Dell announces Latitude XT convertible tablet

As expected, Dell has finally taken the wraps off its first foray into the convertible tablet PC world: the Latitude XT. The system is launching with a hefty starting price tag of $2,499, and it features a 12.1" 1280×800 display with optional daylight-readable and LED-backlight panels, low-voltage Intel Core 2 Solo and Core 2 Duo processors, integrated ATI Radeon X1250 graphics, a full-sized keyboard, and a weight of just 3.57 lbs (1.62 kg).

Dell’s Latitude XT, shown here in tablet mode. Source: Dell.

The system can squeeze in up to 3GB of DDR2-533 memory, 40-120GB hard drives or 32-64GB solid-state drives, a wealth of connectivity options (including 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and EV-DO for hooking up to cell phone networks), and enough battery capacity for the system to last up to 9.5 hours. Since the machine isn’t up for sale on Dell’s website just yet, though, we can’t say for sure how much the more mouth-watering extras will cost you.

As tablet PCs tend to do, the Latitude XT includes a stylus to allow users to write on the display when the system is in tablet mode. Dell says there’s also a capacitive touch-sensitive screen, which recognizes finger input with no pressure required and includes hardware support for future multi-touch functionality (as seen in the iPhone). The touch-sensitive display has been tweaked for accuracy and speed, with reportedly faster touch response times than those of Lenovo’s ThinkPad X61T.

Dell says it will begin taking orders and shipping out Latitude XTs "by the end of the year." The company also intends to roll out Energy Star 4.0-compliant models in January. The Energy Star 4.0 specification mandates 80% power efficiency, active power factor correction, and low power utilization.

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