Every once in a while I get a notebook that blows me away with its visionary concept and bold design. Grand in every sense of the word, the Dell XPS M2010 ($4,675 direct) is just such a system.
On first inspection, the big machine resembles a full-fledged desktop, yet it closes gracefully and can be carried like a huge clamshell notebook (with a handle).
The one caveat: Its too pricey for most mere mortals.
As a laptop expert, I applaud the genius it takes to fit a powerful PC into a small 3.5-pound chassis. So you can imagine my reaction when this 18.1-pound behemoth with a 20.1-inch widescreen landed on my bench.
The closest thing that comes to mind is the old Acer Aspire 1712, a transportable that used a desktop LCD and weighed 14 pounds. Sadly, that system never really took off.
The M2010 is far better designed and is more like an Apple iMac than a laptop.
Size aside, the M2010 is a study in design. Its most astonishing feature is the 20.1-inch widescreen LCD panel, which can easily be mistaken for a stand-alone desktop LCD monitor.
The display even has built-in speakers and an integrated 1.3-megapixel camera.
As on a typical notebook, the M2010s display and keyboard are all connected. The wireless Bluetooth keyboard detaches smoothly from the base of the system, which also acts as a charging station.
You will need batteries, though, for the systems Bluetooth mouse. A comfortable-to-use touch-pad is located on the keyboard and sits between that and a number pad. Annoyingly, the keyboard and mouse frequently go to sleep, creating a slight pause upon wake-up.