Even though Dell has plenty of consumer oriented products, their cash flow is the enterprise sector, where they have a strong foothold. The two XPS 10 and XPS Duo 12 tablets, announced at IFA Berlin are of course consumer products, so I was wondering what happened to Dell’s Windows 8 plans for business users.
I don’t have to wonder no more, as Dell introduced the Latitude 10, unmistakably a business tablet powered by Microsoft’s latest Windows 8 Professional operating system. Let’s take a quick look at the tablet’s specs and see what makes it a business product. As the name suggests, it’s a 10 inch screen, with HD Ready resolution (1366 x 768 px), fairly standard display, which supports 10 fingers multi-touch gestures, enough for all your fingers, I’d say.
The hardware inside is focused on Intel’s next gen Atom Clover Trail platform helped by 2 GB RAM and fast SSD storage, up to 128 GB in size. That should make for a pretty snappy tablet, but don’t expect to run video editing programs, CAD programs and things like that on this kind of hardware. Two cameras are fitted on the Dell Latitude 10: 720p webcam on the front and 8 megapixels on the back. There’s an optional Wacom stylus so I hope an active screen digitizer is fitted too under the protective Gorilla Glass layer. The case is made from a combination of magnesium frame and plastic exterior, so that the tablet can withstand some serious punishment.
A fingerprint reader will be optional, as well as a TPM module, data encryption and smartcard readers. On the wireless front Dell added the typical WiFi and Bluetooth connections, as well as optional broadband (not sure yet if we’re talking about 3G or 4G LTE).
But the most important feature of the Dell Latitude 10 must be the removable 30 Whr battery, something I only remember seeing on the Toshiba Thrive 10 inch tablet last year. In the corporate sector having the option for a second (or even third) battery is a must, even if Dell claims up to 18 hours of battery life from this power plant (allow me to doubt this number).
A productivity dock adds a few ports (4 USB, HDMI, Ethernet, charging port) to the HDMI, Full size USB, microUSB charger and SD reader on the tablet itself so you won’t have any issues connecting a bigger LCD monitor, a keyboard, some peripherals and start working as you would in a typical cubicle.
Some of the optional business features will be available next year, in January, but you should be able to order the Dell Latitude 10 this year, after the official launch of Windows 8. I’m pretty eager to see the Latitude 10 in action, even if I’m not a business user. Pricing will be the deciding factor here, but that’s something all Windows 8 tablet have to worry about.