Dell joins Windows 8 tablet party, HP still wallflower

Dell Latitude 10 Windows 8 tablet

Microsoft has set the official launch date for its touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system for late October. This time, the company’s software won’t be the star of the show. Microsoft-branded tablets running an ARM processor-optimised version of Windows 8 will hit the streets at the same time. And a slew of Microsoft partners are also expected to début tablets.

Where’s wally HP?

Joining Microsoft at the top table will be new tablets from Dell, Samsung, Lenovo and Asus. HP will be conspicuous by its absence. A cautious approach makes sense. After all, the company’s earlier attempt at producing a tablet, the ill-fated TouchPad was an embarrassment.

That’s not to say HP doesn’t have a WIndows 8 tablet in the pipeline. As the UK edition of CRN reports in HP Ready To Roll Out Business Tablet. HP says when it arrives, its tablet will be ‘expandable’ and ‘serviceable’, an approach that’ll resonate with some corporate customers. What’s more, those words hit at the idea that integrators can add value to devices tailored for specific niche applications.

Give Dell some Latitude

If the news reports of Dell’s Latitude 10 are anything to go by, the PC-maker’s Windows 8 tablet is, well, ordinary. A plain vanilla Windows 8 tablet for business users. Boring is not necessarily a bad thing when you’re trying to flog hardware to CIOs who treasure simplicity, reliability and predictability over flashiness any day.

One interesting aspect of the Latitude 10 is it comes with an optional dock, which, effectively turns it into something resembling a desktop. That could be a smart move for wooing corporates.

Dell’s official blog says the Latitude 10 has user-replaceable batteries and a USB port. There’s also mention of Dell proprietary technology which means large IT shops can manage these babies like they look after PCs. No doubt that will appeal to Dell customers.