When we’re talking about tablet revolution and recent appearance of this type of mobile device on the global market, we mainly refer to home users and their use as a multimedia device that helps out in various situations when we’re not at home. However, the fast development of hardware and increase in capabilities of the tablet has led to business users also becoming interested and have found great potential in these mobile computers. With average Android or iOS tablets, business users won’t have access to all applications and services, at least not to functionality and comfort that they have on desktop computers in offices; however tablets with Windows OS can fill these gaps and generally represent the best alternative in business environments.
One thing is certain; use of tablet for business purposes increasingly attracts attention and is becoming a rising segment of the market, and Dell is trying to cover all modes of use with its Latitude 10 line. This tablet is designed to provide comfort and mobility as with any other tablet and at the same time enables the functionality of a regular PC, which is very important to business users. Sine Latitude has full version of Windows 8 Pro operating system, the users can use any application from their business environment and there’s a whole set of additions, such as a dock and a stylus, which will turn Latitude in a real mobile desktop computer. There are a few variations of this model, where more expensive variants come with a replaceable battery (which is quite rare among tablets), as well as an active stylus and HDMI connector, but for testing we’ve received a more affordable version without these additions. Our Latitude 10 was equipped with flash memory with capacity of 64 GB and the well-known Intel Atom Z2760 processor. Its’ a dual-core Atom with nominal clock of 1,8 GHz with Hyper Threading option turned on, and there’s also integrated PowerVR SGX 545 graphics subsytem that supports DirectX 10.1, although this doesn't guarantee very high graphic performances. Latitude 10 comes equipped with nearly 2 GB 700 MHz DDR2 of SDRAM, which is enough for smooth run of 32-bit version of Windows 8 OS (because Atom line of processors doesn't support 64-bit instructions).
The test model belongs to the Essential line and it almost doesn't have any differences from its well-equipped sibling that bears the Productivity brand, aside the back side due to to the irreplaceable battery. It's a high quality device and it shows the moment you take it in your hands. It's completely black, chassis is made out of magnesium alloy and it's covered with a rubberized coating which, aside from the pleasant feel to the touch, secures a better grap and reduces the chances of dropping it. Front side has Gorilla Glass 2 protective glass that stretches from edge to edge, and the uniformity is marred only by Windows physical button, placed in the middle, right below the screen. The back side of the tablet is covered with a rubberized lid with company's logo in the middle, and aside from that there's a back camera with 8 MP sensor, as well as two speakers located on the sides. Don't expect miracles from this camera, but it provides rather good photos, for a tablet, especially when they're photos of static scenes with fixed focus and good lighting, of course. Also, there are few software tools for image correction that come pre-installed with camera software, which will help to further improve the end result. When it comes to video, this camera is capable of filming in 1080p resolution, which we can't call disappointed, but but it will serve for standard web sharing. Front camera, located right above the screen, has a resolution sensor of 2 MP, and we can say that it's of more than average quality, of course, when it comes to front cameras whose main functionality is video conference calls. Even though we've felt a lack of contrast balance, image was pretty sharp, even with minimal amount of pixelization during calls, with good internet connection. As for the audio subsystem, Dell Latitude 10 comes equipped with stereo speakers that provide very good sound with a solid maximum volume. These speakers are good enough for a small conference office, and even though the lack of low tones is noticeable, which was to be expected, middle and high tones make up for that. In most cases, sound was clear and loud, and one more thing that we've liked is that there wasn't any distortion even when tablet was placed on a flat surface, thanks to the slight curvature of back edges, underneath the speakers are located.
Essential model is a bit scarce when it comes to ports, but Dell managed to implement everything important. Therefore, on the right edge there's one 3,5 mm audio jack and one USB 2.0 port, while on the left side there's there's a lock button and two-way volume button. Upper edge containts the power button, auto screen rotation lock button, and a full-sized SD slot for memory cards. Of course, on the lower side there's a connector for the dock station, as well as for a power adapter for battery charging.
Generally speaking, Latitude 10 is a pretty solid device, of fine quality and good ergonomics, with a slightly increased weight and somewhat wider edges around the screen, but nothing that would spoil the total positive impression.
