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Dell to offer 10-in. Windows 7 tablet later this year

James Niccolai | Feb. 8, 2011
Dell will launch a 10-in. Windows 7-based tablet for business users later this year, aimed primarily at "vertical" markets such as health care, education and the financial sector, the company said Tuesday.

It already sells the Streak 5 and the Streak 7 -- which are 5- and 7-inch devices based on Google's Android OS. The 5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and the 7 has a dual-core Tegra chip.

Dell also sells a smartphone called the Venue Pro based on Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 software. It has a 4.1-inch touch display and a mini-keyboard that slides out of the bottom.

Gartner and IDC have both said tablets appear to be eating into PC sales, but Lalla said he expects sales to be additive. Some consumers have bought tablets as their primary device, but Dell expects them to be used more as complements in the business world.

All the new systems announced Tuesday -- apart from the Windows 7 tablet -- will start to ship in about a month. They use Intel's new Sandy Bridge chips, but Lalla said none of the products were delayed as a result of the glitch Intel reported with that platform last week. It appears Dell was lucky with its timing.

Intel said Monday it had started shipping Sandy Bridge components without the fault. "We believe that over the next few weeks we'll have the situation well in hand," said Ricardo Echevarria, general manager of Intel's business client platform division, who was at the Dell event.

There are a few common themes running through the updates to Dell's new laptops, desktops and workstations announced Tuesday. One is better support for communications tools such as Skype, made possible by better cameras, microphones and sound cards, Dell said.

A new wave of workers -- generation Y -- are displacing the baby boomers and demanding more consumer-like technologies in their PCs. "They're going to be making the decisions about what our future customers will be using," said Ken Musgrave, who runs Dell's enterprise design group.


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