Dell Intros Windows 8 Latitude Tablet With Enhanced Security

Company executives say the enhanced security and manageability features, along with Windows 8, make it ideal for business environments.

BOSTON — Dell is introducing the newest edition of its Windows 8-based tablet, a business-focused system with enhanced security and management capabilities aimed at verticals such as health care, education and government agencies.

Dell announced the 10.1-inch Latitude 10 enhanced security configuration Feb. 25 after coming to several cities last week—including Boston—to talk about the new features and how the Dell tablet is easier to deploy and manage than Apple's popular iPad.

At the same time, the company introduced its Dell Wireless Dock, the first docking station leveraging the WiGig multi-gigabit tri-band WiFi standard, which company officials said offers wireless connectivity that is 10 times faster than the fastest current WiFi networks. The docking station also is compatible with Dell's Latitude 6430u Ultrabook.

During an event here Feb. 22, Tim Gee, director of Dell's Latitude Product Group, told a group of journalists and analysts that unlike other tablet makers, Dell is aiming its tablet lineup more at organizations than at consumers.

"Our focus has been primarily on business users," Gee said.

Dell already sells other tablets, including the XPS 12, a convertible device that can be used as a laptop or tablet. The enhanced Latitude 10 will have an even stronger business focus, he said, pointing to the enhanced security features on the new Latitude 10, improved management capabilities and the introduction of the wireless dock as examples of that corporate focus. The new tablet is powered by Intel's Atom Z2760 chip.

The enhanced Latitude 10 comes at a time when Dell executives are continuing to push the company's transformation away from being primarily a PC maker to being a supplier of enterprise IT solutions and services. That move was heightened by the announcement earlier this month that founder and CEO Michael Dell intends to join with investment firm Silver Lake Partners and Microsoft in a $24.4 billion deal to take the company private, which analysts said would enable company executives to accelerate their efforts outside the glare of Wall Street.

Gee and other Dell officials said during the Boston event that the capabilities in the enhanced Latitude 10 tablet will be a boon to IT pros who are wrestling with the management and security headaches that are inherent in such trends as mobility and bring your own device (BYOD). They note various statistics that talked to their contention that greater security and manageability will lead to reduced costs. For example, according to studies, it costs organizations an average of $5.5 million to deal with a data breach, $50,000 to deal with a lost laptop and $615 to deploy a PC.

In such industries as government and health care, there also is an increased focus on compliance with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

On the security side, the new tablet comes with integrated endpoint security features such as a fingerprint reader and a smart-card reader, as well as support for third-party security devices. It also includes the Trusted Platform Module 1.2 to enable networks to ensure the integrity of the tablet and to assign full trust to it.