Dell Debuts Digital Canvas For Creators, Rockin' XPS 27 All-In-One With Killer Sound System, Updated XPS Laptops

One thing Microsoft is putting a lot of focus on with its next major update for Windows 10 is content creation, hence why it is called the Creators Update. It will introduce several new features designed to bring ideas to life in 3D, but what good is the software without the hardware? To help take advantage of those features, Dell is introducing a new touch input device called Canvas that could help artists and other creative individuals interact with Windows 10 in a more natural way.

If oversimplifying things, Canvas is a 27-inch touch-sensitive secondary display with a 2560x1440 (QHD) resolution. However, it is not designed to function as another monitor or to even stand upright like one—it sits flat in front of the user so that he or she can manipulate content with touch controls, an interactive pen, or puck-like devices, such as the one Microsoft introduced with its Surface All-in-One PC.

Dell Canvas

"Display and input merge into one device, streamlining your interactions with system and content. Placed in a natural, horizontal location that encourages touch interaction, create and edit your work in stunning detail with the expansive 27-inch QHD Adobe RGB display. Purpose-built with direct bonded, anti-glare Corning Gorilla Glass for enhanced durability, experience your content in stunning detail, like never before," Dell explains.

Canvas measures 17.6 x 31.2 x 0.9-0.51 inches (HxWxD) and weighs 18.5 pounds. It features a high-quality IPS panel with 280 nits brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio (typical), and 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color space. A two-button Canvas pen is included, with Canvas supporting 2,048 pressure levels. Canvas also comes with a pair of "Totems," one with a solid cap and integrated button and the other that is a dial similar to the aforementioned Surface puck.

While Canvas can be used to create 3D art and other creative projects, it will also find a home among professionals as a collaborative tool similar to Surface Hub. The only catch is the price. At $1,799 when it becomes available on March 30, 2017, Canvas is not cheap.

Dell XPS 27

Dell today also rolled out a snazzy new all-in-one desktop, the XPS 27. This is a performance oriented all-in-one with a premium design and high-end components, not the least of which is the 27-inch UltraSharp 4K (2840x2160) display. There are two versions, including one that supports touch and boasts 300 nits brightness, and a non-touch InfinityEdge version with 350 nits brightness.

One thing unique to the XPS 27 is the amount of attention Dell is paying to sound. This AIO will come with a 10-speaker system with 50W per channel, including two tweeters, four full range drivers, two passive radiators, and an additional pair of down-firing full range speakers. On top of all that, dynamic amplifiers supposedly sense the power used by the drivers to adapt known speaker modeling parameters to the content being played.

"The XPS 27 boasts the best sound for an all-in-one PC. The XPS 27 sound system has a distinctive integrated sound bar which includes ten discrete speakers powered and controlled by digital dynamic amplifiers producing 50W per channel. It’s also the world's first PC with a pair of independent, down-firing full range speakers that augment front-firing speakers for heightened sound ambiance. These speakers are tuned to work in conjunction with the stereo drives to fill the room with sound. The results are unbelievable," Dell says.

Dell is tapping Intel's previous generation Skylake architecture to power its XPS 27. Configurations will come with either an Intel Core i5-6400 or Core i7-6700 processor, up to 32GB of DDR4-2133 RAM, onboard (Intel HD Graphics 530) or discrete (AMD R9 M470X or R9 M485X) graphics, up to 2TB of storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 720p webcam supporting Windows Hello facial recognition, five USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, HDMI and DisplayPort output, Thunderbolt 3, GbE, and audio ports.

What Dell is attempting to do here is offer traditional desktop class performance from its high-end XPS series in an AIO form factor with little compromise. A decked out configuration pairing a Core i7-6700 CPU with 32GB of RAM, discrete graphics based on AMD's Polaris architecture, and a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD would be quite the powerhouse, both for professional grade work and even some gaming.

The XPS 27 is available today starting at $1,500. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage, as we've already obtained a model and are in the process of evaluating it. We will have a full review soon.

Dell XPS 13 Rose Gold

Finally, Dell has a couple of new XPS laptops on tap. One of those is a Rose Gold version of its revamped XPS 13 2-in-1 and the other is its XPS 15, now with Kaby Lake underneath the hood. XPS 15 models will come with one of three different Kaby Lake processor options: Intel Core i3-7100H (up to 3GHz, 3MB of cache), Core i5-7300HQ (up to 3.5GHz, 6MB of cache), or Core i7-7700HQ (up to 3.8GHz, 6MB of cache).

Users will have a choice between a 15.6-inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) non-touch display or an UltraSharp 4K (2840x2160) resolution panel. Both options feature Dell's InfinityEdge technology, which extends the viewable area to both edges of the display.

Dell XPS 15

Higher end configurations will sport discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Other options include up to 32GB of DDR4-2133 memory, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and both HDD and SSD storage options. Those who opt for the former can choose between a 500GB or 1TB HDD paired with 32GB of flash memory, while those seeking more performance can choose between a 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe SSD.

The XPS 15 will come with two USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, an SD card reader, HDMI output, and a Kensington Lock slot.

While not quite as slim and light as the XPS 13, the XPS 15 is anything but thick and heavy. These laptops measure a scan 0.45-0.66 inches high, 14.06 inches wide, and 9.27 inches deep and come in at under 5 pounds (4 pounds for a configuration with a 56Whr battery, SSD, and non-touch display, and 4.5 pounds for a model sporting a more capacious 97Whr battery, SSD, and touch panel).

Like the XPS 27 AIO, Dell is serving up desktop-class performance here, but in a mobile form factor. That is especially true for SKUs that feature NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. In years past, lower end discrete GPUs were not all that exciting on laptops. However, the GTX 1050 is based on NVIDIA's mighty Pascal architecture and is capable of playing demanding games, not just casual ones (see our review of the desktop variant).

Look for these to be available today starting $1,000.