Dell business tablet challenges RIM Playbook

Dell is to take on RIM at the business tablet market with a 10-inch Windows 7 model that is designed specifically for healthcare, education and financial sectors.

Steve Lalla, head of the Business Client division at Dell, revealed that while the tablet is still in its early development stages, with no working prototype to demonstrate, it intends to launch the device much sooner than the end of the year.

It was also revealed that the tablet will utilise the Intel Oak Trail processor, one of Intel’s Atom line. 

A key differentiator will be the target audience of the device, which is aimed at businesses. Most tablets so far are consumer devices, trying to steal Apple’s iPad glory. But RIM’s upcoming Playbook is aimed at the business community, not surprising given the success of the Blackberry in the market.

RIM has a good name in business and a well-received product, so Dell will have its work cut out.

Dell suggested it may also offer a general model of the tablet for consumer use.

Dell has already dabbled in the tablet market with its Streak, which, due to its five-inch size, was more like a smartphone than a tablet. It recently improved things by bumping the model up to seven inches in the Streak 7, but the 10-inch tablets are expected to be proper tablets for a change.

Just in case the Windows 7 model doesn’t take off, Dell is also planning an equivalent 10-inch Android version.

Dell is also launching the Latitude XT3, the successor to the XT2, which is a laptop/tablet hybrid that utilises a swivel screen to alternate between the two modes.