The Dell Latitude 10 Tablet definitely is a forerunner in the next generation of mobile computing devices. It’s exactly the type of device that Microsoft needs in order to get Windows 8 into the hands of IT pros and consumers. The unit’s touch-screen capabilities show Windows 8 to its best advantage.

 

 

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The Dell Latitude 10 Tablet that I reviewed was equipped with a dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz dual-core processor. The unit had 2GB of DDR2 800 MHz RAM, an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator running at 533MHz and a 64GB SSD drive. The drive had 52GB of usable storage and two smaller recovery partitions. The boot recovery partition was 500MB, whereas the system recovery partition was approximately 5.1GB. The Dell Latitude 10 Tablet also had 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Externally, the tablet had one USB 2.0 port and a 3.5mm audio jack and one HDMI port on the right side. A security port was on the left side. An SC slot supporting eMMC memory was provided on the top of the unit, providing up to 64GB of extra storage. A dock/power connector and a micro USB port were at the bottom of the unit. Internally, it has a TPM module allowing BitLocker support. The Latitude 10 Tablet had a 10.1" Gorilla Glass LCD screen with 1366 x 768 resolution and built-in 2-megapixel front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. The unit weighed in at an extremely portable 1.45 pounds. Carrying it around was just like toting around a notebook. The test unit was also equipped with an external docking station and a wireless keyboard and mouse and an optional Wacom Stylus. The docking station had four USB 2.0 ports, audio out, HDMI, power in, and a 1GB Ethernet port. Latitude 10 Tablet options include LTE Mobile Broadband & GPS support and a flat detachable Kensington keyboard and a fingerprint reader.


What I really liked about the unit was its tremendous portability and the economical Atom processor. Although not as powerful as the Core i5, it provided adequate performance and much better battery life. At 1.45 pounds, it felt about the same as a paper notebook, and its small 11” x 7” size was just slightly smaller than most notebooks. The tablet was great for carrying between offices and travelling. I had never used a unit with the Atom processor before, and I found the processor to really shine in this form factor. Its performance was smooth, and the battery life was much better than the Core i5 tablets I’ve used in the past. As with an iPad, the battery life was good enough with the standard 30Whr battery that I never had to worry about it. The battery really sets this unit apart from other tablets because the battery is replaceable. You can bring along a hot spare, which is a big boon, especially to business travelers. The unit also has an optional 60Whr battery, which extends battery life but also adds sticks out of the back of the unit, adding a bit of additional heft. I was definitely seeing in excess of eight hours of active battery life—about twice that of the Microsoft Surface Pro. In addition, the Latitude Tablet was always completely silent. Unlike other Windows 8 tablets (such as the Surface Pro), there was never any noticeable fan noise.

Like you would want for a mobile business device, the Dell Latitude 10 Tablet came loaded with Windows 8 Professional Edition. In case you were wondering, Dell only ships the Latitude Tablet with the 32-bit version of Windows 8—not the 64-bit version. The system was thankfully free of unnecessary bloatware. It had trial copies of Microsoft Office 2010 Home Edition and Skype—two programs likely to be used by IT professionals.

After replacing the trial copy of Office with the newer, more touch-friendly version of Microsoft Office 2013, I took the tablet on several different trips. The Latitude 10 Tablet is a great mobile device, and with its docking station it can be a desktop replacement. The Latitude tablet was great for consuming content but without the flat portable keyboard like the one offered by the Surface Pro, it wasn’t as useful for producing content on the go. The Windows 8 virtual keyboard takes up too much screen real estate to really be useful for anything other than light use.

I would definitely recommend the new Dell 10 Tablet for anyone looking for a new ultra mobile device—especially if you don’t need to produce a lot of content. Its price and features—like the Atom processor, replaceable battery, and mobile broadband support—make it a tough competitor for the Surface.

 

Dell Latitude 10 Tablet
PROS: Super lightweight and portable, excellent battery life, replaceable battery, fast startup, mobile broadband HSPA+ support
CONS: No mobile keyboard like the Surface Pro
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
PRICE: $1,146.98 (as tested)
RECOMMENDATION: The Dell Latitude 10 Tablet should be on the short list for IT pros looking into a Windows 8 tablet device.
CONTACT: Dell