Dell Latitude 10 tablet review: First look

Reviews 19 Sep, 2012

Dell wants to differentiate its Windows 8 tablet from the masses with its configuration options and removable battery.

Verdict: 
It’s too early to say if the enterprise users will flock to the Latitude 10, especially those who have yet to upgrade to Windows 7. However, for enterprises looking to deploy Windows 8 this is a device to keep an eye on come October 26. The use of the Intel Atom processor means it will run the full version of Windows 8, providing full legacy support. Plus the removable battery and configuration options will also allow users to add that extra level of customisation.

Dell has launched its first Windows 8 tablet, and based on initial impressions, it could be the best all-round device to be based on Microsoft's forthcoming OS we've seen so far.

The manufacturer is touting this as the tablet for the enterprise, and its design was based on feedback from customers. As will all other Dell machines, business users and IT admins will be able to configure the device online to better cater to their needs.

Adam Griffin, product manager at Dell told IT Pro, there are three key hardware features enterprise users and admins requested for inclusion in the Latitude 10:

1. Removable battery

This was the most requested feature by enterprise users and could be a key hardware differentiator between the Latitude 10 and rival Windows 8 tablets. Griffin said final battery testing is underway, but early estimates suggest up to 18 hours of battery life could be achieved.

2. Soft touch back

This was included to make the device comfortable to grip – although we didn’t find it to be more comfortable than a device such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. The 725g starting weight also means it's not the lightest tablet around when compared to the Note 10.1, which is 597g.

3. Stylus support

Dell claims enterprise users want the option of deploying a stylus, but don't necessarily want it included as standard. Thus, a stylus will be offered as an accessory.

Key Specifications

Display - 10.1in IPS (1366 x 768) Corning Gorilla Glass

Processor - Intel Atom Clover Trail dual-core processor RAM - 2GB

Memory – 32, 64 or 128GB

Connectivity – WLAN, Bluetooth and optional 3G

Battery life - 2-cell or 4-cell options, up to 18 hours

Ports - Full-size USB 2.0, HDMI, full-size SD memory card reader, docking connection, micro-SIM (optional)

Security- Intel hardware TPM 1.2, optional Fingerprint Reader and Smart Data

Weight – Starting at 725g with 2-cell battery

Price and availability – TBC

Running on Intel’s Atom Clover Trail processor and with 2GB of RAM. Dell hasn’t confirmed the clock speed, but the dual-core chip is likely to run at 1.2GHz, similar to the other Intel-based tablets we saw at IDF, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad 2. We found the device to be nippy during our hands on. Transitions between the home screen and applications were smooth and multi-tasking worked without any problems.

The 10in IPS display is made from Corning Gorilla Glass, has a wide viewing angle and boasts a 1366 x 768 resolution, helping to deliver a clear picture. Although the colours look sharp, it did not look quite as bright as non-Windows tablets such as the iPad 3 or Asus Transformer Prime.

Another area where the device has an advantage over the competition is connectivity. There is a full sized USB 2 port, a feature which is rare on tablets, but will allow users to connect peripherals, including memory sticks, mice and even a keyboard. Plus you can dock the device, connect it via HDMI and charge it via a standard microUSB cable.

Dell will be providing a minimum of 32GB of storage, which can be increased to 64GB or 128GB. Internal storage can be extended using the SD card slot and, of course, using cloud services such as Microsoft SkyDrive.

Dell will also offer keyboard and docking accessories, so the device can be used on the move or in an office environment.

With Dell's chief rivals - Lenovo and HP - also focusing on the business market, the competition in this sector will be tough.

Overall, our first impressions of the Latitude 10 are favourable. The Intel architecture will ensure support for the full version of Windows 8 and the removable battery and configurability offer by Dell could be a key differentiators.

Pricing is going to be important, and although Dell hasn’t given any official figures, Griffin suggested it will be competitively priced up against fellow Windows devices and even the iPad.

IT Pro will have a full review soon. In the meantime have a look at the video demo below: