While the Windows 8 launch is still over a month away, Dell is offering small business IT buyers a glimpse at the systems that will be running Microsoft's highly-anticipated operating system.
One thing they won’t find is the stodgy business systems of old. In an eyes- and hands-on preview for the press in New York City, Dell representatives allowed this writer to handle systems with crisp design elements, premium materials and brisk, responsive performance provided by an assortment of Intel processors.
Moreover, Dell is betting that the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon is more than a passing trend.
A Windows 8 Tablet for Business
The company is readying a Windows 8 tablet called the Latitude 10 for the Windows 8 launch. The 10-inch tablet sports an Atom processor from Intel, front and rear webcams for image capture and video conferencing, a built-in microphone and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Sticking true to its mobile business computing roots, the Latitude 10 also features something that is a rare among tablet makers: a removable battery. It also has two USB ports, a full-sized port for compatibility with a broad range of peripherals and expandability options as well as a micro-USB port for charging.
A magnesium case and Gorilla Glass from Corning help the device stand up to the rigors of business travel. And given the tablet's Intel x86 underpinnings, Dell says that the Latitude 10 will seamlessly slot into existing IT and desktop management platforms and ensure compatibility with the enormous business Windows software ecosystem.
Flexible All-in-One and a Tough Ultrabook
Next is the Dell OptiPlex 9010 all-in-one PC. Exhibiting sleek and minimalist flair, the 23-inch system will be available in several configurations, including fixed or rotating cameras for enhanced video conferencing options and capacitive touch screen version that lend multi-touch flair to presentation or brainstorming sessions.
The OptiPlex 9010 combines the Windows 8 touch-enabled interface with an articulating stand that allows the all-in-one to lay nearly flat. Dell is betting that the system will enable new levels productivity and interactivity to brainstorming sessions and in-person meetings.
Lastly, the company also unveiled the Latitude 6430u, a 14-inch Ultrabook that takes its cues from the company's popular XPS 13.
According to Dell, the Latitude 6430u was built with an emphasis on portability, hardiness and long-lasting battery life. The company says that the system meets the U.S. Military's MIL-STD-810G standard for durability, which should give road warrior some piece of mind.
Forgot the power adapter? No, problem says Dell. The Latitude 6430u battery enables "all-day productivity," more than enough to last a full workday and then some. And the 6430u makes for a lighter gadget bag, too. The system is 33 percent slimmer and 16 percent lighter than the current 14-inch Latitude notebook.
Dell's Latitude 10 tablet, OptiPlex 9010 all-in-one and Latitude 6430u Ultrabook go on sale on October 26, the Windows 8 launch date. The company will release pricing details as that date draws closer.
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