The Dell Latitude XT
Bottom line first: The Latitude XT is a pretty good convertible tablet, with a good blend of features and a couple of outstanding options. It’s also expensive, but some of that expense can be justified by the build quality, which is sturdy, and by those options, namely the DLV screen and the 64 GB SSD (solid state disk). In addition, the N-trig DuoSense pen and touch digitizer works exactly as advertised and with a very pleasant, light touch. Is the XT right for you? Read on and make your own decision…
What was bought, and why: The configuration of my XT is as follows:
•Core 2 Duo ULV U7600 1.20 GHz, 533MHz FSB
•DLV (400 nit) Screen
•Vista Ultimate with Media
•2 GB RAM – (See text)
•Full set of Recovery Discs and Documentation – (No charge)
•64 GB SSD
•8X DVD +/- RW Optical Drive
•6 Cell Primary Battery – (See text)
•Draft 802.11n Mini-Card
•360 BlueTooth Card for Vista
•OneNote (Who can’t use another copy of OneNote…???)
•3 Year ProSupport Service
Total retail cost was $3987!
As a dedicated “slate person,” I approached this purchase with some reluctance. After standing on the sidelines for well over a year, watching slates languish while the OEM’s rolled out new convertible after new convertible, I simply got fed up. Motion’s decision to cancel the LE1700WT, one of only two interesting new slate designs, was the last straw. I briefly considered the TabletKiosk i440D, but in the end I simply wanted to try the N-trig digitizer. The N-trig design approach appealed to me, especially the “light touch” required for passive (touch) operation; other touch screen designs had disappointed me with the amount of touch pressure that they required.
Once the philosophical decision to consider a convertible had been made, it was easy to dive in with both feet… in for a penny, in for a pound, as they say. I decided to upgrade to a really bright screen to help mitigate ambient light and outdoor visibility issues, an SSD to see if all the hype was real and Vista Ultimate because if I was going to spend all this money, I wasn’t about to scrimp on the OS! And since the thing was going to cost so much, it only made sense to me to buy the ProSupport Service; not that I expected any trouble, but our family has owned many Dell computers and we’ve always been pleased with the service / support plans.
A couple of other comments about the Dell “purchase experience.” First of all, I’m going to say that my experience with Dell Sales Support, Customer Service and Tech Support (3 different services) has been nothing short of superb. I really mean that! To date, I have no reason to fault any of these operations.
But that doesn’t mean that an odd thing or two didn’t happen along the way. When I tried to initially place my order over the Internet, I discovered that Dell’s order system was malfunctioning; I could configure an order but it wouldn’t let me actually place it. So I called Sales Support, where I discovered that the order system wouldn’t accept an order if only 1 GB of RAM was requested. Since 2 extra GB of RAM (1 GB basic + 2 GB expansion RAM = 3 GB) was ~$400, I had decided to order and install 2 GB of Crucial RAM, which cost all of $55! But the order system wouldn’t budge; I had to order an extra GB of RAM (1 GB basic + 1 GB expansion RAM = 2 GB) just so the system would accept the order. Sales Support agreed to place the order with the understanding that I could return the extra GB of RAM for credit once I received my XT.
Note that I also ordered all the recovery media and documentation with my XT. Dell …