Dell's Latitude XT 12.1-inch convertible Tablet PC is finally official, and it's being paraded as the world's "only sub-four-pound 12.1-inch convertible tablet" with capacitive touch capability—meaning it'll sense your finger (sorry, only one) without any pressure at all. Also on the touchy-feely side, it's got palm rejection, a no-battery pen eraser and Dell says its response times smoke Lenovo's X61T. The 3.57-pounder is available next month starting at $2499 with Core 2 Solo or Duo options and the choice of a sweet 64GB SSD or 120GB HDD. And the whole presser and spec sheet:
Dell Adds New Touch to Tablet PCs
Round Rock, Texas, December 10, 2007
* Dell LatitudeTM XT system is the only sub-four-pound 12.1-inch convertible tablet with ground-breaking capacitive touch technology
* System is the thinnest and one of the lightest convertibles available
* Optional daylight viewing display offers the brightest display in its category
* Hardware supports future multi-touch functionality
Dell is setting new benchmarks for tablet PCs with the addition of the Latitude XT, the thinnest and one of the lightest 12.1-inch convertible tablets available. It is also the brightest in its category with an optional daylight viewing panel. The system starts at $2,499 and Dell will begin to take orders and ship the Latitude XT by the end of the year.
The Latitude XT is also the industry's only sub-four-pound convertible tablet with pen and capacitive touch capability. Capacitive technology senses the touch of a finger with no pressure required for the system to recognize input. It is also the forerunner to emerging multi-touch capabilities that allow the use of more than one finger for tasks such as zoom and repositioning a picture, to name a few. Other touch features available on the Latitude XT include:
* Accuracy and speed - touch response times on the Latitude XT are faster than the Lenovo X61T1
* Advanced digital palm rejection technology, helping prevent inadvertent contact that disrupts pen input
* The digitizer technology on the Latitude XT is rated up to 10 times more durable than competing resistive touch digitizer technology
* Maintenance-free, no-battery pen with eraser and "right" mouse click functionality
"We are listening and aim to exceed customers' expectations," said Margaret Franco, director, Dell Product Group. "Until now, customers have been forced to make tradeoffs in tablet functionality to have usable systems. With Capacitive touch technology, the Latitude XT will revolutionize the way customers interact with their systems, allow customers to take full advantage of tablet technology and enables customers to get more done with greater speed and precision."
Most competitive tablets on the market today rely on resistive touch that requires the application of force for the system to recognize user interaction. The older technology can be less accurate and durable than capacitive touch and may not support multi-touch. In addition, many customers who use resistive tablets that support both pen and touch functionality may disable the latter because the palm rejection technology is subpar.
Market Impact of Dell Tablet PC
"Dell's plan to enter the tablet PC market will help promote the platform among its large number of customers and help facilitate the product category to go mainstream," said Doug Bell at industry analyst firm IDC.
The Latitude XT is designed with the future in mind with the capability to support multi-touch. As the technology matures, the system can serve as a premiere development platform for applications that can take advantage of multi-touch.
"By integrating our DuoSense technology into the Latitude XT, Dell creates the ultimate machine destined to lead the tablet PC market," said Amihai Ben-David, CEO of N-trig. "Customers using the new Latitude XT will find that the zero pressure touch combined with the accurate stylus changes the usability of tablet PCs. Once they try it, they won't want to go back."
As part of Dell's ongoing goal to be the "greenest technology company on the planet," Energy Star 4.0-compliant configurations of the Latitude XT will be available in January 2008.
Other features of the Latitude XT include:
* Optional media base for docking and optical media
* Full-size keyboard with dual pointing
* Up to 64 GB2 solid state drive; up to 120 GB2 hard drive
* Optional battery slice designed to provide up to 9.5 hours of battery life3
* Intel® Core 2TM Solo and Duo ULV processors
* ATITM RadeonTM X1250 UMA integrated graphics