Dell has unveiled details about its Latitude ST ultraportable enterprise tablet, a unit suitable for workers in fields such as health care and education.
The Latitude ST slate features an Intel Atom CPU, Windows 7, a 10.1-inch multitouch display and six hours of battery life.
Kirk Schell, executive director and general manager of Dell's business client product group, announced the Latitude ST in an Oct. 27 post on the Direct2Dell corporate blog.
Starting at less than 2 pounds, the unit also features front and rear Webcams, which can be used for telehealth sessions or remote video conferencing. The unit has a 720-pixel camera in the front and a 5-megapixel camera in the back.
In addition, the Latitude ST comes with embedded Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 600 graphics. It also includes USB and High-Definition Multimedia Interface ports, and an SD memory card slot. The optional docking station connects the Latitude ST to peripherals such as projectors and printers.
In addition, a rubberized bumper and antiglare Corning Glass screen should allow the unit to withstand fieldwork.
It also comes with support for remote management and compatibility with Dell Kace appliances. Kace is a unit of Dell that makes system-management hardware.
The Latitude ST will be available Nov. 1.
In health care, medical professionals can view patient histories in electronic health records (EHRs) at patients' bedsides, and input symptoms and notes using the multitouch capabilities or the N-Trig stylus, which allows you to write on the screen exactly as you would on paper.
The tablet also allows doctors to monitor patients remotely or hold telehealth sessions with patients over Skype.
The Latitude ST is certified by the Continua Healthcare Alliance, a nonprofit group of health care and technology companies looking to establish compatibility among health care IT products and allow patients to self-manage their health.
In addition, the unit will also be able to access streaming data in EHR applications from Athena Health and NextGen Healthcare.
It also works with Dell's Mobile Clinical Computing platform, which through desktop virtualization allows IT workers to centrally manage patient data and improve clinical workflows using server-based computing.
Doctors can also use the Latitude ST to e-prescribe medications, Dell reports.
In education, teachers will use the tablets in classrooms to collaborate with students on projects as well as conduct remote classes. Teachers can also hold remote meetings with parents off-site using Skype.
Meanwhile, insurance agents can complete and submit accident documentation on-site on the slate, according to Dell.
Security features include remote hard drive wipe, Microsoft Bitlocker and the Kensington Lock anti-theft device. Bitlocker encrypts hard drives on devices running Windows. By enabling Bitlocker, all files are encrypted automatically.
Although the Apple iPad is many doctors' first choice in health care, competition is growing, especially from Google, according to Mobihealthnews.
In addition, rugged tablets from companies such as Itronix, Motion Computing, Panasonic and Xplore Technologies offer support for workers in extreme environments, including the military, construction and first response in emergencies.
On Oct. 18, Motion Computing announced it would add a SlateMate module to its CL900 tablet to incorporate a magnetic stripe reader and bar-code scanner. Dell's Latitude ST enables workers to add a bar-code scanner through a USB connection.