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Dell previews 5-inch tablet concept akin to bigger iPod touch

post #1 of 58
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Piggybacking on industry-wide excitement over an expected Apple tablet unveiling later this month, rival Dell used a portion of its presentation at CES on Thursday to flaunt its own tiny tablet concept that's been brewing in its labs.

Executives for the Round Rock, Texas-based company briefly flashed the 5-inch device -- which is reminiscent of larger Apple iPhone or iPod touch -- during the early morning event while referring to it as a "slate." They said it was just one of several tiny tablet devices they've been cooking up in their R&D department, each of which has a different screen size.

Outside of confirming that the prototype shown Thursday was running Google's Android operating system, few if any other details we provided. However, Engadget and Gizmodo were privy to 90 second-long snap-shot sessions that appeared to reveal a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash mounted on the rear of the device, a built in stand, and possibly a SIM slot that would allow the device to dual as mobile handset.

A brief demonstration video was also run during Dell's presentation in which the tablet device was shown with a large touch-screen keyboard, multi-player gaming functionality, and media sharing capabilities. Although the unit on hand was dressed in a red enclosure, press photos (below) that would later surface portray the device clad in all black.














As to how Dell plans to market the device, there's some unconfirmed speculation that the model being shown off at CES may have previously shown up on company documents under the "Streak" moniker. For their part, Dell staffers are remaining mum and refusing to let members of the media handle the device.
post #2 of 58
it cracks me up that all these PC guys at CES are referring to their tablet products as "slates." LOL
post #3 of 58
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechcons..._tablet_c.html

"[L]ast night's keynote address by Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer came and went without a mention of a Microsoft tablet. Ballmer had a line up of products that included a tablet PC from HP. He spent less than a minute showing it off.

"This morning, I interviewed Ballmer and asked him about the market for tablet/slate computers. He made the excitement sound like empty chatter. He claimed to believe that there isn't a sizeable market for the tablet.

" 'They're interesting,' he said. 'But it's not like they're big numbers compared to the total number of smart devices in the world.' "
post #4 of 58
It sort of makes me hope Apple doesn't come out with a tablet/slate. I could see good ol' Steve creating a few fabricated items to purposely leak to DELL, HP, or MS. They go and try to duplicate it and Apple comes out with the iFridge to beat everybody to the punch on refrigerator-computer integration.
post #5 of 58
No App Store = FAIL!


Depending upon Microsoft who copies Apple = DOUBLE FAIL!!


Dell should just break up the company, sell the parts and give the money back to the shareholders.
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #6 of 58
The last thing a company like Dell (or Microsoft, for that matter) should be wasting it's time with is talking about CONCEPT products.

When you've got folks like Apple, Google (via Android) and Amazon (Kindle) shipping REAL products that tip the needle, concept products just feed self-delusion that you are innovating, when in fact, what you are really doing is an exercise in puffery

Besides, the consumer is wise to the practice anyway, seeing how year after year, the auto industry comes out with concept cars that pretty much never translate into real cars. How'd that work out for GM?

Btw, the best piece I have read on the topic is Kontra's 'Why Apple doesn’t do “Concept Products”.'

It's definitely worth a read.

Mark
post #7 of 58
And yet another attempt to out-Apple Apple, out-slate the iSlate, and generally try to show their shareholders that they aren't asleep at the helm…

If it weren't for all the talk of an Apple product none of this would even exist!

They really are so sad, for while they have an idea of how it might look, they have not a clue about how users will interface with it. They have to wait until they see the real thing from Apple before they get their own ideas.
post #8 of 58
ZZZzzzz . . .

WTH is this?

A "tablet"? A "slate"? LOL.
post #9 of 58
It can't just be about form factor, it has to also be about interaction... until someone gets both correct, these devices will fail.

Apple hit the nail on the head with the iPhone. It didn't offer anything new in hardware or even features. What it did offer was a unique way to interact with the device that was intuitive, fluid and fun and it accomplished it using extremely limited hardware that fit on your pocket.

Personally, I think that's testament to just how much they've optimized and refined OS X over the years. They were able to get that OS onto this small device and not only be extremely graphical in nature, but also one of the most animated user interfaces ever and get it to run smoothly.

