Dell Confirms Latitude Tablet PC

Jeff Clarke, senior vice president and general manager of Dell Incorporated's business product group, has confirmed that the company will sell a Latitude Tablet PC before the end of year via a short video posted on Direct2Dell's blog. Clarke mentions that the device is designed specifically for the education, the health care and corporate market place. During the video, he has what we can only assume is a prototype of a very thin Latitude Tablet PC that opens like a notebook but has a screen which can be positioned upwards to work like a traditional tablet. "We have done a lot of engineering that makes it one of the lightest weight, convertible tablets in the market place. We have spent considerable time working on the interface to make it easier to use where it has a leadership technology in its pen and touch interface," said Clarke.

Video: WMV | MP4 | OGG
News source: Direct2Dell

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WOW.. way to be years behind the curve on this one Dell...

What's sad.. before WinXP Tablet PC edition came out.. Microsoft had a dedicated team working with Dell to create a tablet PC.. somewhere in the process Dell said "eh, no thanks" and scrapped the project.

Well.. years later, and since Fujitsu and others have established a niche in this market (health care, education, and even law enforcement [being used in the vehicles to look up information quickly]) nooowww Dell wants to get in.


Thats just the problem, it was niche technology, Dell wants to bring Tablet PC to mainstream markets, consumers and corporate markets. Even Bill Gates has conceded that Tablet PC has not been embraced as much as he would like it to be. With Vista adding the functionality the majority of the SKU's as a standard feature, it just makes sense to take advantage, since you (as an OEM) don't have to pay any extra cost.

Not so. Tablet PC's are thriving, but they are a niche market. For example, in my client porfolio I have several construction, engineering, and design firms who use tablet PC's daily. They work remarkably well for them, carrying around to job sites to note changes, making notes on drawings in meetings, etc.. I've also seen them in use in several hospitals and medical clinics in the area. Like I said, they're a niche market targeted item, but within their community of users they're adored.

Computer Guru said,
Tablet PCs are dead, and Dell is in denial.

If mobile PCs have a future, it's the UMPC, not the tablet PC.

dead? wow never been into a hospital have you lately? These things are ALL OVER the healthcare industry and education markets... heck I work for insurance writing programs and we have a ton of tablet pc's out there for the people that travel a lot...

What took them so long? I hope they target it at the budget consumer who wants innovative technology but not willing to pay an arm and a leg, but at the same not up for sacrificing basic features and functionality to justify the cost.

Dell has been shipping some lousy hardware lately though especially in the notebook department and the recent consumer complaints are enough to make me wait a while before even buying a Tablet from them.

What I'm hoping for:
Core 2 Duo
1 GB of RAM Minimum
DVD Burner - but will sacrifice for DVD/CD-RW
Dedicated graphics 256 MBs
Vista Home Premium or Business

Taget price, $799 to $1000

Its time the Tablet come out of the niche market now and I think Dell might just make that happen.

quick said,
There is 0% chance it will be in that price range. Probably $1200+ at least...

Today, you can get a Tablet PC for as low as $$1,200, albeit with some lackluster specs, $1,600 if you want a good one with the specs I mentioned. So to really make my point, Tablets have been in the 1200 to 2500 (standard) price range for a long while now. Why? Because they are in the niche market. You can get a notebook with the specs I mentioned today for 799, Dell won't be dropping their Latitude Tablet until late '07, by that time my specs would be standard across most notebooks and even Tablets. Not to mention the fact they are targeting this at the education market which usually consist of consumers called students who are on a budget.

Dell has been known to make niche markets mainstream, Windows Media Center comes to mind. You can get a $600 PC from them today with MCE, a few years before, you would have to split with $2000 to $3000 to get such a system. I assume Dell wants to do the same with Tablet. And the point is, its about time, Microsoft launched this technology from November 2002, been working on it since the mid-90's, its time for it to hit masses. Also, we have to take into account, there could be various models of it under Dells portfolio. Oh, and if its not coming with 1GB of RAM minimum as Microsoft recommends Vista, Dell better get ready for some serious complaints.

Based on the video, I do not expect this to be in that price range. It sounds like they started with the D420 when they built this computer. The D420 has everything you asked for, except the optical has none. Check it out in the small business selection for more information. I expect the tablet to cost at least $100 more than a comparably equip D420.

My biggest complaints with tablets and convertibles is that most seem to have horrible battery life. Hopefully this gets 5-6 hours.