Last column, we looked at the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, so we decided that we would have a look at another Windows 8 tablet, Dell’s Latitude 10.
The Latitude 10 is powered by Intel’s 1.8GHz Atom Processor Z2760. The tablet comes with a 10.1" (1366 x 768) wide view angle Corning Gorilla Glass LCD screen. The tablet provided to us by Dell came with 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, a 64GB solid state hard drive and preloaded with a Windows 8 Pro 32-bit operating system. Dell also threw in an active digitiser stylus, Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, productivity dock, case and an additional battery.
The Latitude 10 tablet is a little heavier than the Lenovo. However, this is because it is far more robust and comes with a metal rather than plastic body. The tablet is not too heavy for students. We gave the tablet to some year 6 students to use during a three-day excursion to Canberra and not one student complained about its weight. The students had the tablet turned on all the time and literally took hundreds of photos. We recharged the tablet at the end of each day as a precaution and at least 30 per cent of power was still available after a heavy day of photos and videos. The children also liked the little extra area around the edge of the screen. This made it much easier for them to hold and manipulate, especially when getting all of those pictures of their BFFs (best friends forever).
We have to say, we really like Windows 8. Having the ability to run native Windows programs such as Microsoft Offi ce as well at touch applications is a bonus. We also like the way we could create multiple users for the tablet and still easily connect to printers. Once these tablets come with a DEC Standard Operating Environment (SOE) they will also be able to connect to school servers just like a traditional desktop.
This brings us to Dell’s productivity dock. The Latitude 10’s optional productivity dock makes it easy to create the ideal desktop setup using the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The dock comes with a front USB port and audio jack, rear USB ports (three), Ethernet and HDMI to connect to an external display or even an interactive white board (IWB). The dock will also act as a charger for the tablet. We set up the dock at home and
work and it impressed us in both environments. If a dock was connected to an IWB you get could children to come up and put their tablet into the dock to present to the class simple and no mucking around with technology.
We would have to say that the Dell Latitude 10 is a very impressive tablet. It’s solid, reliable and easy to use. We don’t know if we would use the active pen and digitiser. Sure it made it a little easier to close programs rather than using fat stubby fi ngers in the traditional environment, but it lacks the accuracy of our Wacom tablet’s pen. Overall, the Latitude 10 is our Windows 8 tablet of choice for the school environment.
Bill Gillespie teaches at Elanora Heights PS and Rosemary McDowall teaches at North Sydney Boys HS. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hardware was supplied by Dell.