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Dell Latitude 10 review

Verdict

The first Windows 8 business tablet delivers unrivalled battery life, and comes with a practical set of peripherals, but performance suffers

Review Date: 3 Apr 2013

Reviewed By: Mike Jennings

Price when reviewed: £521 (£625 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
3 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

We’ve seen plenty of Windows 8 tablets since the OS launched last year, but the Dell Latitude 10 is the first designed primarily for business. What differentiates a business Windows 8 tablet from a consumer one? Judging by the options available for the Latitude 10 on the Dell website – and the box full of accessories that came with our review sample – it’s flexibility.

The Latitude 10 can, within reason, be tweaked and specified like any laptop. The “Essentials” tablet is available for as little as £375 exc VAT, and you can upgrade the storage from 64GB to 128GB and add all manner of extras to your basket, from a powered desktop dock with a Gigabit Ethernet socket and USB sockets to a stylus for note-taking and handwriting recognition.

Dell Latitude 10

The most intriguing of the accessories, however, is a removable battery, which clips into a bay on the tablet’s rear panel. This feature is only available on the pricier “Standard” edition reviewed here, but it’s one of the Latitude's key selling points. Two different battery types are available: a two-cell 3,880mAh unit, and a four-cell battery that doubles this capacity, delivering a mighty 7,760mAh for an extra £23 exc VAT. In concert with the Latitude’s low-power, 1.8GHz dual-core Atom Z2760 CPU, the stamina delivered is impressive.

With the larger unit in place, the Dell’s final result of 27hrs 8mins in our light-use battery test is the best we’ve recorded. It even outlasts the 21-hour lifespan of the previous record-holder – the Acer Iconia W510 – which needed two batteries to survive that long. The standard battery pack didn’t let the Dell down, either. It lasted for 12hrs 35mins in the light-use benchmark – as long as a third-generation iPad.

Dell Latitude 10

Tablet hardware

Exciting though these figures are, the Latitude itself is about as plain as tablets get. There’s a matte-black rear and a glossy façade, and the larger removable battery adds an ugly hump on the rear. The Dell weighs 658g with the standard battery installed – more than the Acer’s 566g – and this figure increases to 860g with the larger power pack clamped to the rear.

The 10.1in 1,366 x 768 IPS display is bright, going right up to 448cd/m2 at its maximum setting. That is far brighter than the Acer Iconia’s 285cd/m2 result, and the Latitude goes on to deliver intense, accurate colours and a contrast ratio of 734:1.

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User comments

HP ElitePad 900 is also available but they screwed up by holding back the release date until January 2013. This gave Dell the advantage of being the first to market. Out of the two I prefer the more standard docking station with the Dell, and the configuration options at time of purchase than the HP sleeves system.

By mr_chips on 3 Apr 2013

Elitepad issues

As the previous commentator mentioned there is the Elitepad. I just got one and its great, with 3G included, but the SSD is limited to 64Gb and HP seems to have a number of issues. Not least is the main reason I bought it, the pen input. Tried to order a pen - no longer available. Rumours are there will be a new one at the end of April. Also none of the docks or jackets were available either. Very poor. I'm deliberating returning it as they have misrepresented it and going for the Dell instead.

By adwoodrow on 3 Apr 2013

Samsung ATIV SmartPC

Apart from the replaceable battery, the rest of the options seem to be almost identical to the Samsung ATIV Windows 8 tablet.

I didn't go for the 3G version, which isn't SIM locked, I just use my phone as a hotspot.

It came with the "laptop dock", which mades typing on the move acceptable. I also bought the desktop dock, which includes USB and Ethernet.

It also comes with a stylus by default.

Battery life is usually a couple of days of light use, although I use it as a desktop replacement in the office, so it spends a lot of time in the dock.

Performance is acceptable, given the portability and battery life. It is fast enough for Office 2013 and the business applications I need.

The Dell sounds interesting, but apart from the battery, it doesn't seem to offer anything the competition doesn't...

By big_D on 3 Apr 2013

Samsung ATIV SmartPC

Hi big_D,

Funnily enough, I've been asking Samsung for one of those (and the rest of the new tablets/hybrids) but there are still no UK review samples available. I'm badgering their PR on a regular basis.

