If you’re looking a tablet, there are a lot of options out there. Of course, there are couple of different iPads to choose from and a veritable army of droids, but generally speaking Windows tablets don’t get the same kind of notice. Part of this may be because, until the last couple of years, the mobile Windows experience was frankly just terrible. And while Microsoft improved thw OS with Windows Phone 7 and 8, the nice thing about Windows tablets, now, is that they’re advanced enough that they don’t necessarily need a mobile version of Windows to run on them.
Granted, many Windows tablets run on Windows RT, which, strictly speaking, is a mobile version of Windows for devices based on the ARM architecture. (This is the most common architecture for tablets as most Android tablets use ARM processors.) But it is a full OS, offering much of the same functionality as Windows 8. My main issue with Windows RT devices is that since the OS has been optimized for a different architecture than your desktop (or laptop), you can only run programs on it that you can find RT versions for – usually through the Windows Store. So even if I could find an RT version for every program I could ever want, I instinctively lean towards tablets that run Windows 8. And one of those that’s worth a look is the Dell Latitude 10…
Although not new, the Dell Latitude 10 is a nice option is you’re looking for a solid, reliable device. The 274 mm-by-176.6 mm-by-10.5 mm tablet weighs in at 658 g (692.4 g if you want it with a smart card/fingerprint reader), which makes it a little heavier than other devices the same size. But it’s hardly cumbersome to carry around.
Running on Windows 8 or 8 Pro (depending on the bundle you buy), the Latitude comes with 2 G of RAM and uses a dual-core 1.8 GHz Intel Atom processor Z2760. That coupled with its solid-state drive storage (either 32 GB or 64 GB), provides a reasonable fast experience. The multi-touch interface is quick and the virtual keyboard was actually surprisingly responsive. Though the large-sized keys do take up a fair bit of real estate on the screen, especially when in landscape view.
The device can be purchased with a docking stand, which adds additional USB ports as well (the Latitude 10 only has the one) as well as a stereo/headphone jack and ethernet port. Though, the stand weighs 794 g, so carrying both that and the tablet around does start to get a little heavy and bulky. And because you sit the tablet on top of the dock, it’s not always apparent if the two devices are connected as your view of the port is partially obstructed.
On the model I tested, Microsoft’s own monitoring program, Windows Experience Index (a feature mostly removed from 8.1), gave the device a rating of 3.3. The rating is low when compared to recent laptop and desktops, but it’s a decent rating for Windows tablets. Here the gaming graphics of the tablet’s 533 MHz Intel Graphics Media Accelerator card bring down the rating.
Admittedly, I did not do much gaming with the Latitude, but I didn’t have many complaints during daily use. The 10.1-inch screen has a resolution of 1,366×768 pixels. The screen animations are generally smooth and video playback is crisp with clean audio.
The Latitude 10 also comes with two cameras, one on each side of the device. They both have a number of settings. The front-facing camera has a 2.1 MP sensor which can take photos with an aspect ratio of 16:9, while the camera on the back has a 8 MP sensor but, at the highest setting, it can only take 4:3 pictures. There’s nothing really groundbreaking here. When shooting at full resolution, the 8 MP camera takes decent photos. Otherwise pictures taken with the device look very grainy and washed out – especially in low light. But as most people don’t use tablets for candid photography as they are too bulky, this isn’t too much of a concern. The front-facing webcam does include a 720p video camera and when used for video chats, the volume is a good level and the sound is relatively clean.
Overall, the Dell Latitude 10 is a decent, little device if you’re looking a midrange tablet for day-to-day use. The 64 GB model is currently on sale at Dell starting at $480.90. To find out more information, check out Dell’s website.