The Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra answers a prayer. This long, slender mini-PC slides into the back of a monitor stand, creating the first all-in-one that’s modular and upgradable.
Officially, it’s designed for corporate desk jockeys needing to de-clutter their open-office workspaces. Anyone who’s had to junk an entire all-in-one PC because one component has died, however, understands why we’re so excited about this design.
Announced Tuesday and due to ship September 24, the OptiPlex 7070 Ultra will have what Dell calls an “average price” of $749. Remember, it’s modular, so the cost will depend on what you buy with it.
The primary decision is which base to get with the mini-PC—it has to mount to something. The compatible choices are a fixed-height and height-adjustable stand, plus an offset VESA mount that lets you attach it to the back of any VESA-compatible display. Prices for these components were not available before the announcement.
I practiced taking the PC in and out of its bracket in the height-adjustable stand. The mechanics are slightly finicky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy—almost fun—to slide it in and out.
Of course you’ll need a monitor or three (that’s the max it can support), keyboard, and mouse—but you may already have these components ready to fill out the setup. Modularity is a great thing.
OptiPlex 7070 Ultra specs and features
The OptiPlex 7070 Ultra is a very small PC. Dell packed a lot into its slim design, with an emphasis on mainstream productivity and a lot of connectivity. However, you also have a bit of internal upgradability. Here are the details:
Dimensions: 3.78 x 10.09 x 0.78 inches
Weight: 1.43 pounds
CPU options: All 8th-gen core, from the Core i3-8145U to the Core i7-8445U
Graphics: Intel UHD 620
Memory: Two memory slots take anything from 1 x 4GB DDR4 2,400MHz RAM, to 2 x 32GB (64GB total).
Storage: Your primary drive can be either a 2.5-inch SATA drive (500GB to 1TB capacity), including a 500GB self-encrypting drive; or an M.2 2230 SSD in capacities ranging from 128GB to 1TB, or a 256GB self-encrypting drive. You can add a second 2.5-inch hard drive through an accessible bay.
Networking: 802.11ac with MU-MIMO, gigabit ethernet
Ports: The generous quintet of USB ports includes two USB-C that offer DisplayPort Alt Mode to connect directly to a monitor. One of those ports also supports Power Delivery, so it can power a display through the connection.
An all-in-one that gives you choices
Dell’s OptiPlex Ultra shows a new path for all-in-ones, where you aren’t stuck with your configuration until the bitter end. This is starting at the high end for a reason—it’s expensive to implement—but we hope someday that mainstream consumers may have access to these choices.
Melissa Riofrio spent her formative journalistic years reviewing some of the biggest iron at PCWorld--desktops, laptops, storage, printers--and she continued to focus on hardware testing during stints at Computer Currents and CNET. Currently, in addition to leading PCWorld’s content direction, she covers productivity laptops and Chromebooks.