Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

Summary: Dell has a two device relay---based on an old version of Android and Windows 7---for its tablet strategy and that's just not enough to really compete.

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Dell's second quarter conference call will revolve around IT spending, servers, storage and the health of the PC upgrade cycle. One topic that won't be mentioned---but should be---is topics. The big question: Does Dell have a credible tablet plan.

This Dell's tablet army

With Wall Street looking for second quarter earnings of 49 cents a share on revenue of $15.76 billion, tablets wouldn't even register as a rounding error in Dell's results. However, so-so PC sales dictate that Dell may want to outline some tablet strategy going forward. Is the tablet strategy to wait for Windows 8? Does Dell's Android tablet---the 7-inch Streak---sell at all? And in what verticals? If you recall the now defunct 5-inch Streak was pitched as a healthcare tool.

And what about Dell's Inspiron Duo? Is that quirky laptop/tablet hybrid doing anything?

Rest assured Dell won't be divulging much. Simply put, Dell's strategy revolves around a 7-inch Android 2.2 powered tablet when most rivals are on Android 3.0. The Inspiron Duo runs Windows 7.

It barely looks like Dell is trying.

With corporate PC sales solid and little dependence on the consumer, Dell is in decent shape for the next few quarters. But at some point, Dell may want to find an answer for this quirky thing known as tablets. Michael Dell may still have his doubts and sing the laptop song, but a little hedging can't hurt. After all, this tablet thing could be a big market as this post-PC world takes shape.

Related: Hardware health check on tap as Dell, HP, NetApp report earnings

Topics: Dell, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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  • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

    I still don't get the value in a $500 mirror... ok, it is teenagers fashion, we all need to look young, so I suppose I have to find it interesting ;-)
    aviamquepasa
    • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

      @aviamquepasa Tablet market is sure to drop big when the market is flooded. For most people it is either iPad or gtfo.
      prof.ebral
  • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

    Nope, they need a better answer to the Macbook Air is what they need.

    Right now, I think the only reasonably priced PC that could compete in weight and size to the Air (not as thing) is the Lenovo X220 as that runs at the full 2.5 GHz, can take more RAM and has USB 3.
    slickjim
  • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

    The Streak 7 was pretty universally panned in reviews that i saw, and now stuck on 2.2 it isn't getting any better.

    The Duo was just an un-workable concept to start with.

    I'm sure they will jump in on the bandwagon when Win8 hits with tablets. Until then, expect flailing or nothing.
    SlithyTove
  • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

    No, they just don't need to follow the current tablet fad.
    Loverock Davidson_
  • What about the Dell XT-3?

    They don't mention the Dell XT-2 or XT-3 in this article, maybe because of the price point. The Duo was a great idea, but the touch was sluggish and not competitive.

    For me, if I'm spending several hundred dollars on a tablet, I want a full-featured workhorse computer that will replace my laptop, not a personal organizer and media device. The tablets I have played around with are light-use computing devices or casual gaming devices. I won't buy one until they have some better options.
    RebecaW
    • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

      @RebecaW The XTs are wildly overpriced ($2000+?!?). The XT2 had atrocious battery life, even compared to other laptops running the same processor, without using the giant battery "slice". The XT3's only graphics option will be Intel's integrated graphics. I was looking forward to seeing the XT3, and while I don't know if battery life has improved yet, the price is still too high and the graphics is disappointing. The Dell Canada site seems to suggest it doesn't even have USB3(???).
      jgm@...
  • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

    I like that design of that duo...I just wish it wasn't so darn expensive....or so slow!
    tech_ed@...
  • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

    I bought a Duo the minute I found it. I found it quite by accident becaue Dell is not advertising it. The "if they build it, you will come" worked on me and I am very satisfied. There is nothing that I want to do that iy can not do.
    carol.durdin@...
  • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

    Currently over at XDA, DJ_Steve has the Dell Streak 7 running on Honeycomb.
    giveen
  • RE: Dell: Does it need a better answer to tablets?

    What about the Latitude ST tablet (slate) PC, rumored to be released in October? If Dell could do that one right, it might put them right in the ballpark with the Asus EP121. I think everyone in corporate worlds would love the slate form factor along with full blown Windows 7 or 8
    mcoleman@...
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