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. 

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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