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Dell unveils business-grade Windows 8 devices

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Dell has unveiled a new range of Windows 8 hardware it hopes will capture the imagination of businesses starry-eyed about mobility and bring-your-own-device policies.

The new Latitude 10 tablet and 6430u ultrabook add to the XPS 10 tablet and XPS Duo 12 convertible ultrabook announced last month. All together, Dell is promising the Holy Grail of work-life balance to satisfy companies' need for device management, security and productivity, and worker's wishes for form and style.

"They all have enterprise-ready features," said a Dell Australian New Zealand spokeswoman. "They are the types of devices, if you as a consumer chose to take them to your place of work, the enterprise would be able to manage."

The Latitude 10 tablet will run on Windows 8, using Intel's Atom processor, while XPS10 will run on Windows RT, the ARM processor version of Windows 8.

Dell said its ability to provide end-to-end technology solutions, including security, using ARM architecture, meant a more secure mobility option for businesses.

But it's the removable battery, extra ports, enhanced data security features, industry specific software to be provided to sectors such as healthcare, government and education for the Latitude 10, that has the company hoping it will sway business buyers.


"To address these needs, this product includes a fingerprint reader and smartcard reader for effective two-factor authentication," the company said in a statement.

Dell's tablets will compete with Microsoft's own Surface. Dell was among a number of long-term Microsoft partners said to be disappointed at the software giant's surprise announcement that it would make its own tablet.  It joins Asus, Acer, Sony, Samsung, and Lenovo, among others, in launching Windows 8 tablets.

All are expected to be available at around the time Windows 8 is launched in October. Dell prices have not been announced.

"We've just received the prototypes in the country – we're out talking to our business customers and there's a lot of interest in having a Windows-based tablet," the spokeswoman said.

Analyst firm Gartner still expects Apple's iPad and the iOS operating system to dominate the tablet market despite the increased competition.