Dell’s next-gen convertible Tablet, the Latitude XT3 has gone on sale at the company’s website. The XT3 breaks with the form factor used for the XT and XT2 and is a new design based on common parts and features from the Latitude line. For example, the XT3 features a docking connector that is compatible with the docking base that all other Latitude models use. Similarly, batteries, optical drive modules and other parts will also be common. In doing this, Dell has clearly designed the XT3 as a true business / enterprise machine, completely in keeping with the rest of the Latitude line.
Because it shares this parts lineage, the XT3 is also significantly bigger than the previous XT models. It now sports a 13.3″ screen, which would have been 8-1/2″ by 11″ paper-sized if it weren’t for the 1366 x 768 HD aspect ratio. It also features an N-trig DuoSense pen and touch digitizer, which is likely to be an issue for some potential buyers. Because first deliveries of the XT3 are scheduled for mid- to late-September, I speculate that the XT3 many feature N-trig’s Gen 4 hardware set (current Gen is 3.5). The new hardware may have improved resistance to electro-magnetic interference and what some users have called “ghost touches.” We shall see. What we do know is that the XT3 will feature a new design of N-trig battery-powered Digital Pencil. The new design will be longer than the current DPs and, like the HTC Flyer DP, it will feature two side buttons.
Unfortunately, another consequence of the XT3′s enterprise heritage is its price. The baseline model, which features only an i3 (2310M) processor is $1789. Wow! Using the customizing options, I configured an XT3 with an i7 and a 128 GB SSD whose price ballooned to ~ $3032, a price that I consider to be pretty ridiculous in today’s tablet environment. Of course, I paid almost $4000 for my XT, but that was years ago… for a new-concept machine that not only offered combined pen and touch, but that Michael Dell himself declared would be “obsolescence-proof.” Although we all know that it didn’t turn out so well (until the end), at the time it seemed like something worth the price. Today, I simply can’t see how the XT3′s price can be rationalized.
You can find the gory details at the order page: http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/latitude-xt3/pd