Can DAC with volume control act as a Pre-amp?


I was looking at AudioEngine new Digital Analogue Converter, D1 and realized that theoretically it can be used as pre-amplifier.

I usually use a laptop as music source. I intend to buy a DAC then connect this DAC to a integrated amp to drive 2 bookself speakers. However, if a DAC with volume control can act as a pre amp, then it would allow me to buy a really good power amplifier instead of a so-so integrated amp to drive my speakers.

In theory, this will help to improve sound also as the less devices that audio information go through, the less distorted it is. If I connect a DAC with volume to a Integrated amp, then we have an extra volume control for nothing right?

I am not sure if this actually work. Anyone has experience with this? Everyone is welcomed to share some thoughts :)
Answer is yes, if you use that single source.

For more complete connectivity:
I'd look at the CA DACMagic plus....which also has a volume control and multiple inputs. It also has balanced outs for the 'ultimate' hookup.
The headphone output doesn't hurt, either.

I suppose you could even connect to powered speakers.