Comparisons with Apple's iMac will be inevitable since the Dell XPS M2010 can be considered a desktop with integrated display rather than a notebook. But really, it's no contest against the Dell as it's in a class of its own. The 7kg iMac weighs less than the minimum 8kg that you can expect for the Dell XPS M2010. And the 8kg weight stay true only if you opt for the minimal components and exclude the rather hefty power adaptor (literally a 'brick' in terms of weight). Yes, like most Dell products, you can customize the Dell XPS M2010 to quite a large extent before purchasing, like increasing hard drive capacity (and adding a second one), along with more memory and a different grade of processor. The price tag of the resultant configuration also varies but after fiddling on Dell's website, the XPS M2010 will set you back between US$3500 to almost US$8000. As for the review unit we received, it will cost you around US$4500, according to the website.
What really distinguishes the Dell XPS M2010 from the iMac is its notebook form factor. Unlike the iMac, which is not meant for traveling, the Dell can be folded into an extremely large notebook that looks a bit like a giant briefcase. The black matte with gray flecks exterior does a good imitation of leather and there is a rather solid aluminum carry handle and grip integrated (which happens to double up as the display's stand). In short, the Dell XPS M2010 can be moved around like any notebook though its weight and dimensions mean that such a move would likely be a last resort. This is strictly a 'deskbook' if you will, for its excessive weight and size makes it a risky proposition to even think of placing it on your lap. Besides, although the notebook was quiet enough, it can get quite warm.
Flip open this Dell notebook and you'll be confronted by a glossy 20-inch widescreen LCD display. As some of you may know, Dell makes perfectly fine LCD monitors that are quite popular among enthusiasts and the one that we found on the XPS M2010 is a beauty with vibrant colors and crisp fonts at its native 1680 x 1050 resolution. An integrated 1.3-megapixel Logitech web camera at the top of the screen is also very convenient, especially with the Skype VoIP software already preloaded on the system. The only downside compared to a true standalone monitor is the obvious lack of controls for adjusting brightness and contrast, though we had no complaints about the default view. If you're really fussy about it, you can go to the system BIOS to tweak the brightness, but if you were to ask our opinion, the screen looks fine as it is out of the box. Furthermore, the screen can be adjusted and tilted to an unprecedented degree thanks to its stand cum carrying handle. One can adjust the height and angle of the display and even the distance from your seat. Truly, the design is praiseworthy. For an even larger viewing pleasure, you can output the display to an external monitor or television through the included DVI and S-Video outputs.