Dell to offer 10-inch Windows 7 tablet later this year

The company will also sell a 10-inch Android tablet

Dell will launch a 10-inch Windows-based tablet for business users later this year and plans to sell 10-inch Android-based tablets too, the company said Tuesday.

The announcement was made at a San Francisco event for press and analysts, where Dell also unveiled 24 systems for business users, including laptops, PCs and workstations. It said it was one of its biggest new product introductions.

The Windows tablet, called the XT3, uses a convertible design, meaning it can be used as a standard laptop or, by swivelling the screen and folding it back on the keyboard, as a touchscreen tablet.

Windows 7 has gotten off to a slow start on tablets, however, and Dell isn't putting all its eggs in one basket. It said it also plans a 10-inch Android tablet, though it didn't give specifics about either product in the materials it handed out to press before the event.

Steve Lalla, head of Dell's business PC division, will give more details at the event Tuesday morning.

Dell already sells a handful of portable gadgets though it's not a big player in that space yet. It has the Streak 5 and the Streak 7 -- which are 5- and 7-inch devices based on Google's Android OS. The 5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and the 7 has a dual-core Tegra chip.

Dell also sells a smartphone called the Venue Pro based on Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 software. It has a 4.1-inch touch display and a mini-keyboard that slides out of the bottom. It comes with Office Mobile and Dell positions it as being for both "work and play."

Dell said at the Consumer Electronics Show last month that it would roll out a 10.1-inch tablet this year for business users, but it didn't give any details including which OS it would run on.

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James Niccolai

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