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Dell XPS 10 review [UPDATED]

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Dell XPS 10

The XPS 10 is a hybrid tablet that works well as a tablet, or as a netbook when docked with its keyboard. With Windows RT, it is more a rival for Android and Apple than Windows 8 systems, while Office 2013 is built-in for anyone needing a mobile productivity tool.

Pros:

Long battery life, good keyboard, Office 2013 apps built-in

Cons:

Low screen resolution, incompatible with standard Windows apps, no mobile broadband

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £524 + VAT (64GB version with keyboard dock)

Manufacturer: Dell

Dell's XPS 10 is a hybrid Windows RT tablet that can be combined with an optional keyboard dock, effectively turning it into a netbook or mini laptop, and doubling the battery life at the same time.

With this in mind, the XPS 10 could be seen as competing more with devices like the Android-based Asus Transformer models rather than tablets capable of running a full version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 Pro.

In its favour, the XPS 10 comes with Microsoft's Office 2013 apps built in, as does Microsoft's own Surface tablet with Windows RT. The two have similar drawbacks, in that neither can run existing Windows applications, which will lead many potential buyers to reject the XPS 10 out of hand.

The use of Windows RT also means that it cannot be joined to a corporate Active Directory domain, but Microsoft contends that devices such as this can be managed via the cloud-based Windows InTune or via Exchange ActiveSync.

However, the XPS 10 combined with its dock should appeal to many users seeking a fairly lightweight device for email and office document work, so long as the ability to install and run x86 Windows applications is not a requirement.

Dell XPS 10 Windows RT  tablet

The question is whether the ability to run a full-featured version of Microsoft Office makes the XPS 10 attractive enough to draw people away from rival tablets running Android or Apple's iPad, or whether Windows RT and its new-style user interface will discourage potential buyers.

First unveiled at the IFA show in Berlin last year and available now, the XPS 10 is a 10.1in tablet running Windows RT - the version of Microsoft's Windows 8 platform designed to run on ARM-based devices.

It thus features the same 'Modern' user interface as Windows 8, which replaces the familiar Windows desktop with sets of active tiles representing applications, many of which are capable of showing notifications such as new email messages or social network updates.

Microsoft has also created the Windows Store to allow users to download 'Modern', or 'Metro' apps directly to Windows devices such as this one, in the same fashion as Google Play for Android or Apple's App Store.

To read more on Windows 8 and Windows RT, see our full review of the platform.

Design
As a tablet, the XPS 10 is about the same size and shape as Google's Nexus 10 at 274x177x9.2mm thick. Both are slightly longer than Apple's iPad, and with a weight of 635g, the XPS 10 falls within the same weight range.

In other words, it is pretty much in line with many consumer tablet devices, which makes it fairly comfortable to hold in portrait orientation, while two hands are required to hold it in landscape mode for any length of time.

Next: Design continued

Model: Dell XPS 10
Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
Memory: 2GB Ram
Storage: 32GB or 64GB flash
Display: 10.1in HD touchscreen (1,366x768 pixels)
Camera: 2MP front webcam, 5MP rear camera
Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: Micro USB, microSD slot, headset jack, 40-pin dock connector
Operating system: Windows RT
Dimensions: 274.7x177x9.2mm (tablet only)
Battery: 28Wh two-cell lithium ion
Weight: 635g (1.3kg with dock)

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Daniel Robinson
About

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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