I'm really hoping we'll be able to get hold of them in the near future, as they looked great when I saw them back in IFA last year...

By SashaMuller on 3 Apr 2013

@SashaMuller

Yep, I can confirm that it is a great little device. The pen really makes a difference.

As I said, with the desktop dock and a 24" external monitor, it is doing nicely as a desktop replacement for most of the work I do. I only really need my desktop when I need to do graphics editing. For RDP and Office duties, it is fine.

By big_D on 3 Apr 2013

Useless review of a "business" tablet

15 photo's and not one of a desktop app. No mention of Microsoft Office - the only possible reason for choosing a proper windows 8 tablet over iPad / Android is to run full-fat PC software. I'm no wiser.

By milliganp on 4 Apr 2013

Owner comment

I've been using a Dell Latitude 10 (Standard with Pen)for the last 3-4 weeks. In the last two weeks I've stopped using paper notebooks, the pen and OneNote(mobile) work so well (I've been trying to do this since Apple Newton 2 back in the 90's).

I don't have any affiliation with Dell and this is the first PC I've ever bought that was slower than my last one.

I bought it for battery life and compatibility with legacy business apps, which all work fine with 2-3 days between charges.

My problem is Windows 8, it's an appallingly unfinished UI, omitting features that were even in Windows Phone 7.5 (2011).

A warning to those intending to use a tablet as laptop replacement; make sure you can get a VGA cable/connection for presentations!

The big question I have is why isn't there a Microsoft Surface Pro based on Atom ?

By Grainybits on 4 Apr 2013

@milliganp

I'm afraid I'm not entirely sure what you're driving at.

The Latitude 10, just like any Windows 8 tablet, laptop or PC, will run Microsoft Office. This isn't an RT device - it's a proper Windows 8 Pro 32-bit tablet.

Indeed, the Dell will run any x86 software you'd care to. The only limiting factor is the processor power on offer, which with it being an Atom, is modest.

By SashaMuller on 4 Apr 2013

@SashaMuller

I feel your pain with regards the review unit. I am continually baffled as to how difficult it is to buy these devices.

I was wanting the Asus VivoTab (Atom version) which is the equivalent of the Samsung ATIV big_D has but it seems to no longer be available even though reviews have only just come out.

Windows 8 has made the manufacturers come out with some really interesting hardware but why do they make it so difficult to buy it? *sigh*

By Grunthos on 4 Apr 2013

@Grainybits

If MS did a Surface with Atom and the Wacom pen, I'd buy it in an instant.

(Assuming it was actually made available for purchase!)

By Grunthos on 4 Apr 2013

Office

As grainybitd said, the performance is good enough for standard office work. I use MS Office 2013 and it works fine. Yes, it doesn't load as quickly as my old Core i7 laptop, but it is good enough and the battery life is on a par with ARM based tablets, yet you can run normal business applications as well as tablet based apps.

I don't think Windows 8 is as bad as Grainybits makes out, although Blue should improve things.

By big_D on 4 Apr 2013

@sashaMuller, @big_D

I am "lucky" enough to be playing with an Ativ Pro with HD display. It drives mee utterly round the twist! In Metro (windows 8 modern ui) mode it's the most expensive toy in the universe, in desktop mode everything is ludicrously small and nothing is optimised for pen/touch. It's also the weight of a small laptop and is totally unsuitable for hand-held use. I tried to make it my home device for a few days but I just had to get it out of the way and use my iPad.
Yes, if I dock it and attach a 22" monitor it becomes a perfectly useable PC as per big_D.
I'd like to see an item on creating a PowerPoint presentation on a tablet when the onscreen keyboard is half the size of the screen, there is no easy way to right click and when you want to look at a picture it goes into "metro" mode.

By milliganp on 5 Apr 2013

milliganp

"when you want to look at a picture it goes into "metro" mode." - Right click a picture, properties, Change, select windows photo viewer.

By rhythm on 21 Apr 2013

@Grunthos

Argos sell them and four were available around my local (Chester) area over the weekend as I purchased the model with a white back. PC World don't have them so I suppose other retailers have exclusivity.

By rhythm on 22 Apr 2013

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