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The Dell Latitude XT2 tablet PC
Dell's latest entry in the tablet market is shaping up nicely

With the upcoming release of Windows 7, replete with touch-screen functionality, the tablet subset of the portable computer market should get a big boost.  With the industry's top players betting big on numerous touch tablets, one that is attracting a lot of attention is Dell's Latitude XT2 tablet.  The tablet, which should soon be released in the U.S., was first leaked early by Korean online retailer AVING and then officially confirmed by Dell Japan.

Dell, the number one retailer in the U.S., has leveraged its expertise to create quite an impressive machine.  First and foremost, the best feature is the improved battery life, which has been boosted to 11 hours thanks to a extra efficient 6-cell battery and an additional battery slice. 

The second generation tablet also features a relatively powerful, yet energy sipping Intel Core 2 Duo ULV processor, the 1.4GHz SU9400.  The portable utilizes Intel's new Montevina chipset.  The tablet also offers up to 5 GB of DDR3 clocked at 1066MHz (1x1GB, 1x4GB DIMM).

The one big let down with the tablet is its subpar graphics.  The XT2 features Intel integrated GMA 4500MHD graphics, which should be sufficient for most business and browsing use, but certainly will kill any hopes of making the XT2 much of a mobile gaming platform.  However, this lack may be a necessary evil in order to deliver the extended battery life.

Rounding out the tablet's features are a 120GB 5400RPM SATA hard disk or 128GB SSD, SATA ODD, and 802.11a/g/n WiFi and gigabit Ethernet.  The tablet features eSATA, 2x USB 2.0, and firewire ports and offers an ExpressCard 54 slot. 

The laptop measures a mere 2.5-cm (0.98-inches) thick and weighs in at a light 3.78-pounds (1.72-kg).

One of the XT2's nicest features is its attractive 12.1-inch LED backlit capacitive touch-screen with EM Digitizer pen.  The screen supports all the pinching and swiping gestures showcased in Windows 7.  Initially the tablet will come with Windows Vista Ultimate, but later this year will surely get an upgrade to Windows 7.

All in all, the XT2 appears to have shaped up to be a solid offering for road warriors and those looking to jump into touch screen technology, while maintaining portability. 

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Integrated Graphics
By Goty on 2/10/2009 9:39:55 AM , Rating: 3
Knocking this laptop for using integrated graphics when it comes with a 1.4GHz C2D is kind of sad. My laptop runs a 1.66 GHz C2D and it's hardly competent as it is.

RE: Integrated Graphics
By Calin on 2/10/2009 9:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
So very true... However, Intel chipsets are made on old technology, so their power efficiency could certainly be improved.
Look at this, the big heat sink and fan are on the chipset, not on the processor:

RE: Integrated Graphics
By Aerundel on 2/10/2009 10:23:04 AM , Rating: 2
Why are you comparing a desktop chipset to a notebook chipset? Notebook chipsets are cooled with nothing more than a shared heatpipe with the GPU and CPU most of the time. That mini-ITX board is using a 945GC, something that came out almost 2 years ago, while this tablet is using the GMA 4500MHD, which is barely half a year old. Additionally, this chipset supports DX10 and Shader 4.0, things that the 945GC can't even touch.

It's not old technology, just not very powerful, which is the whole point if you want battery life and low heat.

RE: Integrated Graphics
By kondor999 on 2/10/2009 11:34:03 AM , Rating: 2
If it came with the new Nvidia 9400 GPU, it'd be a must-have. I actually have an old Toshiba M200 tablet with discrete graphics (GeforceFX 5200) and it's able to run old flight sims and any game pre-2002 with relative aplomb.

Really great for wargames and stuff with the pen interface.

RE: Integrated Graphics
By ilkhan on 2/10/2009 2:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
which is fine, except the 9400M uses more than the 10W of the CPU. Who really wants power wasting graphics on a 12.1" tablet? Long as it handles aero fine, the users will be happy.

Using the thing all day on battery is the point, not gaming.

RE: Integrated Graphics
By Ryanman on 2/10/2009 12:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
Just because it came out 6 months ago, doesn't mean that Intel's exactly being an innovator. Look at Nvidia's ION. It's beating the heck out of Intel's integrated crap.

RE: Integrated Graphics
By afkrotch on 2/10/2009 12:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, cause we really know that Intel excels in graphics. When have they ever? It's hardly a big accomplishment when either ATI or Nvidia beat Intel's integrated offerings.

Course Nvidia's Ion can't live without Intel. Hell of a lot more impressive that Intel is that far ingrained into those types of markets, when it wasn't really even working in it very long. Not compared to like...Via.

RE: Integrated Graphics
By sprockkets on 2/10/2009 2:05:25 PM , Rating: 3
Who knows? Guess what buddy, EVERY other 945G desktop board uses a heatsink. In fact, I replaced mine on my dual core Atom board and it sits at 60c, perfectly fine. The only reason I can think of why they did it is because they expect this board to be in tight enclosures.

I mean, look at it. It has 4 fins plus two sides. It's pathetic, and on newegg all the reviewers mention how the fan dies in 2 months.

