August 30, 2012, 5:00 AM — Dell is back in the tablet market after laying low for a few months, announcing the XPS 10 tablet, which has an ARM processor and Microsoft's upcoming Windows RT OS.
The XPS 10 is intended for work and play, said Alison Gardner, director of product group brand and messaging at Dell. The company did not share further information about the tablet's price, availability or hardware specifications, saying more details will come in the future.
The XPS 10 comes as Dell resets its tablet strategy after the company's previous Android-based devices failed in the market. Dell stopped selling the Streak 5 tablet-phone hybrid device around the middle of last year, and pulled the Streak 7 tablet late last year. The company's new tablet strategy revolves around Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 and RT operating systems. Also, with the consumerization of IT in the enterprise, Dell is also more on higher-margin mobile devices that can be used at work and home.
The XPS 10 was introduced at the IFA trade show going on in Berlin through Sept. 5.
The closest competitor to Dell's XPS 10 will be Microsoft's Surface tablets, which will ship at the launch of the new Windows OSes on Oct. 26. Microsoft is offering Windows RT for ARM-based devices and Windows 8 for Intel-based devices, and Surface models will have both OSes. A Windows RT tablet has also been announced by Asus and Acer is expected to announce a tablet at a later date. Lenovo has announced the ThinkPad Tablet 2, which has an Intel chip and Windows 8.
The XPS 10 has a dock with a keyboard and battery that could bring a "multiday" run-time on a single charge, Gardner said. Dell has tried to make the tablet attractive to businesses by adding enterprise features, and IT managers will be able to manage and secure the tablet remotely.
Analysts have said that Windows RT tablets will be attractive to some buyers and will likely be priced lower than Windows 8 tablets. Windows RT devices will not run existing Windows applications, so buyers will likely have few ties with legacy Windows PCs running on x86 chips.
Gardner acknowledged that the XPS 10 will be different from tablets based on Windows 8, which will run existing Windows applications.
Dell in the future will also announce a Latitude tablet, Gardner said. Dell targets Latitude products at enterprises, and it is likely the new tablet will have Windows 8 and an Intel chip. Dell currently offers the Latitude ST tablet with Windows 7 and a low-power Intel Atom chip.