First off, let me be upfront and say that I have not actually evaluated the system in person. This is my thoughts based upon the information provided by Dell about the system. With this in mind, let's begin the discussion.
The XPS M2010 is very much a niche item. Sure, the system has a 20.1" LCD screen with a 1680x1050 resolution and it can be transported easier than a desktop computer system, but much of its components are still based upon notebook technology, only in a larger format. The system weighs an astounding 18.5 lbs. I don't know too many people who would really want to carry around this with them for any extended periods of time. This is double most desktop replacement notebooks.
The base configuration from Dell comes in with a price tag of US$3500. This is a pretty hefty sum for one to pay that could easily build a top of the line desktop system or a very high profile notebook. So, why don't we do a bit of comparison between the XPS M2010 and the Alienware Aurora m9700, a desktop replacement configured for around US$3600. For each item, the spec on the left is the XPS and the right is the m9700. The item that is in italics is the component that I feel is the better of the two.
- Processor:Duo T2400 vs. Turion ML44
- RAM:1GB PC2-5400 DDR2 vs 2GB PC3200 DDR
- Hard Drive:80GB 5400rpm SATA vs. 2x80GB 7200rpm SATA in RAID0
- DVD:8x DVD+/-RW DL vs. 8x DVD+/-RW DL
- LCD:20.1” 1680x1050 vs. 17” 1920x1200
- Graphics:Mobility Radeon X1800 vs. Dual GeForce Go 7900 GS in SLI
- Size:18.5 x 15.9 x 2.9 vs. 15.7 x 11.8 x 1.9
- Weight: 18.3 lbs. vs. 8.5 lbs.
So, if the XPS M2010 is being targeted at the gamer who wants a portable platform, the Alienware Aurora m9700 seems to be the better overall deal. Not only is the system more portable than the XPS M2010, it has better overall components for playing games at higher resolutions. Sure, it doesn't have the 20.1” screen, but the graphics processor can handle the higher resolution, the hard drives are faster and larger and most of all, it has double the RAM of the XPS M2010.
Where does these really put the XPS M2010? The most logical use is for someone who wants an integrated system to be used as a media center, gaming platform and general computer that can be moved between locations infrequently. The most logical target for this would be a college student who doesn't want a portable to drag to class. But at US$3500, that's a lot more than most college students have to spend on such a system. Then there is the problem with multimedia.
The system is designed to be a multimedia platform. It comes with Windows XP Media Center Edition and has the wide screen perfect for viewing movies or watching TV. To really take advantage of this, it needs a TV tuner and remote. The base system does not come with this standard. Therefore, to make the system as complete as it should be, extra money needs to be spent to add these features. These features were included in the price comparison with the Alienware Aurora m9700.
Where does that leave Dell with the XPS M2010? Frankly, I think they overshot what the market is really looking for. If the system were much more affordable and designed standard to be a media center system, I think it would be a great alternative to a desktop system for those with limited space. But with the current design and price, consumers are just better off buying a desktop replacement notebook that is more portable and likely has more features or for a small form factor system if they need to conserve on space on their desk and don't need portability.