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Dell makes entry into tablet market

February 26, 2010 • Gadgets and Gaming

Dell will tap into the tablet computer market with its own version of a touchscreen multimedia device said to rival Apple’s iPad. With a 5-inch screen only, the tablet dubbed Mini 5 will look more like a Sony PSP than the iPad, but it seems there’s much more to it than the appearance.

According to wired.com, Michael Dell confirmed the tablet’s launch “in a couple of months”, as well as the following features: a 5-megapixel camera on the back, a separate front-facing camera that can be used for video conferencing, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1-GHz processor.

The supposedly named Mini 5 will run the latest Google android operating system which supports Flash and the 16:9 ratio rather than iPad’s 4:3, a choice that makes movie addicts happy. In fact, Dell says the device will offer more of a media experience.

“It will offer the full web-browsing experience so you have something that you are holding in your hand that replaces everything the smartphone does and takes on quite a bit of the features of a laptop”, said Neeraj Choubey, GM of tablets division at Dell, quoted by wired.com.

He confirmed there would be a series of tablets with a variety of screen sizes in the future, starting with the Dell Mini 5, but refused to comment on pricing, although “competitive” was his answer.

Also, Dell insisted on offering the applications available for smartphones, including music and video, spreadsheets, presentation maker, web surfing with Flash and access to email and social networks.

Analysts from research firm Gartner are not very impressed as the device can be assumed by the consumer to be another media-playing or gaming gadget and its PlayStation portable look puts it into the not-so-fertile mobile Internet devices (MIDs) category rather than a PC tablet.

So far, it is clear that Dell shies away from the “iPad challenger” label, emphasizing media experience, data sync capabilities and Android’s mobile applications as the main attractions of its tablet.

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