PC hardware vendors are busily building their Windows 8 portfolios, and following its XPS announcements at IFA in August, Dell today showed off a trio of business-class products in London.
The 23in. Optiplex 9010 All-In-One desktop, 14in. Latitude 6430u ultrabook and 10.1in. Latitude 10 x86 tablet all combine IT-manager-friendly security and manageability features with form factors and functionality that will, the company hopes, satisfy users' BYOD cravings.
The new products will all be available when Windows 8 launches at the end of October, but no pricing is available yet.
OptiPlex 9010 AIO (touchscreen version)
The standard (non-touchscreen) "="" target="_blank">OptiPlex 9010 AIO is already available, running Windows 7 Professional and starting at £779 (ex. VAT). Today we got a first look at a Windows 8 model with an optional edge-to-edge multipoint touchscreen and an articulating stand.
The OptiPlex 9010 AIO can be specified with a range of third- and second-generation Intel Core processors, all supporting vPro with Dell's custom extensions for remote BIOS updates and remote hard drive wipe. Up to 16GB of DDR3 1,600MHz RAM is supported, with storage options including a 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive, a 500GB hybrid HD/SSD drive, a 128GB SSD and a 320GB Opal/FIPS-certified self-encrypting drive.
The OptiPlex 9010's articulated stand lets you position the 23in. display for an optimal touchscreen experience.
Dell's 14in. Latitude 6430u is no ordinary ultrabook. For a start, this 1.7kg third-generation Core (i3/5/7) system is built to MIL-STD 810G levels of ruggedness — the first ultrabook with this distinction, to our knowledge. Also, the battery is replaceable rather than being sealed in as is the case with most ultrabooks (and, of course, Apple's MacBook Air). With the 6-cell battery, Dell claims 10 hours of mains-free life for the Latitude 6430u.
Like the OptiPlex 9010 desktop, the Latitude 6430u has all the expected vPro remote management and Dell Data Protection/Encryption support, plus the option to add fingerprint and smartcard readers for extra two-factor security. Storage is all SSD, as befits an ultrabook — options up to 256GB are supported, including self-encrypting models. Mobile broadband is optionally available, and the roster of ports includes USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA and RJ-45 (Ethernet).
The keyboard, in our brief experience, feels comfortable to type on, and there's a pointing stick option to accompany the multitouch touchpad, which some (but not all) users will appreciate.
This business-class 10.1in. Atom SoC-based tablet does not feature vPro support, but does include TPM 1.2 along with (in January) optional fingerprint and smartcard readers, and Dell Data Protection/Encryption support. Like the Latitude 6430u ultrabook, it has a replaceable (2-cell or 4-cell) battery and mobile broadband as an option, along with the usual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
An optional docking unit will provide four USB ports, HDMI video-out and an Ethernet (RJ-45) connector, allowing you to easily set up the tablet for productive use in the office.
Ports on the tablet itself include full-size USB 2.0 for peripherals, Mini-HDMI for video out, Micro-USB for charging and a microphone/headphone combo jack. There's also a Micro-SIM card slot and an SD card slot for storage expansion. Internal eMMC-based storage goes up to 128GB.