Dell XPS M2010
The first thing we thought when we saw Dell’s frankly lunatic XPS M2010 was that it was just an oversized briefcase. But lay it down and unfasten the two clips holding it closed and it opens to reveal a mind-boggling PC the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
Inside that lid sits a whopping 20.1in 1680 x 1050 (WSXGA+) widescreen TFT display that’s impressive enough in its own right. But cast your eyes down to the glossy black optical drive with its backlit ice-blue touch-sensitive controls and super smooth slot-loading DVD drive and then on to the Bluetooth-enabled detachable keyboard and you’ll be utterly beguiled. Everyone we showed it to instinctively reached out with eager paws just to get a touch.
It’s not all about the looks though - and at a price of £1879we’re glad to hear it. The M2010 packs a serious operating punch, and housed in that body is a 1.3-megapixel webcam and, unbelievably, an 8.1 speaker setup complete with sub-woofer. Fully customisable, the M2010 is powered by a 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor backed by up to 4GB of memory running any incarnation of Windows Vista you choose. Designed as a complete multimedia and entertainment solution, there’s room for optional dual hard drives with a total capacity of 240GB of storage that can be configured to RAID 0 or 1 to protect all your family files. The AMD Mobility Radeon X1800 graphics chip is more than able to handle most multimedia applications and can run the latest PC games without breaking a sweat.
The hardest thing when describing the M2010 is explaining exactly who it’s for. Powered by its own battery and folding into that enormous casing it's claimed to be portable, but weighing in at an arm-stretching 8.2kg you certainly wont be taking it on the daily commute. But if you are after a semi-portable and very powerful desktop system that oozes wow factor, you’ve come to the right place.
Apple Mac Mini
Ahh, the old Mac versus PC debate - the battle between the creative and the suit, the fashionista and the practical, the minority and the majority. But as the gulf between the two narrows Apple has sought to switch some PC loyalists to its side with the introduction of the Mac Mini in the wake of the iPod's boundless success.
Firstly, the Mini is exactly that - absolutely ruddy tiny. It weighs a feathery 1.4kg, at 16.3cm square fits easily into the palm of any normal-sized hand and comes en seule: no monitor, no keyboard, no mouse. The idea here being to keep the price way down and let new buyers use their old peripherals without needlessly forking out on new ones - or buy expensive Mac accessories. Smart move, Mr Jobs.
It has typically classy looks too. The Mini's exterior gives little away featuring a standard Mac disc slot rather than drawer and the power button and connections laid out cleanly on the rear.
Spec wise, the latest Mini comes in two incarnations: the first a 1.66GHz Core Duo CPU with 512MB RAM and a 60GB hard drive, the superior second a 1.83GHz Core Duo CPU with 512MB RAM and an 80GB hard drive, also featuring a SuperDrive DVD burner. Both come prepped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Graphically, the Mini uses an integrated Intel GMA950 graphics processor, capable but by no means a high-end gaming specialist. Perhaps the real draw of the Mac is its inherent software. The Mini runs Mac OS X and comes with the brilliant iLife 06, a suite of easy-to-use applications designed to manage everything from photos and films to music and podcasts.
The Mini is a deliberately paired-down introduction to the world of Macs that benefits from a raft of add-on products that ramp up its price no end. But if you’re looking to convert from PC or want a simple and sexy extra machine, you won’t find better.
You know what....
If you have so much of a problem with the Macintosh then don't f-ing buy one. I am so sick and tired of you Microsoft fanboys bashing something simply because you are too lazy to dedicate the time it takes to really learn a new platform.
Here's a hint people... all of the old stigmas regarding price are gone. Spec a comparable Dell against any Mac and you will see that the prices are close, and that (shocker!) the Mac even comes out cheaper sometimes!
Just because Apple chooses not to compete in the ultra low end does not mean that they are ridiculously expensive. The base Mac comes with a Core Duo.... How come I'm still seeing PC manufacturers selling Pentium Ds or even Celerons even though the last time I checked Intel stopped manufacturing the Pentium.
I may not like Windows but I don't go around to all sorts of online forums bashing Microsoft like you cowards do.
Also, as for the productivity comment, since switching my organization over to the Macintosh we have seen overall productivity increase upwards of 35%. And the comment about OS X for a server... all I can say is it's awfully nice not having to connect remotely on the weekends as to restart the servers with the hope that it will run smoothly for the week to come. Oh and how I miss messing with conflicting services because three different programs like to use the SQL server.
Give me a break already.
The only way one can deliver an educated opinion on an operating system is to learn it, and to learn it you must immerse yourself in it. You can't just use something for a weekend and think you're enough of an expert to say it's horrible. And you can't download an illegal copy of it and run it on an unsupported machine and then blast it's author for having sub par performance.
Bottom line - most of you are pathetic.
Register schizophrenia issues...
Ok, I have to admit I have high hopes from this publication (El Reg) but when it comes to reviews I am left feeling that the editor of Reg Hardware suffers from a serious case of schizophrenia.
How is it that in the same publication there can be ten page in depth reviews of graphics cards that delve to the level of comparing shader operations performance and are so involved that the reader can come away with a feeling that they have an intimate knowlegde of the product and its comparative performance AND THEN THERE ARE ARTICLES LIKE THIS???
This is not a review. This is not an article. This is not even an opinon column. It is a montage of opinion column pretending to be a review and that is deceitful.
There is no structure to the 'review' criteria, or reason/motivation for ratings, or anything of substance. What happened? Did DELL, ACER, ALIENWARE, MESH and APPLE chip in together to get an 'Advertainment' spot on El Reg? Thats certainly what it looks like. I will tell you what this ISN'T: Journalism.
Ed. Be ashamed, be very ashamed.
"You don't buy a Mac just because the hardware looks good or the software is pretty much immune to viruses; you buy it to get OSX. I think it is worth the extra bucks."
This is the typical closed platform thinking. You have to buy the hardware to get the software. This is why the pcs survived so long, even though they are the worst from a design point.... And now the only difference between a mac and a pc is the small tpm chip that checks the osx licence and this is what keeps apple's computer department alive. Dumping an osx image to a pc and replacing the kernel with its free open source version will result in a totally illegal but working mac clone. The problem is with all those good software and games running under windows xp, who really needs the macos?
Personally for work I run a mix of windows and linux software under windows xp on a company standard asus box, because unfortunately currently xp is the only os that is compatible with almost everything and you can get the most performance for the lowest price mostly from the asian manufacturers who make the western brands too.
For me, I would choose the Mac Pro. I like it because it looks good, the bundled software is great, and I have no great urge to play the newest and greatest FPS. In my book an intuitive user interface comes first; when running OSX, I know I will get that.
You don't buy a Mac just because the hardware looks good or the software is pretty much immune to viruses; you buy it to get OSX. I think it is worth the extra bucks.
If the Dell XPS were a Mac...
I'm surprised that the Dell XPS M2010 gets only 80% in this review. I daresay that if Apple had released this genre-bending machine with those specs at that price then it'd get a few more percent.
What's not been mentioned is the Wii-like motion sensitive remote control that can steer the mouse around the screen with just a flick of your wrist.
Come on, Reg! It's better than 80%. It's not just a pretty case. Don't let the Dell badge get in the way of such an awesome bit of kit!!!