Dell XPS 10 A solid convertible Windows Tablet with spectacular battery life
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The XPS 10 follows the typical hybrid tablet format. It’s a slate, measuring a slim 9.2 x 274.7 x 177.3mm, 0.36 by 11 by 7 inches (HWD) and weighing 635g, 1.36 pounds. Connected to its keyboard dock, the system grows to 23.91mm just under an inch thick (0.94 inch) while keeping its other dimensions, and the combo weighs in at 1310g, 2.89 pounds. The XPS 10 is constructed from magnesium alloy and has a grippy soft touch finish. The 5 point 10.1 inch1366 x 780 pixels IPS touch screen is covered with Asahi Dragontail glass (Asahi Dragontail glass is a strengthened glass competitor to Corning’s Gorilla Glass.) The tablet latches to the keyboard dock easily, and can be removed just as easily by pushing a sliding tab on the keyboard dock hinge. When the two are connected, the XPS 10 looks and acts like a small laptop, with a comfortable keyboard and one-piece multi-touch trackpad.
Let’s look at the XPS 10 in it’s laptop persona first. I am writing this on it and I find it way more comfortable than most docked tablets because the battery adds enough weight to counterbalance the screen so it doesn’t want to roll off your lap especially when you use the touch screen. Now the combined weight of the two parts brings the XPS 10’s weight close to the average 13″ Ultrabook or MacBook Air but because it is not a full blown notebook the XPS 10 in the dock will run for 20+ hours. You could fly to Australia without having to worry about running out of juice.
The XPS 10 comes with Windows 8 RT designed for the ARM processor and specifically designed for the touchscreen. Similar to the other mobile operating systems (Apple and Google), Windows RT can only run programs from the Windows Store, which currently has fairly slim offerings but new apps are being added every day. The x86 programs which are compatible with Windows 8 and its predecessors cannot run on Windows RT. This limitation is not noticeable at first as Windows RT feels and looks just like Windows 8. Besides the standard Windows RT Apps, Dell has pre-installed Skype and Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 RT (includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote 2013).
Use the XPS 10 in Tablet mode and you can expect about 10 hours of battery life. It is a nicely balanced tablet that weights about the same as other 10″ slates. It is easy even fun to use as long as you stick with the Windows 8 tabbed interface and compatible apps from the apps store. However move on to the classic Windows desktop and you will see why previous Windows tablets failed. The Windows desktop is downright finger unfriendly and it one of the main reasons I really don’t like this operating system.
The Dell XPS 10 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor running at 1.5GHz. The tablet comes in both 32GB and 64GB varieties, with or without the keyboard, and its microSD slot will support cards of up to 128GB. The tablet has 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 4.0, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and a built-in compass, but no GPS. Performance is a tad on the sluggish side when compared to Apple and Android tablets but still very acceptable and it has something the others don’t have..Microsoft Office.
The XPS 10 is a good implementation of a Windows 8 RT Tablet. The run time with the dock is simply spectacular and the versatility of the two-part design could make up for other shortcomings. If you want a tablet that can double as a small laptop, need full Microsoft Office compatibility and can live with the other limitations of Windows 8 RT then this could be the device for you.
The Dell XPS 10 is available in Canada at Dell’s Website with starting at $450 for the 32Gb tablet up to $730 for the 64Gb tablet with Keyboard dock. In the US it is on sale at the Dell website with prices ranging from $299 to $449 which is a fantastic deal. At that price I would even buy one.
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