As I’ve noted previously, some of the new crop of Windows Vista PCs all-in-one PC (AIOs), are attractive from a design perspective. And 'though I may suffer from Mac hardware envy, Dell has a new remedy: The new Dell XPS One.

For our next computer at home, I have considered somewhat sleek AIOs including HP's TouchSmart IQ770 and the Sony VAIO VGC-LS25E (as well as the range of Sony all-in-one PCs). These AIO PCs are usually comparable in price to an Apple iMac with a 24” display, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 1GB memory, and all with fewer cables than my current PC at home.

And I really thought that from a value and usability view point, my next PC would be an iMac running Vista. Especially when you consider that PC Connection recently offered a new Apple iMac 24-inch with 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, 250GB, 1GB RAM and SuperDrive for a stunning $1,299. (As previously noted, we have both Macs and PCs in our home, as I have used both platforms since purchasing my first Mac 128K in 1984, along with PCs through all iterations of Windows.)  I nearly pulled the trigger on that purchase.

Monitor Angle

But then, that was prior to the public disclosure of the new Dell XPS One.

Ooh.

As noted in the new PC Magazine review by Joel Santo Domingo, this is an "attractive all-in-one form factor" with lots of bells and whistles plus a two year warranty.

So far, so good.  Sad to see that there is a single drive bay but I can deal with that. 

And no 24" display model to go up against the Apple.

So, how does the new Dell compare on paper (or the web page) with offerings from Apple?

From Dell, for $2,399 you get a 20" display, 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6550, 2GB memory, 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray Slot Load Drive (BD/DVD/CD burner w/double layer BD write capability) and 256MB ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO.  Plus a hybrid Analog/Digital TV Tuner with remote, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Adobe Elements Studio and an 8-in-1 media card reader. 

Oh, and a two year warranty.

For $2,299 from Apple, you get a 24" screen, faster processor (2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme), same memory and HDD footprint (2GB memory + 500GB hard drive), an 8x double-layer SuperDrive and the ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory.  Add the cost of a copy of Windows Vista Home Premium and you'd be a little north of the Dell XPS One, but without the TV tuner, Office, Elements or card reader.  And add the cost of a year of AppleCare at $169, which then compares to the extra year of support from Dell.

For just under $2K you get a 20" Dell XPS One with a slightly smaller HDD (320GB), 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and a 16X Slot load CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW).  A similar configuration from Apple -- without the second year of warranty coverage, Office suite, Adobe software or media card reader -- runs $1,499.

For us, having a TV tuner, Microsoft Office, Adobe Elements Studio and an 8-in-1 media card reader are all parts of the value proposition.  Plus that it runs all of our current software investment.  And the extended warranty is attractive.  But I would like to see a closer, comparable system from Dell to the current line of iMacs.

I'll take a look at this new PC as compared to the offerings from HP and Sony over the long holiday weekend in the States.