I can't wait to see what their take will be on these "slate" computers, if they even have one. However, Steve Jobs has already been quoted saying, that all the rumors are way off,so it should be very interesting to see what he pulls out of his hat.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #10 of 58
LOL @Dell, how fail is that, cant wait to see their revised slate once apple puts theirs on the market, everyone will rush to copy/paste apples technology haphazardly into their own.
post #11 of 58
Not too keen on a 5" form factor. It's too big to fit in your pocket, too small for a dedicated bag. I think you need to stay iPhone size, or jump up to the 10" range.
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger_swimmer View Post

it cracks me up that all these PC guys at CES are referring to their tablet products as "slates." LOL

Ummm, why wouldn't they? Tablet PCs have been out for years. "Tablet" refers to products that are already out on the market, most of them are laptops with detachable screens.

Quote:
From WP: The term Tablet PC was made popular in a product announced in 2001 by Microsoft, and defined by Microsoft to be a pen-enabled computer conforming to hardware specifications devised by Microsoft and running a licensed copy of the "Windows XP Tablet PC Edition" operating system or a derivative thereof.

If someone is interested in this new form factor, and searches for "tablet", the results probably won't include what the manufacturer hopes they'll find. What do you suggest they call it to distinguish it from Tablet PCs?
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

Btw, the best piece I have read on the topic is Kontra's 'Why Apple doesnt do Concept Products.'

That's easy, they're too busy making real products that people can actually buy and use.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

It sort of makes me hope Apple doesn't come out with a tablet/slate. I could see good ol' Steve creating a few fabricated items to purposely leak to DELL, HP, or MS. They go and try to duplicate it and Apple comes out with the iFridge to beat everybody to the punch on refrigerator-computer integration.

the tablet rumors only picked up a few months ago. the design time for a real product is a lot longer

the whole point of tablets is that the profit per computer now is pretty low. with a tablet you can force a user into an app store or content sub and raise your ARPU. Apple does this with mobileme, applecare, the n wifi $2 upgrade, itouch OS upgrade, non-replaceable batteries, etc

i think it's another one of those ideas made up by the tech media that are wrong and will bomb. people want choice, not some device to lock them in
post #15 of 58
Sure it looks pretty... but will it blend?
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

Not too keen on a 5" form factor. It's too big to fit in your pocket, too small for a dedicated bag.

Agreed. As someone pointed out in the Ballmer thread, he looked awkward holding it. Same in the photo here ... the person can barely palm the device.

I wouldn't be surprised if a larger device that is somehow easier to hold is one of the Apple innovations, courtesy of Jonathan Ive.
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by arlomedia View Post

Agreed. As someone pointed out in the Ballmer thread, he looked awkward holding it. Same in the photo here ... the person can barely palm the device.

I wouldn't be surprised if a larger device that is somehow easier to hold is one of the Apple innovations, courtesy of Jonathan Ive.

Oh no way man, this is exactly what I have been looking for. Just big enough to hold in one hand, just small enough to fit in jeans' pocket and not look ridiculous holding it up to your head.

I REALLY am hoping there is a similar small-form-factor Apple tablet.
post #18 of 58
"I'd shut Dell down and give the money back to the shareholders."

Seriously though, the very best thing about this product is that it runs the Android OS.
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http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

Never argue with idiots, they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. - a bumper sticker

Never quote idiots, they just clog up...
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post #19 of 58
Quote:
This morning, I interviewed Ballmer and asked him about the market for tablet/slate computers. He made the excitement sound like empty chatter. He claimed to believe that there isn't a sizeable market for the tablet.

" 'They're interesting,' he said. 'But it's not like they're big numbers compared to the total number of smart devices in the world.'


Well, this confirms a huge market for Apple's new product.
post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeymantle View Post

Well, this confirms a huge market for Apple's new product.

June 2007 all over again.
post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by arlomedia View Post

Agreed. As someone pointed out in the Ballmer thread, he looked awkward holding it. Same in the photo here ... the person can barely palm the device.

I wouldn't be surprised if a larger device that is somehow easier to hold is one of the Apple innovations, courtesy of Jonathan Ive.

The thing Balmer is holding is a different device though, and in fact it's pretty much the exact size Apple's tablet will be.

Balmer would look awkward holding a pen though. (or doing almost anything)

I mean the man can't even walk or talk properly.
post #22 of 58
Hmmm...

Funny how clothing styles could affect the computer hardware market. Remember when everyone was wearing baggy pants? Well in many places the kids have switched back to tight pants. Some in my generation deride that look by mocking "girl pants" are being worn by "metrosexuals".

