Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) unveiled Wednesday three computers based on Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows 8 software, including a tablet sporting a 10-inch screen for corporate users, a notebook that weighs less than four pounds and an all-in-one desktop.
Dell’s Latitude 10 tablet, set to debut this year for business users, features Intel Corp.’s Atom chip and runs Windows 8, which is designed to work better with tablets. The company’s fall lineup will also include the Latitude 6430u laptop, a thin and light ultrabook design, and the OptiPlex 9010, which houses its electronics, power supply and 23-inch touch screen inside one chassis.
Dell and other personal-computer makers are counting on Windows 8 to jog anemic growth as consumers and businesses increasingly opt for Apple Inc.’s iPad and other tablets. Global PC shipments this year may increase just 1 percent to 367 million units, market researcher IDC said last month, down from a previous projection of 5 percent growth.
Dell, whose own PC sales declined 14 percent in the fiscal second quarter, said its Windows 8 tablet for businesses will be available this year. No. 1 PC maker Hewlett-Packard Co. has said its Windows 8 tablet for businesses may not be available until January.
Dell is No. 3 in global PC sales behind HP and Lenovo.
“We’re already sampling to customers – we will ship this year,” said Neil Hand, a Dell vice president of product marketing, at a demonstration of new Windows 8 devices in San Francisco.
- Latitude Tablet
The Latitude 10 includes options for a longer-lasting battery and a dock featuring additional ports for connecting to printers, screens and other equipment Hand said.
It also offers enhanced security.
“Dell understands some computing environments like healthcare, government and education require integration with specific industry software and additional levels of security will be offered with enhanced security features for industries where the ultimate in data protection is required,” the company said. “To address these needs, this product includes a fingerprint reader and smart card reader for effective two-factor authentication.”
The 6430u Ultrabook features a 14-inch screen, replaceable battery and optional wireless docking system for use in an office.\
It’s also designed for use in the field.
“Designed to meet MIL-STD-810G testing, a United States Military test standard where systems are subjected to the harshest conditions, the 14-inch Latitude takes durability to new extremes,” Dell said. “The new design is 33 percent slimmer and 16 percent lighter than Dell’s current 14-inch Latitude notebook, making it a desirable option for mobile workers. Preliminary battery life testing shows all-day productivity with a single battery charge1, an advantage for road warriors and always on-the-go sales executives.”
The all-in-one OptiPlex 9010 desktop machine can be placed on a desk or mounted on a wall, Hand said.
“The business-class All-in-One offers options for a multipoint touchscreen, fixed or rotating camera, and an articulating stand to optimize the user’s work experience,” Dell said.
Last month at a Berlin trade show, Dell showed off several other devices based on the new Windows operating system. The Round Rock, Texas-based company previewed a tablet based on Windows RT software — a version of Windows designed for chips running ARM Holdings Plc’s technology — as well as an Intel- based convertible Windows 8 tablet that flips around to reveal a keyboard.
(Bloomberg contributed to this report.)