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

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    it cracks me up that all these PC guys at CES are referring to their tablet products as "slates." LOL
  • Reply 2 of 57
    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.' "
  • Reply 3 of 57
    donlphidonlphi Posts: 214member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 57
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    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
  • Reply 6 of 57
    jon tjon t Posts: 131member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 57
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    ZZZzzzz . . .



    WTH is this?



    A "tablet"? A "slate"? LOL.
  • Reply 8 of 57
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,854member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 57
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    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?
  • Reply 12 of 57
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hypermark View Post


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



    That's easy, they're too busy making real products that people can actually buy and use.
  • Reply 13 of 57
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    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
  • Reply 14 of 57
    Sure it looks pretty... but will it blend?
  • Reply 15 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    icyfogicyfog Posts: 338member
    "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.
  • Reply 18 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 57
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mickeymantle View Post


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



    June 2007 all over again.
  • Reply 20 of 57
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    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.
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