 8GB can be really tight even if you’re just a heavy user of Chrome. Some manufacturers offer a 12GB or 16GB option as the step up instead of a touchscreen or discrete graphics, both of which can be less important than more memory.
Dell also sells less expensive 24-inch models, the Inspiron 24 5000 and Inspiron 24 3000. A 24-inch display is pretty small for adults, but it’s a good size for kids.
Although the screen is 27 inches, the open base it sits on doesn’t take up a lot of real estate. It leaves space underneath the monitor, where a keyboard and mouse can tuck away for easy storage. For students, this extra space allows for plenty of homework room with a place for books. It can tilt back up to 25 degrees, but like most AIOs, you can’t raise or lower it.
On the back, the Inspiron 27 7000 has a ton of ports to fit almost any need. The HDMI-in is useful if you want to use it like a monitor connected to a game console — it’s a nice fit for a Nintendo Switch, for example. Having all the ports on the back isn’t optimal since frequently used USBs and the SD card slot can be annoying to get to if there’s any clutter on your desk at all, but it’s more palatable here than on an iMac, which as at least twice the price.
Like many current all-in-one’s, the PC features a physical webcam privacy solution; in this case, a pop-up webcam that retracts into the display when not in use. This can add some peace of mind for anyone concerned about tech-savvy peeping Toms. The camera is hidden so well that it can be difficult to find the first time if you don’t know where to look. It includes an IR camera for secure login with Windows Hello, and it’s supplemented by a quad-microphone setup for video chat and Cortana use.
To boost the relatively thin sound of the 5-watt stereo speakers and somewhat dim (250 nits max), small-gamut screen — both typical of inexpensive all-in-ones — it comes with Dell’s suite of “Cinema” software utilities: CinemaColor, CinemaStream and CinemaSound. CinemaColor essentially compensates for the monitor’s drawbacks by using color profile presets to optimize the way video content displays, while CinemaSound (based on Waves MaxxAudio Pro) performs similar adjustments for audio. CinemaStream uses basic network management tools to ensure streaming data gets priority, to minimize wireless connection-caused glitches for video and music.
As with all budget desktops, the bundled wired keyboard and mouse are designed to look better than they are. In this case, they seem pretty cheaply constructed and plasticky, and I can’t imagine them surviving long with everyday use. Even just pressing too hard on the space bar makes the keyboard flex. You can buy one of Dell’s premium keyboard and mouse options starting at an additional $95, but you can get better wireless mice and keyboards from third parties as long as you don’t mind that they don’t match the system.