Dell's Windows 8 portfolio wants to solve BYOD problem

Summary:Dell's smaller Windows 8 portfolio might be the big idea that everyone else is missing.

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Dell unveiled three more Windows 8 computing devices during an invite-only event in San Francisco last week, following up a trio already introduced amid IFA 2012 in Berlin in August.

There are two themes that emerged from last week's event.

First, Dell is putting more of its resources and focus into a smaller portfolio of products, which could pay off bigger.

Second, the three new products have been designed with the BYOD (bring your own device) trend in mind, so they can be optimized and configured for either personal or professional usage -- or both.

Neil Hand, vice president of Dell's personal computing products group, cited during the event that at least half of U.S. workers share devices for work and personal use.

He continued on to say that this has shown how mobility has changed the market, but for IT, it's all about providing security and balance.

"Users need freedom. Businesses need control and management," Hand asserted. "The proliferation of devices is helping explode the amount of data for the consumer and business professional."

Here's a rundown on the three new Windows 8-based Dell computers, each one covering a major category all on its own: all-in-one PCs, laptops, and tablets.

OptiPlex 9010

  • All-in-one design with 23-inch multi-touch display panel
  • Targeted towards medium to large business customers but could also be used in the home
  • Optimized for collaboration
  • Commerical possibilities include being used at point-of-sale points as it can be readjusted to face the display horizontally rather than vertically

Latitude 6430u

  • First Ultrabook in Latitude series
  • Designed for all-day computing in mind with 10 hours of battery life
  • Users can swap out batteries, memory and even solid state drives for easier management when on-the-go
  • Supports wireless docking

Latitude 10

  • Described as a "100 percent business-class tablet"
  • 10-inch tablet with 18 hours of battery life
  • Users can swap out batteries
  • Connects to a docking solution that extends storage capabilities and enabled with full HDMI and multiple USB ports; Intended to boost productivity in office environment when docked
  • Supports legacy apps as well as Windows 8

This is just a glimpse at what these products are about, and obviously there are many more specs involved. One of the big one to point out is that these are all running on Intel architectures, although only the tablet would not be supporting vPro technology.

All of them have different security options and what not, but the more obvious customer group with all of these products -- based on how Dell is trying to frame them -- is business and enterprise customers. Nevertheless, they all looked consumer-friendly at the same time.

That said, with a smaller Windows 8 portfolio compared to some competitors, this might actually pay off for Dell as it can focus on a few good products that could apply to everyone with more in-depth support. If it were to unveil a bunch of new Windows 8-based devices, there's the potential pitfalls of having a bunch of mediocre devices as well as just too many options, which always has the possibility to just leave customers confused.

Of course, this all depends really on the price points, which Dell hasn't revealed yet.

Given that reports of the Asus Windows 8 roadmap came in with high price tags , Dell would do well to go below those -- especially with the tablet as consumers shopping for their own devices for both work and personal use can still easily turn to the iPad starting at $399 or even the upcoming 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD at $299 .

Image via Dell

Topics: Dell, PCs, Tablets, Tech Industry, Windows

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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