Dell Opens Windows 8 Touch PC Preorder Floodgates

Less than a month after giving the public a peek at what Dell has in store for notebook PC buyers when Windows 8 launches, the company has begun taking preorders on three new systems that bring capacitive, multi-touch computing to the forefront.

Starting today, shoppers can put in their orders for the XPS 12, XPS One 27 and the Inspiron One 23 before the systems ship on October 26, the official launch date of Windows 8. In a departure from previous OS refreshes — where a modest bump in system specs and cosmetic touch-ups heralded their arrival — Dell took the opportunity to embark on a near-complete revamp of its mobile PC portfolio.

Today, the Dell is banking that those efforts will usher in an era of touch-enabled productivity for business people and consumers alike.

It’s a Windows 8 Tablet. It’s a PC. It’s Both.

The most distinctive new system is the XPS 12, a 12-inch Ultrabook that flips it lid (literally) to become a Windows 8 tablet.

Similar to the candy-colored Inspiron Duo Tablet PCs of yesteryear, the XPS 12’s touchscreen (1,920 x 1080) flips horizontally inside its bezel to face the user when the keyboard is covered. Unlike the discontinued Inspiron Duo Tablet, the XPS 12 ditches plastic in favor of premium materials like machined aluminum, carbon fiber and Corning Gorilla Glass.

While it can’t match the wafer-thin profile of today’s tablets, the XPS 12 remains highly portable at 0.79 inches at its thickest point. Processor choices include Intel Core i5 and i7. Storage options boil down to 128 GB or 256 GB solid state drives (SSDs). Prices start at $1,199.

New All-in-One PCs

Dell is on a mission to bring all-in-one computers out of the kitchen and family rooms and into the office.

The PC maker’s expansive, XPS One 27 desktop line now optionally ships with a capacitive touchscreen version if its 27-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 display. With a new stand that tilts to 60 degrees, it’s also designed to become the centerpiece of impromptu design gatherings, brainstorming sessions and project update meetings. Prices for the XPS One 27 with touch start at $1,599.99 for a Core i5 system with 6 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SATA drive.

Dell’s more consumer-friendly all-in-one, the Inspiron One 23, also gets a touch option for Windows 8. The PC sports a 23-inch, 1920 x 1080 multi-touch screen and an Ivy Bridge chipset for compatibility with Intel’s newest batch of high-performance, low-power processors.

Prices start at $779.99 for the touch version of the Inspiron One 23. All systems are available for preorder now with ship dates on or around October 26.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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