The Latitude 10 has an Intel Atom Clover Trail processor and is aimed at professional customers looking for devices with Windows 8 Pro and security features ranging from a fingerprint reader to SmartCard and TPM support.
Meanwhile the XPS 10 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and runs Windows RT which is a stripped-down version of Windows 8 without support for legacy Windows apps.
It’s likely that next-gen tablets could have more powerful chips such as Intel’s next-generation Core chips, code-named Haswell. They’re expected to offer significantly more performance than an Atom chip without consuming much more power.
Next-generation ARM-based chips from Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung, and others will also offer significantly improved performance… but that’s not necessarily enough to overcome some of the limitations of Windows RT such as the relatively small number of third party apps available for the platform.
Still, if Dell’s not giving up on Windows RT yet, either the company knows something the rest of us don’t… or has already invested too much in the platform to give up without a fight.
If there’s a large enough price difference between Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets later this year, the platform might actually stand a chance. Right now Windows RT devices tend to be significantly more expensive than Android tablets with similar hardware. But if we start to see $200 and $300 Windows RT tablets, they might present a low-cost alternative to Windows 8 models that cost $500 and more.
I’m not sure that’ll happen though — right now one of the key selling points is that it comes with Microsoft Office Home & Student pre-installed. So not only are device makers like Dell paying Microsoft a licensing fee for Windows, but they’re also presumably paying for Office. That could make it hard to offer this type of hardware at Android tablet-like prices.