But the point being, now that pants are getting tight again, does this size of device stand a chance at widespread consumer adoption?
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger_swimmer View Post

it cracks me up that all these PC guys at CES are referring to their tablet products as "slates." LOL

I'm a pretty big apple fan (Or I wouldnt be on this board :-p), but slate has been a term for keyboardless tablet for quite a while before the rumours of iSlate started showing up. Motion computing has used it for years for ex: (see bottom, "J3400 Mobile Keyboard
Easily converts the J3400 from a mobile slate into a notebook style for sitting...") http://www.motioncomputing.com/produ...let_pc_J34.asp
MBP (15, 2.33, 3GB,10.6/win/lin on 250GB)
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also a lot of other systems :-p
I met a...
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MBP (15, 2.33, 3GB,10.6/win/lin on 250GB)
MP (3,1 oct 2.8, 10GB. 10.6 on 4x1TB RAID10, Win/Lin on 1x2TB, 2407WFP on 1x5770 + 2xSamsung 910t on 1xGT120)
also a lot of other systems :-p
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post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkjeffery View Post

[url]

" 'They're interesting,' he (Balmer) said. 'But it's not like they're big numbers compared to the total number of smart devices in the world.' "

Which pretty much guarantees that Apple's version will take the world by storm. Retarded bloated sack of protoplasm.

Gordon
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

The last thing a company like Dell (or Microsoft, for that matter) should be wasting it's time with is talking about CONCEPT products.

When you've got folks like Apple, Google (via Android) and Amazon (Kindle) shipping REAL products that tip the needle, concept products just feed self-delusion that you are innovating, when in fact, what you are really doing is an exercise in puffery

Besides, the consumer is wise to the practice anyway, seeing how year after year, the auto industry comes out with concept cars that pretty much never translate into real cars. How'd that work out for GM?

Btw, the best piece I have read on the topic is Kontra's 'Why Apple doesnt do Concept Products.'

It's definitely worth a read.

Mark

Excellent piece, thanks for suggesting it. Required reading, I'd say.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Hmmm...

Funny how clothing styles could affect the computer hardware market. Remember when everyone was wearing baggy pants? Well in many places the kids have switched back to tight pants. Some in my generation deride that look by mocking "girl pants" are being worn by "metrosexuals".

But the point being, now that pants are getting tight again, does this size of device stand a chance at widespread consumer adoption?

I think you're joking, but that is actually very interesting to consider.
post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

Not too keen on a 5" form factor. It's too big to fit in your pocket, too small for a dedicated bag. I think you need to stay iPhone size, or jump up to the 10" range.

Actually, 5" would be about the biggest "pocketable" size you could make. I'd prefer that to the tiny iPod touch's 3.5" screen.
post #28 of 58
too many buttons.
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeymantle View Post

Well, this confirms a huge market for Apple's new product.

I think this has more to do with some of the other tech companies diminishing Apple's launch of the tablet. I don't honestly think Microsoft or Dell expect to sell any of this junk, but they're certainly not going to let Apple arrive first to the party and appear to be the big innovator. No matter how superior Apple's tablet proves to be, it's still one of several - especially outside of these forums.

The iPhone really caught the phone industry with its pants down. But the PC industry is clearly not planning to let that happen here.
post #30 of 58
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post #31 of 58
We all know the truth...

This was Dells answer to the iPhone.
They put in a larger screen because thats what people are bitching about "Needing"
They put in a 5MP camera....WITH flash because thats what people are bitching about needing also.
Hell they even stuck Android in there for some street cred.

And what did it honestly get them?

A phone that is too damn big to call a phone and too small to call a slate (as PatsFan83 mentioned).

And dont even get anyone started on how chunky the thing is.

For the size of the device they could have at least made it AT LEAST half the thickness. But then probably wouldnt have been able to fit the flash in or something stupid like that.

Im all for innovation but its starting to seem like a lot of these PC makers are just becoming cheap knock off cloners of apple products or just have no vision of their own.
This is the reason why i like the way apple have Steve to give them direction and not give the customer what they want but what they need.
If they didnt do this imagine how crappy the iphone would be with all the extras people are demanding be added (200MP camera with red eye reducing retinal laser scanning, 3TB of flash memory, fully capable HD IMAX projector etc etc, all squeezed into a no thicker than 18mm shell)
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Dell staffers are remaining mum and refusing to let members of the media handle the device.

No one allowed to handle it probably because if they played with it and then reported what they experienced, it would be as well received as the Ballmer Keynote speech!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkjeffery View Post

"This morning, I interviewed Ballmer and asked him about the market for tablet/slate computers. He made the excitement sound like empty chatter. He claimed to believe that there isn't a sizeable market for the tablet.

