Dell has been studying the idea of expanding its laptop lineup with a “rugged” notebook model and a tablet PC. One or both products could be offered as soon as 2007, Alex Gruzen, general manager of Dell’s Product Group said last week.
Gruzen said in an interview with eWEEK that Dell would be able to supply a rugged notebook that is based on the same hardware as its standard Latitude notebooks. He said that it might make it simpler for businesses and government customers to buy and maintain the machines.
Dell has sold tablet computers made by other manufacturers, such as Motion Computing, but it has not yet offered one of its own, due to what it feels is a fairly limited opportunity for it. But, based on the fact that Microsoft has now said that a standard version of the forthcoming Windows Vista operating system will include tablet PC features, Dell believes tablet PCs will become more attractive to buyers, Gruzen said.