Dell showed off the consumer-focused XPS Duo 12 and XPS 10 hybrid tablet devices at IFA 2012, but the company hasn't forgotten its newfound enterprise-first mantra. Last week we spent some time getting to know the 10.1-inch Latitude 10, a Windows 8 tablet targeted at business users. We first caught wind of the device in May, when a leaked image allegedly offered up the device's specs. It turns out those details were spot on: the tablet is powered by an Intel Clover Trail SoC and 2GB of RAM, and offers up to 128GB of storage space. It's 0.4 inches thick and weighs about 1.5 pounds with its stock 30WHr battery. A 720p webcam is integrated into the display, while an 8-megapixel camera sits on the rear. The tablet will support an optional Wacom stylus, and the standard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity will be bolstered by mobile broadband options; there's no word on whether that includes LTE, or which carriers will be along for the ride.
A user-replaceable battery is a rarity amongst tablets
The Latitude 10's bright, attractive display offers generous viewing angles, but reflections proved troublesome in direct sunlight. The tablet supports 10-finger multitouch and proved fairly quick and responsive, tackling multitouch gestures with ease. The 1366 x 768 display resolution sounds limiting, but Windows 8's tiles adapt well to the screen size. The Latitude 10 also offers a user-replaceable battery, a rarity amongst tablets but crucial for the enterprise space. It's easy to remove: just slide a latch on the rear to get the battery out. As common sense might dictate, you'll want to power the unit down first; the battery was yanked out repeatedly over the course of Dell's event, and the pre-production unit eventually became finicky and unresponsive.
The dock was a pleasant surprise
Dell's optional productivity dock was a pleasant surprise. It's a sturdy hunk of metal with a rubber base that offers a faux-desktop experience for the tablet, adding an extra four USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and an HDMI socket. Seating the tablet into the dock is also rather clever: the connector tilts vertically, so finding the right angle of approach is decidedly simple. Other enterprise-focused options will include both fingerprint and smart-card readers, but those won't be available until January.
Apple's iOS ecosystem has made substantial inroads in the enterprise space, and Dell isn't likely to cede its business-friendly position to Cupertino without a fight. The Latitude 10 is reliant on support for existing Windows software, which could prove beneficial to companies looking for a familiar ecosystem to turn to. There's no word on pricing, but the tablet is slated to be available once Windows 8 arrives on October 26th.