Dell’s Latitude 10 tablet is a fascinating creature. It’s the only tablet we’ve come across so far—and most likely the only one that exists—with a removable battery. It isn’t trying to be the slimmest or lightest model around, which sets it apart from everything else on the market. It uses an Atom CPU and doesn’t bother much with multimedia bells and whistles. It’s built for business, although it isn’t clear how many of its target users would willingly trade their laptops in for tablets.

In a world rapidly filling with hybrid Ultrabooks, the Latitude 10 is just a tablet—there’s no keyboard dock and no twisting or transforming body. A plastic stylus is included in the box, for scribbling notes and drawing diagrams. A docking stand, available separately, adds four USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet and a full-sized HDMI port, but you’ll have to add your own monitor, keyboard and/or mouse to turn it into a desk-bound workstation.

The removable battery is the most notable feature of this tablet.

The removable battery is the most notable feature of this tablet.

Design and Features

While most phones and tablets these days look like they were designed to win beauty pageants, the Latitude 10 is staid and sober. The bezel around the screen is surprisingly wide, and the sides and back are encased in rubberized plastic for a good grip. There’s a lone USB 2.0 port on the right edge, along with a mini HDMI output and a 3.5mm stereo headset port. The top edge houses the power button, rotation lock button, SD card slot and twin stereo microphones. There’s a volume rocker and Kensington security slot on the right edge, and two options for charging—the proprietary dock connector and a standard micro USB port—are all you’ll find on the bottom. That’s it for physical input and output, but of course there’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. Cellular data isn’t supported on the unit we tested.

The all-glass front panel is broken only by the mandatory Windows 8 Start button, which is a physical button rather than a touch-sensitive point. The bezel around the screen is over an inch thick on each side, detracting somewhat from the unit’s looks. You won’t be able to see the front-facing camera and its LED indicator above the screen unless you look quite hard. The most interesting side of this tablet is the back, thanks to the removable battery. The 30 Watt-hour battery which came with our test unit fits flush with the rest of the rear panel, but an optional 60 Watt-hour pack will stick out around 5mm. The retention mechanism is surprisingly and reassuringly tough. Above the battery, you’ll find the 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash.

We’re getting used to seeing Windows 8 on devices of all shapes and sizes, and there’s nothing new or unique about how the Latitude 10 does things. The, 16:9, 1366 x 768-pixel LED-backlit IPS screen has truly excellent viewing angles but is just far too low-res at 10 inches to look good enough next to competitors with 1080p or better screens. 16:9 is also pretty awkward for anything but watching videos, so it’s surprising that Dell didn’t outfit its business-centric tablet with something better. The screen can detect 10 touch points and has an active digitizer, which works with the bundled stylus and Windows’ on-screen input panel to enable handwriting recognition. You can also use pressure-sensitive pens (such as those from Wacom) for more accurate sketching.

The Latitude 10 comes with a simple plastic stylus.

The Latitude 10 comes with a simple plastic stylus.

Built-in storage tops out at 64 GB and there’s 2 GB of non-upgradeable DDR2-800 RAM. Dell’s Latitude line is targeted squarely at business, and products such as the Latitude 10 come with options for specialized on-site service, inventory management, data recovery or secure deletion, remote management, etc. The device also uses Intel’s Trusted Platform Module 1.2 architecture for encryption and security in corporate environments.


Performance and Usability

The Latitude 10 is basically hamstrung by the Atom CPU running it. The Clover Trail generation processor has two cores and integrated graphics, but is still nowhere near as powerful as even previous-generation Core CPUs. What it does well is run at low power, so the Latitude 10 never feels too hot to handle, even with heavy benchmarks running.

A view of the USB port, headset socket and rubberized buttons

A view of the USB port, headset socket and rubberized buttons

Windows 8’s Modern interface and apps are easy enough to use on the touchscreen, although some of the new OS’s quirks do take a bit of getting used to. We sorely missed the ability to clip this tablet into a keyboard dock. With only a single USB port and no easy way to prop the tablet upright, it doesn’t allow for much flexibility in connecting peripherals. Things aren’t as easy in the Windows 8 Desktop environment, so you’ll want to keep that stylus handy for handwriting input and using most common programs. Oddly, there's no slot or silo in the tablet’s body to store the pen, which makes it easy to misplace it.

Performance was predictably low-end, with benchmark scores revealing roughly one-third the raw power of today’s low-powered Ultrabooks. You shouldn’t expect to do any heavy lifting on this device—you’ll be fine surfing the Web, watching movies and editing documents in Microsoft Office, but not much else. The cameras are good enough for video chatting but nowhere near the quality of even some of today’s better smartphones. Here are the benchmark scores in comparison to those of the HP Envy x2, which uses the same Atom CPU and has virtually identical specifications, but costs a lot more and comes with a keyboard dock and extended battery.


HP Envy x2

Dell Latitude 10

PC Mark 7 (Higher is better)


















3DMark Vantage – Entry (Higher is better)












CineBench R11.5 (multi-core)



Real World Tests(Lower is better)



File compression: 100 MB files to 7zip @ultra, 256-bit encry



Video encoding: 1 min MPEG to x.264 MPEG-4 (2nd pass)



Ray tracing: POVRay (800×600 AA 0.3)



CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)



Sequential read MB/s



Sequential write MB/s



4k read MB/s



4k write MB/s



Battery life

The battery lasted 4 hours, 55 minutes in our Battery Eater simulation. This won’t get you through an entire day, but it’s still impressive for what is essentially a full-fledged PC that weighs as much as an iPad. Unlike other competing products, there’s no secondary battery in a dock or base. However the Latitude 10’s most unique feature is of course its removable battery, and with Windows 8’s ability to hibernate and restart within seconds, swapping batteries isn’t as much of a chore as it used to be.

Verdict and Price in India

The Latitude 10 we received for testing costs Rs 35,990. That’s a lot cheaper than most hybrid Ultrabooks and tablets that come with keyboard docks, and is even quite a bit cheaper than some of the Windows RT tablets in the market as well as the 64 GB fourth-gen iPad. A variant with 3G costs Rs 41,990, and both can be had with Windows 8 Pro instead of Windows 8 for Rs 3,800 more. The aforementioned desktop dock costs Rs 10,000.  You can pay Rs 1,300 extra at the time of purchase for a 4-cell 60 WHr battery instead of the standard 2-cell 30 WHr unit, and if you want a secondary 60 Whr battery at any time, it will cost Rs 3,600.

Interestingly, Dell will soon launch a “Latitude 10 Essentials” tablet which ditches the removable battery, digitizer, LED flash and HDMI output and should cost considerably less than Rs 35,990.

It’s very hard to imagine that an Atom-powered tablet like this one would ever be able to replace a desktop PC or laptop for any working professional. The cost might be low, but you're looking at an extra Rs 15,000 at least if you want to buy the dock and add a monitor, keyboard and mouse. The Latitude 10 is a thus definitely a supplementary device for those who can afford a tablet in addition to their main work PC. It can be used for taking notes, running presentations, and staying connected while travelling—but that's about it.

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