Ben The secret was out but now it’s official: Dell’s long anticipated plunge into the tablet PC market has finally arrived with today’s release of the Latitude XT. Tablets were first introduced to enterprises over five years ago with great expectations but have long remained a niche solution for industries like healthcare, education, the public sector, retail, and manufacturing. But tablets have recently taken two significant steps forward, which will drive 28% of enterprises to increase their usage of tablets over the next year.

  • Windows Vista integrates tablet functionality. So there are no separate images to build, maintain, and deploy.
  • Dell has entered the market. The news here isn’t that the Latitude XT is technically superior to all other tablets (it may in fact be, but we don’t do product evaluations), but because Dell is the preferred PC supplier to enterprises and 88% have standardized on a single supplier. Now existing Dell customers that had to develop a relationship with another supplier can consolidate future tablet purchases into their existing master agreement.

For the tablet enthusiasts out there, Dell’s Latitude XT offers:

  • Impressive touch technology. Bringing the coolness of the iPhone to the tablet, the Latitude XT’s screen recognizes both pen and touch input (touch is available with a $200 upgrade). And with the Latitude XT’s palm rejection, it offers the best tablet user experience today.
  • Ultralight form factor with long battery life. Dell’s Latitude XT is one of the lightest corporate tablets in the industry. At 3.5 pounds, it compares favorably to most HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba tablets. Its less than 1” thick frame boasts all-day computing (over 9 hours of battery life) and a very sleek, ultralight power adapter.

Let us know if you think Dell’s tablet — or any other for that matter — will break the “niche solution” stereotype that has plagued this form factor. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

By Benjamin Gray

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