Dell's first foray into the tablet PC arena is now available to buy.
Those of you who picked up on my complaint that Dell gave no information about a release date when it announced the Latitude XT earlier in the month should know that this small wrong has been righted. We now know when the system will be available; as a rough estimate you can get your mitts on said machine right now, at least in the UK and US.
Having the system on Dell’s site lets us give the specs and pricing a quick once over, which is doubly useful when done in real money – unlike those crazy dollars most companies seem to work in. So, the base spec will set you back a paltry £1,500 (ex. VAT) and net you a modest 1.2GHz U7600 low-voltage Core 2 Duo, 1GB of DDR2 533 RAM and a 40GB hard drive. Upgrading to 2GB of memory is a £15 option; or rather it isn’t a because only an idiot would not choose to do so considering the operating system of choice is Vista Business edition. Moving to the panel we find an unsurprising 1,280 x 800 version with, as mentioned before, the option of LED backlighting for improved brightness and thus usability.
The customisation area of Dell’s site also offers the choice between a 4-cell, 28WHr battery and a 6-cell, 42WHr battery but, oddly enough, doesn’t charge more for the larger option, making the choice one of portability/aesthetics versus life-span rather than cost – although notably the system weights in at 1.61Kg with the 4-cell battery. It’s also worth considering that the system requires an external DVD drive as none has been fitted into the chassis. If you fancy getting your hands on a Latitude XT then head on over to the business sections of Dell’s site and spec a system to taste.