All-in-One (AIO) desktop PCs are great for when you’re tight on space or simply want a neat desk. While the PC market continues to fight an uphill battle, premium AIOs including Apple’s iMac lineup continue to be popular with those who need a serious desktop machine for heavy work such as video editing.
In the Windows space, Dell has added a new roster of products to its portfolio, and one of them includes the new Inspiron 27 7000 series AIO. This PC is built around an AMD CPU and GPU, which makes it stand out. It isn’t merely a new version of an existing model with AMD processors instead of Intel ones; the new Inspiron 27 7000 series features a completely different design. Two configurations are currently on sale in India, and we have for review the higher-end end one which costs Rs. 1,51,290. Let’s see how it fares.
Setting up the Inspiron 27 7775 once you get it out of the box is simple enough. The base for the stand is the only thing that needs to be attached, and all you need to do is tighten a thumbscrew. In the box, you also get a wireless keyboard and mouse which connect to the AIO through a single USB adapter. One power cable is the only wiring you have to deal with, and it can routed neatly through a hole in the neck of the stand. The 330W external power brick is massive, but such a size can’t be avoided when you have to power desktop-class components.
The Inspiron 27 looks really slick thanks to its aluminium-grey finish. Even the back is designed nicely, and complements the overall look very well. The PC isn’t very thick when seen from the sides, and there are vents at the top and bottom for air to pass through. The display tilts five degrees forwards and about 30 degrees backwards, but its height isn’t adjustable.
The screen has fairly slim borders all around, which gives the AIO a very slick look. An anti-glare coating helps cut out most reflections from indoor lighting, so we didn’t need to max out the brightness most of the time. The 27-inch display has a 4K resolution (3840x2160) and is of the IPS variety, which means that colours are accurately represented and viewing angles are wide. We didn’t notice much colour shifting when viewing content at extreme angles. Due to the thin borders around the display, the front camera system needed to be placed below the screen.
We also have the two front-firing speakers below the screen, which deliver a total output of 10W. They're complemented by a rear-mounted subwoofer which pumps out of 5W. The HD camera in the front is accompanied by two IR emitters and an IR camera which are all used in conjunction with Microsoft’s Windows Hello authentication feature. Just below the display, towards the right, we have a button to switch input sources and the power button. However, there aren’t any manual controls for brightness or volume. To the left of the speaker, we have an SD card slot, a USB 3.1 port, and a headphones and microphone combo port.
The rest of the physical connectors are on the back of the PC. Just beside the power inlet is a Gigabit Ethernet port and an audio-out socket. The rest of the connectors face the back and these include two USB 2.0 ports; three USB 3.1 ports; one USB Type-C port (USB 3.1 Gen1); an HDMI input for connecting another source; and an HDMI output for a second monitor or projector.
With this version of the Inspiron 27 7775 AIO, you get a desktop-class AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU, which packs in eight cores for a total of 16 threads. Along with this, you also get 16GB of DDR4 RAM running in dual-channel mode. Graphics duties are handled by a discrete AMD Radeon RX 580 GPU which has its own 8GB of GDDR5 memory. For storage, there’s a 1TB 5400rpm hard drive as well as a 256GB NVMe solid state drive. Connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.1. The AIO also has four array microphones on the top, just in front of its vents.
The rear panel slides off easily from the top once you take out two screws at the bottom. With it off, we can see the woofer, the 2.5mm hard drive, and the giant exhaust fan. There’s another metal panel on the right, which once unscrewed, lets you access the SSD and RAM modules. It’s nice to have this option as most AIOs don’t let you upgrade anything - not easily, at least. However, despite this convenience, Dell says that opening up the back by yourself will void the warranty, so you’ll have to take your Inspiron 27 to a service centre to have anything upgraded.
Dell ships the AIO with Windows 10 Home, along with a 15-month subscription to McAfee antivirus and a full copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition preinstalled. There’s also the usual bundle of preinstalled apps from the Windows Store, which you can get rid of if not needed. You get Dell’s software utility too, which periodically checks for and downloads system drivers.
General Windows performance is very good. The ample amount of RAM and the speedy SSD ensure quick booting, and apps load quickly too. Text on the display is sharp, which can be seen when browsing the Web or even working on Excel sheets. The large screen is great for multitasking with multiple windows open on the desktop, without having to resize them too much. The webcam captures video and stills at an awkward angle due to its placement below the screen, but it does have a wide field of view so it easily accommodates your entire upper body. Windows Hello works very well, although we found that if the is screen tilted to the front, you’ll have to squat a bit in order for your face to be recognised.
We tried using the Inspiron 27's HDMI video input functionality - which lets you use the all-in-one as a display - and it worked well. We connected an Xbox One X and were able to game at the native 4K resolution. Audio has to be routed to external speakers using the audio-out port next to the power inlet - it won't play through the Inspiron 27's own speakers. There's also a little caveat when it comes to using another video source, which is that the PC needs to be powered on and running Windows. Even if the PC goes to sleep, the video will be cut off. This is a useful function but it won't let you use the AIO's display as a standalone monitor to extend its life after your next upgrade, or if the PC isn't working for any reason. Having said that, it is still nice have this option, as most AIOs don’t let you do this.
The speakers get really loud and audio quality is very good. You can tweak audio levels and microphone sensitivity through the Waves MaxxAudio Pro software. Games run very well. The Radeon RX580 is VR-ready and manages to handle most 3D games very well at the screen's native 4K resolution. In Rise of The Tomb Raider, with the settings cranked up to Very High at 4K, the built-in benchmark returned just 23.6fps. Things improved slightly by switching to the High preset where we got 29fps. At 1080p using the Very High setting, we got much smoother framerates averaging 57fps. The best balance that we found was to use 2560x1440 with the Very High preset, with which we averaged 35-40fps.
We were also pleasantly surprised to see the Inspiron 27 handle GTA V very well, with all the graphics sliders maxed out and most of the eye-candy turned all the way up (except for anti-aliasing, which was turned off). The built-in benchmark averaged 33fps while during actual gameplay, we were able to get around 34fps, which is still pretty smooth. All this was at 4K resolution.
The exhaust fan is easily audible when gaming, and if you don’t have headphones on, it can be distracting. We also ran some synthetic benchmarks and got 5047 points in 3DMark’s Fire Strike Extreme test, while in PCMark, we got scores of 3636, 5618 and 3012 in the Home, Creative and Work test suites respectively.
The bundled keyboard is of average quality and isn’t the best when it comes to prolonged typing. We did like the mouse though, which offers good ergonomics and works well on most surfaces.
The Dell Inspiron 27 7775 All-in-One comes at a hefty price of Rs. 1,51,290 and is backed by a three-year warranty. As a premium AIO, it's pretty feature-rich and offers very good multimedia and gaming performance. As a bonus, we like the fact that components can be swapped out easily if needed, and you can use the 4K display with another source such as a gaming console too. If you don't need all this power, Dell has a tamer version of the Inspiron 27 7775 priced at Rs. 1,08,190. With this variant, you get an AMD Ryzen 5 1400 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a Radeon RX560 GPU, and a 27-inch full-HD screen. You also lose out on the SSD, but the rest of the features are the same.
If you're thinking of going the DIY route, building a desktop with a similar configuration as the one we tested today wouldn't really save you a whole lot of money. Upgrading components would be simpler, sure, but getting the slick look of an AIO would be next to impossible. We would have liked a better quality bundled keyboard, and the webcam placement could have been more natural, but overall, this is a pretty solid AIO PC which offers good flexibility and performance.
Price (MRP): 1,51,290
Ratings (Out of 5)