Rumors are flying once again that Dell is planning to launch a Tablet PC towards the end of October. This is far from the first time that I have heard about a Dell Tablet PC that is supposedly in-the-works, but it seems to be a lot more credible this time around.
The source of the rumor claims that they have received nearly identical information from two different sources, and the news goes something like this:
- Will be released in the September/October 2007 time-frame
- Based on the Latitude D420 notebook computer by Dell
- Optional wireless broadband Internet
- Widescreen display
Engadget commenters also seem to be confirming that they have heard similar things from their own Dell representatives. One even went as far as to give some of the details they heard about it:
My rep has confirmed this with me as well. I’ll try to snag his powerpoints. Shows a play on the D420 form factor, 1GB ram minimum 4GB max, 10 hour extended battery [not a typo, but probably not reality], 802.11n, 12″ display with an upgraded 12″ ‘high visibility’ option for outdoor use.
The thing that disappoints me is that they are going to have the Tablet PC functionality on one of their highest priced notebooks. The D420 starts between $1,800 and $2,000 depending on on whether you want a one-core processor or two-core processor. A Tablet PC definitely won’t help reduce the price on it.
I actually owned an Averatec Tablet PC (the C3500) that was horrible. It was plagued with battery and heat dissipation problems, both of which Averatec knew was an issue. They eventually discontinued selling the laptop because there was so many complaints, and at that time I opted for a new computer. The reason that I got the Averatec was because it was the only Tablet PC at the time that was available for under $1000, but the quality was obviously compromised for the price.
Since then I haven’t had another Tablet PC because they are still pretty expensive, but they were extremely nice for taking notes that are normally hard to type. Since I can type pretty fast I found that I didn’t really use the tablet functionality all that much because it actually slowed me down more than anything.
A few companies have taken strides to provide an affordable Tablet PC, such as Gateway’s which you can get for around $900 with pretty good specs. Dell is smart for getting into the Tablet PC market, but I think they need to offer a solution that typical consumers can afford as well.