" 'They're interesting,' he said. 'But it's not like they're big numbers compared to the total number of smart devices in the world.' "

Yeah, bet that sizable market is right up their with the iPhone!

Didn't Ballmer go to Harvard?! Isn't that the place where the intellectual elite brainiacs from our society usually found? Aren't the rest of us average joes, or as Harvardites like to call us, teabaggers, suppose to be in awe and fascination at such worldly, forward thinking, progressive minds? And Ballmer is an example of the product Harvard puts out and George Bush is an example of what Yale puts out!

Didn't Obama graduate from Harvard Law?

Oh Crap! Our poor, poor, poor country....

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger_swimmer View Post

it cracks me up that all these PC guys at CES are referring to their tablet products as "slates." LOL

[CENTER]It's not like the term wasn't originally associated (primarily) with Windows-based computers some 8 years ago, making the use of the term by these PC manufacturers more than justified.

"Slate computers are full-function Windows machines without a keyboard. The entire computer is built into a slate-like enclosure that is as thin and handy as possible. Since they don't have a physical keyboard, slates use passive or active pens for input. The pen is used both to replace the mouse or joystick for navigation, and sometimes also to actually enter text.

A bit of slate computer history

In the late 1980s, early pen computer systems generated a lot of excitement and there was a time when it was thought they might eventually replace conventional computers with keyboards. After all, everyone knows how to use a pen and pens are certainly less intimidating than keyboards.
Pen computers, as envisioned in the 1980s, were built around handwriting recognition. In the early 1980s, handwriting recognition was seen as an important future technology. Nobel prize winner Dr. Charles Elbaum started Nestor and developed the NestorWriter handwriting recognizer. Communication Intelligence Corporation created the Handwriter recognition system, and there were many others.

In 1991, the pen computing hype was at a peak. The pen was seen as a challenge to the mouse, and pen computers as a replacement for desktops. Microsoft, seeing slates as a potentially serious competition to Windows computers, announced Pen Extensions for Windows 3.1 and called them Windows for Pen Computing. Microsoft made some bold predictions about the advantages and success of pen systems that would take another ten years to even begin to materialize. In 1992, products arrived. GO Corporation released PenPoint. Lexicus released the Longhand handwriting recognition system. Microsoft released Windows for Pen Computing. Between 1992 and 1994, a number of companies introduced hardware to run Windows for Pen Computing or PenPoint. Among them were EO, NCR, Samsung (the picture to the right is a 1992 Samsung PenMaster), Dauphin, Fujitsu, TelePad, Compaq, Toshiba, and IBM. Few people remember that the original IBM ThinkPad was, as the name implies, slate computers."


Consider yourself informed... http://ruggedpcreview.com/2_slates.html[/CENTER]
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

It sort of makes me hope Apple doesn't come out with a tablet/slate. I could see good ol' Steve creating a few fabricated items to purposely leak to DELL, HP, or MS. They go and try to duplicate it and Apple comes out with the iFridge to beat everybody to the punch on refrigerator-computer integration.

1_ That is funny, made me laugh.

2_ Even though you jest, to be accurate Microsoft was working on a MS-Fridge years ago (saw it on TV) that keeps track of what's in your fridge and connects to the internet and a lot more.
post #36 of 58
I bet you any money Apple will not call their new mobile device iSlate. All these windows monkeys will feel stupid taking up the name slate. I would not be surprised if they simply call it Mac Touch.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

I think you're joking, but that is actually very interesting to consider.

Both actually.

Fashions dictate pocket size, which in turn dictates the size of pocket computers. Although this will probably change a little once our lifestyles become completed centered around pocket computers.

Just imagine what would be possible if everyone still wore suspenders.
post #38 of 58

Agent Orange, the gift that keeps on giving.
post #39 of 58
What the heck is Michael Dell thinking? A 5-inch screen is in no-man's land. It's not a phone and it's not the size of a tablet? So, what the heck is this supposed to be? It'll go down the tubes as another stinkin piece of Dell junk. The whole Dell logo is unappealing as well. I was forced to use Dell equipment at work. So, nowadays, whenever I see Dell, I feel repulsed by it. Whenever I see the word Dell anywhere, I cringe.

A word of advice to Michael Dell: Sell Dell, take your millions and enjoy life!
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger_swimmer View Post

it cracks me up that all these PC guys at CES are referring to their tablet products as "slates." LOL

They call them slates because that is what they are. That has been a generic term for this type of computer for years.

A slate is a tablet with no keyboard or a detachable keyboard, and Apple sure as hell didn't invent the term.
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