Today Dell was showing off its new line of Latitude business notebooks and the Vostro V130 ultraportable notebook for small businesses. Towards the end of the presentation, a Dell spokesperson glossed over the new Latitude XT3, a convertible Tablet PC. Remember those?
The Latitude XT3 is a lot different than the XT2, which came before it. While the XT2 was a sleek ultraportable device, the Latitude XT3 appears to be a pretty chunky 13″ notebook at first glance. That’s probably because it is a 13″ notebook, rather than a 12-incher. HP, Dell and Lenovo have produced 12″ tablets for the enterprise for years. The smaller displays and low-powered innards make them thinner, lighter and easier to use on your feet. So it was pretty surprising to see the XT series moving on up.
While the new Latitude XT3 is bulkier, some Tablet PC users prefer more screen real estate for inking notes, reviewing documents and filing out forms. The larger footprint also allows for easier IT management. It uses many of the same components as other Latitude E6000 series notebooks, which means the Tablet PC doesn’t have to be treated like a special case by technicians. There’s now a docking connector on the bottom of the Latitude XT3, which allows it to hook into standard Latitude docks.
Unfortunately, Dell’s decided to stick with N-Trig in the digitizer department. We’ve heard countless nightmare stories about the N-trig digitizers found in the Dell Latitude XT2. While Dell’s worked with customers to set things right, a lot of Tablet PC users are still very wary of anything with N-trig inside. I would have liked to try inking ont he Latitude XT3 myself, but Dell didn’t have a stylus handy at the meeting.
Dell Latitude XT3 on Video
Dell’s David Ruth, a product manager, sat down to talk about the Latitude XT3. Dell hasn’t shared pricing or availability details yet, but we expect to see it in the next couple of months and hope to get our hands on one for review.