The next wave of consumer-grade tablet computers that will hit the market will be powered by Microsoft’s Windows 8 software. And among them is the business-centric Dell Latitude 10, which features a simple all-black design and comes with a 10.1-inch 1366x768 touchscreen display. It’s very similar to other Windows 8 tablets in terms of specs. But is there anything that sets it apart from the competition?
At the bottom of this tablet, there’s a wide open port that could be mistaken for eSATA or HDMI-out. In reality, this is actually a proprietary port for charging and data that can be used for docking into an accessory for extra functionality. There’s also a full-size USB port on one of its sides, right next to the actual port for HDMI. And at the back, a bunch of obvious markings reveal the location of its most distinguishing feature: a fully removable battery.
Because it’s removable, users can carry around and use as many extra two-cell or four-cell batteries as they like. Underneath the battery is where compatible SIM cards will reside. The fact that the battery can be easily replaced is definitely a boon for productivity. Speaking of which, this tablet won’t be bundled with a keyboard like many other models with Windows 8 Pro. Instead, it can be plugged into an optional dock that gives it four extra USB 2.0 ports and a full-size HDMI port. Dell essentially wants users to bring their own mouse and keyboard.
For it to lack a hardware keyboard is odd since it’s a product that’s supposed to be designed for business use. While users can get wired or wireless keyboards quite easily, that puts it at a disadvantage when compared with devices that already have bundled keyboard docks. The rest of it is built to standard Windows 8 specs: there’s a dual-camera setup, a number of different wireless connectivity options, and support for all existing Windows 7 programs on top of all future modern Windows apps. The removable battery may be a godsend, but more valuable options are available elsewhere.
Need to Know: Dell Latitude 10
1. Comes with a fully removable, user-replaceable battery. (The Good)
2. Runs Microsoft’s Windows 8 Pro software, which makes it compatible with not just modern Windows applications from the Windows Store but also all existing Windows 7 desktop programs. (The Good)
3. Does not come with a bundled keyboard dock for easy typing. (The Bad)
4. Uses a proprietary port for charging and data transfer. (The Bad)