Dell Latitude 10

The Latitude 10 tablet is aimed mainly at business fleets and corporate users, which explains a lot about its construction and feature set. For one, this Windows 8 PC has a rugged outer body - magnesium-alloy frame, Gorilla Glass face - wrapped in the same soft-touch cladding as a Lenovo ThinkPad. See also our top 5 tablets chart.

At 648g, it's no burden to carry. And though its 10.1-inch, 1,366-by-768 screen is a bit small for a desktop replacement, it's fine for tote-around, tablet-style use. The Dell Latitude 10's optional docking station even lets you attach an external monitor. See also: Sony VAIO Tap 20 review - Sony's 20in tablet is an all-in-one PC

Another reason why the Latitude 10 is a replacement for modest desktops is the system specs: 32-bit Windows, 2GB of memory, and a dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 processor. It's not a speed demon. (Primate Labs GeekBench 2 benchmark test was a modest but decent 1399 points. And Hardware.info measured results of 459 in 3DMark06 and a Windows Experience Index of 3.30. These are not great results. The photo above is a Hardware.info shot.)

Plus, the internal storage is limited to 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB.

Then again, given how corporate workloads are slowly migrating from the desktop and into the cloud, this hardware might well be a good fit for most current business applications. Furthermore, the unit barely generates any heat.

Dell Latitude 10: different SKUs

Three SKUs for the Latitude 10 lineup - the Essentials model, the basic Productivity edition, and the Enhanced Security version - sport features designed for different classes of users.

The Productivity and Security models support an advanced four-cell battery (60 watt-hours, as opposed to the default 30), optional WWAN through a variety of carriers, and TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and Intel's Platform Trust Technology. The Security SKU also provides smart-card and fingerprint readers, but all models include support for Computrace antitheft technology, which is available as an option. Our model didn't have the fingerprint reader or card slot.

If you plan to use the Latitude 10 on an actual desktop, get the docking station. This combination dock and viewing stand can be used to attach the unit to a full-sized screen and keyboard/mouse combo (one of which, the Dell KM632, shipped with our review unit) or simply as a charging station and desktop stand. Ports for USB, HDMI, and Ethernet are in the back of the base, but the single USB port up front should probably be kept clear for thumb drives and the like.

Adding a separate display is a good idea for desktop use, since a) the screen isn't that big, and b) the dock only has a limited range of viewing angles for the unit. In fact, the tilt action for the dock connector seems mostly for the sake of allowing the unit to mate easily with the dock, not for adjusting the viewing angle. Sitting close to the unit even at maximum tilt feels awkward.

Other options for on-the-go versatility include a Kensington KeyFolio Bluetooth keyboard and case combo. For further ruggedness, you'll eventually be able to add a Griffin Survivor protective case.

A Windows 8 tablet plus a docking station typically equals a notebook - see the Acer Iconia for an example on that score. The Dell Latitude 10 is a Windows 8 tablet whose optional docking station turns it into a fair substitute for a modest desktop system. The additional business-grade features ramp up the value even further. At the same time, though, the price begins to approach that of better-performing hybrids and Ultrabooks. See also: Surface Pro review - if Microsoft can't make the perfect Windows 8 hybrid laptop and tablet, who can?

NEXT PAGE: our original preview of the Dell Latitude 10 >>

Dell Latitude 10

The Dell Latitude 10 is a 10.1-inch Windows 8-based tablet that's scheduled for release next month -- at about the same time as the operating system itself. It's a business-oriented tablet that's designed to appeal to IT managers who are wanting to roll out secure slate devices to their users, as well as to those very users who will end up operating the device on a daily basis. And it does look and feel very desirable. See all Tablets reviews.

For businesses looking to deploy companion computing devices to their workers, the Latitude 10 should be a very desirable slate once it's released. It runs a full version of Windows 8, it has a removable battery that can be replaced once it starts deteriorating during the long life cycle of the product, and it's supported by an on-site, next business day, global warranty. Take a look at the Microsoft Surface review.

It also has a slew of features that are available depending on the needs of each business environment -- it's definitely not a one size fits all solution. It has options for SmartCard and Biometric security, it has an option for TPM, it offers optional custom Dell Data Protection encryption that can work on its own or in conjunction with BitLocker, there is an option for mobile broadband (HSPA+) and there is also an optional Wacom Active Stylus. See also: Group test: what's the best tablet PC?

What powers the Latitude is an Intel Atom SoC (system on a chip) solution with 2GB of RAM and up to 128GB of solid state storage. Contrary to what we have thought of Atom solutions before, this one should supply more than ample power for basic Web browsing tasks, office document creation and media consumption. Seeing it in action and flicking through multiple open Windows 8 apps, the unit felt very swift and responsive. We're not sure how the unit will perform with more advanced tasks such as handwriting recognition (there is an optional pen to facilitate this), but it's something we look forward to testing once this unit is released in the wild.

Dell Latitude 10

Physically, the 10.1-inch tablet weighs about 725g and it's 274mm wide, 11mm thick and 177mm deep. The touchscreen uses capacitive technology, so it's responsive and accurate, and its protected by Gorilla Glass. It supports the maximum number of inputs required for Windows 8, which is 10. Its resolution is 1366x768, which satisfies the requirement for Windows 8's Snap feature when running new-style apps side-by-side with other applications, and the screen is based on IPS (in-plane switching) display technology, which means it should be almost perfectly viewable from any angle as you turn the tablet (reflections from the glossy finish notwithstanding).

Cameras are integrated on the front and rear of the tablet (the front-facing camera offering a webcam-like resolution of 720p, while the rear camera is eight megapixels), and there is a built-in LED flash for the rear camera. Along the edges, there is one full-sized USB 2.0 port, one full-sized SD card slot, a combination headphone and microphone port, mini-HDMI, a micro-USB charging port and a docking connector. Units with the mobile broadband option will also have a micro-SIM slot.

Dell Latitude 10: Specs

  • 10-inch 1366x768p IPS screen
  • Windows 8 OS
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 1.5GHz Clover Trail Atom processor
  • Storage: 32GB, 64GB, 128 SSD.
  • 10-inch 1366x768p IPS screen
  • Windows 8 OS
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 1.5GHz Clover Trail Atom processor
  • Storage: 32GB, 64GB, 128 SSD.

OUR VERDICT

Dell's first Windows 8 tablet is an Atom SoC soluton that's aimed primarily at business users thanks to a slew of security options, including TPM, biometrics, SmartCard and encryption software for local and USB drives.

Find the best price