Latitude XT gets a first look

Dell launched its Latitude XT convertible tablet PC yesterday, but the company doesn't plan to actually ship the system until some time later this month. However, the guys at Engadget were lucky enough to get up close and personal to Dell's new baby, and they've related their impressions here.

According to Engadget, the Latitude XT is similar in touch and feel to Lenovo's notoriously rugged ThinkPad line, and it has "a seemingly higher quality build than you're normally likely to find in most other Dells." That feeling of quality is reportedly heightened by the magnesium finish, the sturdy feel of the display hinge, and the flushness of the display panel with its bezel. Speaking of which, the Engadget folks say the capacitive touch screen works very well; it apparently made them "never want to go back to resistive touchscreen tablets."

For all the Latitude XT's qualities, though, Engadget believes the machine's $2,499 starting price tag is just too much. As it points out, Lenovo's similarly rugged X61 tablet can be nabbed for about $1,000 less (Lenovo prices it at $1,518). Ordinary customers aren't likely to pay the premium for the Dell, Engadget wagers.

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