During this pandemic with everyone being stuck at home, either working or taking classes from home, it makes perfect sense to invest in a capable desktop PC. Introducing the Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra — an all-in-one PC boasting slick functional design and great specs. Below are my thoughts after spending two weeks with it.
Design and Ergonomics
If you’ve ever used a Dell monitor, you’d likely know that they come with very competent stands, allowing for tilt and swivel, supported on a solid steel base. Now imagine a slightly beefier monitor stand that unassumingly houses all the CPU components, and what you have is the Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra.
In a sense, it’s a design marvel, given that placed on a desk, it just looks like a regular monitor. The unit is incredibly minimalist, and practical for placement at home or in the office. Wires can be routed through the circular ring in the stand, helping with wire management.
The package the desktop ships in is quite unremarkable, and just a bunch of functional brown cardboard boxes. The monitor, though not part of the OptiPlex 7070 Ultra kit, was included for testing. It comes with an almost identical but smaller slimmer stand. Also included is a VESA mounting plate and screws. Peripherals comprise of a Bluetooth based wireless mouse and keyboard. All necessary cables including power cables, HDMI to HDMI, and USB Type-C to HDMI are part of the package.
Specs and Performance
Concealed in the monitor stand is an Intel Core i5-8365U CPU, which is a 4 core 8 thread unit. It has a base clock of 1.60 GHz and can boost to a respectable 4.10 GHz. The CPU includes Intel 10th Gen UHD 620 graphics; while not comparable to discreet graphics, it’s a decent performer. Memory is 16 GB, and storage is a speedy 512 GB NVMe Toshiba SSD.
- CPU – Intel Core i5-8365U
- Memory – 16GB DDR4
- Storage – Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
- GPU – Intel 10th Gen UHD 620 (integrated graphics)
- Wi-Fi – Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (802.11ac)
- Bluetooth – 5.0
- Connectivity – 5x USB 3.1 (3x Type-A, 2x Type-C), 1x RJ-45, and 3.5mm Headphone/Audio Jack
At a glance, those are very competent specs and should be capable of pretty much anything you throw at it in terms of general use and productivity. In my testing, I had the browser open with 10 tabs, a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, a video playing in Media player, and then fired-up Adobe Premiere. The system remained responsive and snappy, easily switching apps, and having some memory still available. That’s plenty-great usability!
Taking it a step further, I installed Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3; the installation was from a portable SSD and was fast enough. I then loaded the game and played it at default setting, at DirectX 11 and 1080p, and it was playable. It’s an older title, but for integrated graphics, it was a testimony of gaming capability.
Software and User Experience
The system comes preinstalled with Windows 10 Professional, and if you’re familiar with a Windows PC, it’s a straight forward experience.
Included is a proprietary Dell Support Assist tool that checks for and automates several PC maintenances functions. Its scope covers Device Drivers, Hardware Scanning, File Clean-up, Performance Tuning, Network Optimization, and Antivirus & Malware removal. I ran the program, and then after the complete scan, allowed for it to go ahead with all needed actions. The process was hassle-free, several Device Drivers were updated, and it worked without concern.
The MaxxAudioPro app pops-up when you connect something to the 3.5mm audio port on the CPU/Monitor stand. This is a multi-purpose audio port and can be used for mic input, line-in, headphones, or speakers. I tested the audio with a pair of headphones and found the quality to be good.
Value and Competition
At P53,000 the Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra isn’t cheap, but it also offers you a premium Dell build with accompanying service and coverage. If you’re looking for the convenience of setup, and a clean design, this solution makes a lot of sense. Note that the specs do allow for customization, so prices will vary accordingly.
HP has similar all-in-one PCs as part of its Pavilion series, starting as low as P 36,000 for its Intel i3 based units, going up to P70,000 for its Intel i7 based units. Memory in most of those units is limited to 8GB though, while some include dedicated graphics.
At the other end of the spectrum, if you like getting your hands dirty, and like to custom build PCs with parts of your choice, you could likely put together a comparable build for P48,000. That includes adapters for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a Windows 10 Pro license; the latter setting you back P14,999. Do keep in mind though that it would be a traditional big chassis PC and not the slick form-factor of the Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra. Given the P 5,000 difference, for what’s on offer, the Dell now feels like good value.
Whether you’re looking for a classy all-in-one PC for your office desk, or a PC at home for online study, the Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra is a slick ergonomic marvel that looks great and performs admirably. Even as a hardcore PC builder, having built many custom PCs over the years, I can only appreciate the superb finish and competent performance on offer here. Lastly, after doing the math on comparable components, Dell’s pricing for the OptiPlex 7070 Ultra seems like good bang for the buck.
- Model: Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra
- Price: P53,000
- Verdict: A design and engineering marvel with solid specs