Apple practically reinvented the world of touchscreen computing when the iPad first came out, and now Dell wants to give it a proper punch, with a 10 inch tablet that offers up Intel’s Atom processor, Windows 8, and a battery you can take out.
Dell’s first proper Windows 8 tablet, the Latitude 10 arrives with some familiar specs, a professional matte black design, and a battery you can take out and replace as and when you need to.
Over on the hardware front, we’re becoming quite familiar with the Intel chips being used in Windows 8 tablets, and this one is no different, with Dell opting for the Intel Atom Z2760 clocked at 1.8GHz.
Partnered with this chip is 2GB RAM and 64GB of built-in storage, with expansion offered through an SD card slot at the very top of the tablet.
Connection options are pretty minimal, with mini HDMI, SD card slot, stereo headset jack, and a lone USB 2.0 port, with wireless taken care of over 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.
As is the norm with tablets these days, cameras are provided, with a front-facing two megapixel module and a rear eight megapixel camera with autofocus and flash.
All of this is encased in a tablet that features a 10.1 inch screen with five points of multitouch and Corning’s Gorilla Glass protecting it.
Dell also includes a proprietary power plug for charging the tablet, though power can be supplied through a neighbouring microUSB port.
Few buttons sit on this tablet, with only a Windows button sitting on the front, a volume rocker on the left, and a power button up top next to a rotation lock button.
While manufacturers are doing their best to display Windows 8 in computers that blend the tablet and notebook in a way that makes them a hybrid, Dell’s Latitude 10 is one of the first we’ve seen that is all tablet, skipping the keyboard dock and going straight for the touchscreen experience.
It does this by forgetting about keys and offering a familiar specification in a slate and only a slate.
As such, what you see is what you get in Dell’s Latitude 10, a tablet that feels more like it was designed for business than for regular consumers.
Turn it on and you’ll see the charming grid that is formerly known as Metro UI, and is now just Windows 8.
The screen on the Latitude 10 isn’t overly bright, but it certainly has angles down in spades, able to be viewed from any point without colour wash out. The resolution is HD capable, and at 10.1 inches, 1366×768 is sharper than you’d expect.
Start using the tablet and you’ll find pretty much everything just works. With Intel’s commonly used Atom processor powering things, Windows 8 works well enough, providing enough power for writing documents, working through office applications, browsing the web, and even the odd game.
Our tests mostly used it for web browsing and file editing, but it performed about as well as other tablets we’ve seen come through running on Intel’s Atom. Start-up times were all fairly on par, with a rough ten seconds from off to booted, and barely a second to bring the Latitude back from standby.
Dell has chosen the proper version of Windows 8 here, and thankfully, unlike Windows RT, we can install apps made for Windows 7, Vista, and XP.
In fact, this tablet goes beyond the regular installation of Windows 8 by including the less commonly bought Windows 8 Pro, which adds the security of BitLocker, the ability to connect to corporate networks, and support for remote desktop connections.