There’s the gold rush to the consumer tablet market, and then there’s the elusive “business tablet,” the mother lode that every computer manufacturer is hoping is out there, somewhere.
And maybe it is. Many have forgotten that tablets got their start in the business world as devices that aircraft builders, warehouse supervisors, and factory foremen could carry around so they wouldn’t have to run back to the office every five minutes to see where that missing part was, or whether Stevie was supposed to be working the graveyard shift that day. Tablets never found a whole lot of success in this era, but for a small segment of users, they were invaluable.
In recent years, industry has started to rethink the business tablet. Could a $500 iPad — a children’s toy in the minds of the back office — actually do the job of a $2,000 Windows tablet? The momentum has been headed that way, as in-house app development has been redirected toward iOS. But with Windows 8, vendors are trying again to excavate that precious vein once again.
Dell’s Latitude 10 is a 10.1-inch tablet that’s built for business. A tough slate, this 1.6-pound slab of glass, metal, and plastic packs a 1.8GHz Atom, 2GB of RAM, and a 64GB SSD — essentially the standard configuration for the current generation of Windows 8 slates hitting the market. While performance is on par with other Atom-based systems available now (which is to say, there’s not much of it), Dell has done an amazing job with the screen. It is sharp, crisp, and exceptionally bright — the brightest LCD of any Windows 8 device I’ve tested to date, and one of the brightest screens I’ve ever encountered on any mobile device.