Product Notes: Dell Latitude XT
December 11th, 2007
Dell's Latitude XT is Dell's first Tablet PC, released slightly over five years after Tablet PCs first came to market. With its 3.6 pound minimum weight and convertible configuration, it has the potential to meet the needs of many of the University's Windows-based 'road warriors' who need tablet capability.
The Latitude XT is a single-spindle, 12-inch widescreen convertible Tablet PC, designed to run Windows Vista or Windows XP Tablet Edition. It uses ultra-low-voltage (ULV) processors: either a Core 2 Solo U2100 processor running at 1.06 GHz or a Core 2 Duo U7600 processor running at 1.2 GHz.
The display is available as either an LED-backlit (220 nits) or an extremely bright display designed for outdoor viewing (400 nits). Choosing the outdoor viewing display increases both the weight and the thickness of the Latitude XT by approximately 20%.
For input, both screens include a capacitive touch screen, allowing input from both finger and pen. Dell expects to upgrade this screen to full multi-touch capability early in 2008. In addition, Dell ships all Latitude XTs with three different tips for the pen, allowing significant variance in writing feel.
The Latitude XT includes many features of Intel's Santa Rosa chipset, including standard 4-pin FireWire. Interestingly, the Latitude XT includes ATI's Radeon Xpress 1250 integrated graphics chipset, instead of Intel's GMA X3100 integrated solution. The Latitude XT also includes an Express Card slot, a SecureDigital card slot, and Dell's Wi-Fi Catcher wireless network locater.
In the time between the early rumors of this product in 2006 and its actual introduction, several features that were initially notable about it have become less so. In particular, Gateway/Acer and Toshiba have both introduced 12-inch widescreen tablets.
The Latitude XT was originally expected to be relatively close in general design to the Latitude D430 (as the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 Tablet is to the ThinkPad X61s), but time and constant design revisions have ended up with a product that is considerably different in look, feel, and capability.
Information Systems & Computing (ISC) sees the Latitude XT as being an interesting and competitive choice among Tablet PCs available in late 2007. ISC will be following up with a full review of this product as soon as it has completed testing.
--John Mulhern III, Senior Project Leader, ISC Technology Support Services (December 11th, 2007)
Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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