Hot on the heels of Asus announcing its Transformer AiO Windows 8 desktop/tablet hybrid, Dell is introducing its XPS 18 "table PC," which it's dubbing the "world's thinnest and lightest all-in-one."
While the Transformer AiO works as a giant tablet that attaches to a docking station that houses PC components, the XPS 18 is a massive slate and desktop all-in-one unit. It includes built-in "feet" to allow it to stand upright on a table, and a powered stand is an optional accessory to use it like a traditional desktop. It also comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse for when you're not using it in tablet mode.
The XPS 18 can weigh as little as 4.85 pounds when equipped with an optional solid-state drive and uses Intel Core processors to power its 1080p 18.4-inch touchscreen (the same size as the display on the Transformer AiO uses). Dell claims that the device will run for five hours away from its powered dock before needing recharging.
One advantage the Transformer AiO offers is the ability to use it as an Android tablet as well as a Windows 8 machine, but you'll also pay for that flexibility. Whereas Asus is selling it from $1,299, the XPS 18 will start at a more palatable $899.99 when it goes on sale on April 16. Of course, if you want an SSD, a beefier processor, and the powered stand, you may wind up paying Dell close to $1,299 anyway.
But Dell's lower starting price suggests that PC manufacturers can produce these new hybrid desktops at a mainstream price point, which will be key to users seriously considering whether these are in fact the future of home computing or not.