Latitude tablet has replaceable battery and optional stylus


— 1:55 PM on September 19, 2012

Windows 8 will spawn a wave of new tablets, most of which are meant for consumers. Dell's upcoming Latitude 10 targets the business crowd, and The Verge's hands-on look reveals some interesting twists to the usual formula. Despite being only 10 mm thick, the Latitude appears to include not only a full-sized SD slot, but also a proper USB port. I see what looks like Mini HDMI connector, as well. All those goodies are right on the tablet, and there's an auxiliary dock that adds four more USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and a standard HDMI out.

One of the Latitude's most interesting features is its 30Wh battery, which can be removed with the flick of a latch. Finally! Most tablets bury their batteries inside the chassis, accessible to only those with iFixit-like teardown skills. These batteries aren't user-replaceable, which is particularly annoying given how many smartphones let users pop off the back panel to swap batteries.

Although the Latitude's Wacom stylus support is admirable, the 10" screen's 1366x768 display resolution is a little pedestrian. You'd think business types who stare at documents and spreadsheets all day would want to have the crisper text of a higher-PPI display. Most probably want more horsepower than the Clover Trail Atom CPU lurking behind the screen, too. The Atom has access to 2GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state storage. Wireless options include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and unnamed flavors of mobile broadband.

There's no word on the cost, but early reports suggest Atom-based Win8 tablets will start at around $700. That's pricey given the processor's roots in budget netbooks, and the Latitude's extra features are likely to command a premium over consumer-centric designs.

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