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Dell Latitude 10 - Hands on with company's first Windows 8 tablet

Intel-powered 10in tablet is geared up for businesses

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We got our first look at at Dell's Windows 8 line-up, including the Latitude 10 tablet, at a briefing in central London yesterday morning.

Running Windows 8 Pro, the 10in tablet is powered by an Intel Clover Trail processor and can run older programs designed for Windows 7 on the traditional Windows desktop. It's not exactly light at 725g, but it feels thin despite the 10.5mm thickness.

The processor is a dual-core chip and is paired with 2GB of RAM. Graphics are also provided by Intel, running at 533MHz.

The Latitude 10's screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 just like many laptops, although at this screen size it equates to a density of 156ppi. That's lower than Apple's Retina display on the new iPad, but it still looked sharp enough in our short time with the tablet.

Viewing angles, brightness and contrast were all respectable on the pre-production model we saw (it's an IPS panel for those interested in the technical details) and, importantly for some people, there will be an optional Wacom stylus similar to the one used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

Uniquely, the Latitude 10 has a removable 29WHr battery, so you can simply swap it for a fully charged spare when you run out of power. Dell says you can hot swap batteries if the tablet is connected to the mains.

There's up to 128GB of storage thanks to an SSD, and also a full-size SD card for adding more. You also get a full-size USB port for connecting storage devices, a micro USB port for trickle charging the Latitude 10, a micro HDMI output and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack.

On the back are stereo speakers, and a sliding battery release.

There are dual microphones on the top edge, plus front and rear cameras. At the front is a 2Mp camera capable of 720p capture, while the rear one can take 8Mp photos and also has an LED flash.

Connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and, optionally, WWAN, although no details were given as to whether this would be 3G or 4G.

Security is a big focus, and the Latitude 10 has a Kensington-style lock slot. Most of the security features are optional, including hardware TPM, fingerprint scanner and Smart Card reader.

Various accessories will be available, including a combined Bluetooth keyboard and case, and a docking station with four USB 2 ports, gigabit LAN, full-size HDMI and audio outputs. The docking station is crucial for providing a seamless tablet-to-dekstop experience, Dell says.

Dell says the optional 60WHr lasts between 18 and 19 hours of mixed use, although this wasn't an official figure. We didn't see this battery, but it's likely to be twice the thickness of the standard 30WHr version we saw and may well stick out the back of the tablet.

No prices were announced for any of the Latitude 10 models, but we were told they would be available "with the launch of Windows 8", which we took to mean October 26.


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