Latitude 10 is equipped with a 10,1-inch screen, with not that high, for this class of device, standard resolution of 1336x768 pixels. One thing that actually stands out of the usual specifications of panels such as these is the maximum backlight intensity of 450 units, which is a really impressive value. This is certainly reflected in the quality of the display, so the colors are pretty precise and saturated, and display is clear even with intense ambient light, which is especially important in a business environment.
Since it uses IPS technology, we didn’t have any problems with viewing angles of this screen. The only objection would be somewhat increased glossiness of the cover surface, which not only increases reflection, but also is a real magnet for fingerprints. When it comes to responsiveness of the surface, Latitude 10 was up to the task. Not only that, it was in fact excellent in combination with desktop mode of Windows. Icons and rest of the user interface elements are rather tiny, so it’s usually a chore to work without external peripheral device, which wasn’t the case this time. Even though this tablet was marketed as a business tool, it’s absolutely clear to everyone that Latitude 10 works just as well with multimedia content, and we can confirm that watching HD videos on this screen is a real pleasure, even though maximum resolution isn’t full HD.
|Dell Latitude 10|
|OS||Windows 8 32-bit|
|Processor||Intel dual core Atom Z2760 1.8 GHz|
|Memory||2 GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM|
|GPU||Intel GMA 533 MHz|
|SSD||64 GB eMMC SSD|
|Display||10.1", 1366 x 768 pix, IPS panel, Gorilla Glass 2|
|Interfaces||1x USB 2.0, 1x 3.5 mm audio, SD card reader|
|Wireless||802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi|
|Camera||Back: 8 MP; Front: 2 MP|
|Dimensions||274 x 176.6 x 10.5 mm|
Performances and impressions
As with all other tablets of this type and class (for example, HP Envy x2), Dell equipped Latitude 10 with dual-core Atom Z2760 processor with 1,8 GHz clock rate, paired with 2 GB of system memory and 64 GB of data storage on flash memory. In practice, this means that latitude will be pretty capable for performing daily, both private and business, tasks such as surfing the internet, sending and receiving emails, working in Office package, watching videos, even playing of non-demanding games. Of course, nothing more than this, because even though Intel Graphics Media Accelerator is DirectX 10.1 compatible, we weren’t able to fully run 3DMark11 or any other newer game, which says enough about this hardware’s potential for gaming. Of course, main feature of every Windows 8 tablet with full and not RT version of this operating system is reflected in its capability of running virtually any regular Windows application, which can be a crucial feature in the business world. Of course, performances here are pretty limited and they represent a bottleneck, but in situations where it’s necessary and you’re far from an office, they will serve excellently as a first aid kit.
Even though the battery isn’t replaceable (as is the case with almost every other device of this type), it was perfectly fine during general use when it comes to battery autonomy, so Latitude 10 managed to pull off 8 hours of continual surfing of internet with Wi-Fi turned on, watching videos, few dozen minutes of gaming and screen lighting at about 50 percent. Also, another advantage of energy-saving Atom processor is that along with low power consumption comes very low heating. Of course, at low temperatures such as these, there’s no need for active cooling system, so the lack of a fan means the lack of any noise.
We also appreciated the lack of any additional software that manufacturers often cram into devices, which in most cases just pointlessly take up additional space and precious resources during system startup. Dell decided to include in start package only test version of Microsoft Office, Skype and Getting Started, which we think it’s enough.
Does it pay off?
There are a lot of reasons why many users will like Dell Latitude 10. Even if we ignore the additional equipment that can be bought separately (or are included with more powerful models), Latitude has much to offer. Even without the replaceable battery, Latitude has enough battery autonomy to stay turned on during a whole work day and enable business users reliable work when they need it. Of course, there’s also an excellent IPS panel with pronounced colors and sharp display, where everything is displayed perfectly; from business graphs and tables to movies and video games, mostly due to excellent backlighting. With great design and sturdiness, Dell Latitude 10 represents an excellent mobile PC to every business user that doesn’t expect Ultrabook performances.