Dell to Launch Convertible Tablet PC
Dell Inc. is planning to sell its first convertible tablet PC later this year.
The PC maker revealed that it is working on the machine and showed a
prototype of it on a company blog.
"I'm here to confirm that we are entering the [tablet PC] market and we will
enter the market later this year," said Jeff Clarke, senior vice president of
Dell's business product group, during the minute-long video.
The tablet PC will be targeted at the education, health care and corporate
markets, he said. Clarke didn't offer any technical specifications of the
machine but said it will be "one of the lightest weight" tablet PCs in the
market. The version shown in the video was running Windows Vista.
"The technology and customer and usage models have evolved to the point where
it makes it right for Dell to enter the marketplace," he said. "We're excited
and everybody, we're coming."
Tablet PCs still only account for a fraction of the portable PC market but
growth in the sector is expected to outperform the overall market over the next
few years, according to IDC.
Shipments of convertible tablet PCs like that planned by Dell are expected to
total 1.5 million units this year, IDC said in a December 2006 report. That's
1.4 percent of the entire market, which is expected to total 100.5 million units
in 2007. Between 2005 and 2010 the portable market will grow at an annual
average of 18.9 percent, while the convertible tablet market grows at 45.9
percent per year, said IDC.
Last week Fujitsu Ltd. unveiled a convertible PC in Tokyo, aimed at business
users. The FMV-U8240 is based on Intel Corp.'s "McCaslin" ultramobile PC
platform and is intended to serve as a secondary PC when workers are on the
move. The machine has a 5.6-inch display and is small enough to fit into a
jacket pocket. It will go on sale in mid-June and cost from $1197.
Martyn Williams, IDG News Service
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