Dell unveiled a brand new 10-inch Windows 7 based tablet on Tuesday.
Dell officials teased the new tablet during Dell’s “Dell Means Business” event in San Francisco today according to Engadget. The company is refusing to name official specifications but says the tablet will be available later this year. Officials showed off a dummy unit for a short period at the event but quickly whipped it back into a case after less than a minute. Dell is marketing its tablet to commercial and enterprise markets. During a question and answer session at Dell’s event the company said it is looking towards the education and medical markets specifically. Dell describes the tablet as:
“The upcoming tablet is designed for end-users who need greater mobility, as well as IT organizations that demand control, security, manageability and integration with existing infrastructure investments. Dell’s tablet will empower a more mobile workforce in a way that offers customers the business applications and corporate data they need, while meeting regulatory mandates and IT requirements.”
Dell also unveiled a hybrid “touch and type” Windows 7 Slate device in late November. The device currently retails at at $549 in U.S. stores.
Microsoft has promised a “major revamp” of Windows for slate applications, that will come in the next version, Windows 8. The software giant has been criticized for its slow response to Apple’s iPad device, introduced in April, 2010. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, previously said Windows 7 based Slates would be available “as soon as they’re ready” when questioned earlier in 2010. Microsoft’s hardware partners introduced a range of new form factors at CES, a mix between traditional Slates and laptops.
Samsung unveiled its Sliding PC 7 series Windows 7 Slate hybrid at CES earlier this year. The device features Intel’s 1.66GHz Z670 Oak Trail processor, 10.1″ touchscreen, 32GB SSD and 2GB of RAM. The tablet weighs just 2.1 pounds and will retail in March for $699. The iPad currently retails at $499 and sold three million units in its first 80 days of release. The iPad is currently selling approximately 4.5 million units per quarter, Bernstein Research estimates. Microsoft rarely acknowledges the iPad or its sales influence. Windows general product manager Gavriella Schuster previously admitted that netbooks running Windows are “definitely getting cannibalised” by the iPad.
Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, said earlier last year that the company has a lot of different tablet projects it is pursuing. Microsoft canceled their internal Courier project shortly after the release of the iPad. The project was an innovative new tablet concept that had promised to combine a dual screen book design with finger and stylus input. The leaked promotional materials demonstrated various concepts that would have brought an unparalleled productivity tool to the market. Most media outlets and analysts felt the move to cancel the device was a mistake.