On the Zotac board, the 7100 nVidia chipset also sits at 60c. Most likely reason? That chip is probably fabbed at 90nm vs the 945G at 130nm.

RE: Integrated Graphics
By ET on 2/10/2009 12:41:52 PM , Rating: 2
An okay graphics card would make this a fine platform for older games. Intel integrated typically means it's a bad platform for any games. It's not just a matter of performance, but also of compatibility.

slice battery
By Joony on 2/10/2009 9:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
11 hours with a huge slice battery though! I get 3 hours on my original XT. I wonder if more power efficient chipsets and stuff made it better.

RE: slice battery
By rdeegvainl on 2/10/2009 10:14:38 AM , Rating: 5
nope, that had nothing to do with it, it's all magic.

RE: slice battery
By g35fan on 2/10/2009 12:56:33 PM , Rating: 3
yea I can't believe that 11hr battery life claim. Sounds too good to be true. My 1537 gets 5.5hrs with a 9cell on full charge.

why can't Dell be original in their marketing?
By Dreifort on 2/10/2009 10:20:38 AM , Rating: 2
When all the computer companies came out with all-in-one desktops (HP - Touchsmart, Sony - VAIO, Gateway - One )...Then Dell hits the market a little late and names theirs? XPS One . Original.

Now they are entering in the tablet market (which was huge 10 yrs ago with Compaq and Fuji leading the way). HP has had a tablet edition notebook for several years now. Their most recent model being named the TX2 . So now Dell is entering tablet market, which name do they choose? XT2 . So ****ing original.

You could say because of economic crush, they are cutting costs in their marketing division... but they've been doing stupid stuff like this for years.

By tayhimself on 2/10/2009 11:12:17 AM , Rating: 2
Marketing, it is quite nice. I don't care for tablets or understand why you would want to use them other than for drawing. Great specs and great battery life. Now its down to the price which i assume is going to be around $2500.

RE: why can't Dell be original in their marketing?
By phreaqe on 2/10/2009 11:37:47 AM , Rating: 2
to be fair dell has had the latitude XT tablet out for a while now and the XT2 is just the second tablet model in the line.

RE: why can't Dell be original in their marketing?
By Dreifort on 2/10/2009 12:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
HP had tablet out for many TX. The newest was named TX2.

Seems Dell is just following HP, lol.


By Sazar on 2/10/2009 3:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
Except for the fact that Dell actually had an excellent product for their debut Tablet.

How many other tablets had a capacitive screen when the XT came out? How many others have one now? How many others have a multi-touch capable capacitive screen?

If you are not using a capacitive touch-screen tablet, you are missing out BIG time and there is simply no apples to apples compare. I have been nothing short of impressed with the old XT and the new one should be debuting in a lab near me soon so I will have to check it out to see if there are any major improvements.

By greylica on 2/10/2009 11:11:54 AM , Rating: 2
How this note/tabled could be compared to a wacom cintiq in terms of sensibility in the screen ?
Can I Paint textures directly in the touchscreen with pressure scales ?

I wonder if this notebook/tablet could be used like a 17 Inches wacom cintiq...

RE: Cintiq
By UNCjigga on 2/10/2009 4:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
Not without a special (read: expensive) pen. Capacitive touchscreens are not pressure-sensitive like Wacom tablets. But because they aren't pressure-sensitive, they support multi-touch gestures and swipes.

11 hours...
By Screwballl on 2/10/2009 2:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
... as long as it is not actually "used". Try starting it up and watching a movie or a playable game and that 11 hour battery timeframe slips down to the typical 2 hours.

RE: 11 hours...
By Sazar on 2/10/2009 3:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
It is a standardized test that all manufacturers use to support their claims.

This is likely with the slice and the upgraded default battery, not with just the default 4-cell or 6-cell battery.

By Clauzii on 2/10/2009 1:23:21 PM , Rating: 2
Back in ~2000 Inrel promised 8 hour Laptops in ~5 years TOPs. What happened to that? Didn't the electricity companies like the idea?

I don't think it's impossible (Macbook Air with extra battery), so isn't it time to stop speeding up all the 'useless' stuff and start to make machines that actually run a whole workday thru?!

nothing new
By Visual on 2/11/2009 3:50:39 AM , Rating: 2
There have been other tablet convertibles that get 11 hours on paper, and they have been out long before this Dell. Fujitsu Lifebook T2020 can be configured with the same specs, but with a 9-cell main battery and no need for a modular extra battery. Even the slightly bigger T5010 that has a quite more powerful CPU instead of this ULV can get 9-10 hours when using a modular extra battery, and older products like T2010 have that battery life too, despite not using the latest Centrino 2 chipset.

I dont remember exactly but I think either Lenovo X200 or X300 tablet variants also have similar specs and battery life, and probably other brands have similar products too.

So I fail to see what is the big deal about the upcoming Dell.
Its touchscreen may turn out to be better than anything available now and that might distinguish it from the rest, we will see... but a better graphics card or an optical drive bay would've rocked more.

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