Dell Latitude 10 review: A tablet with more stamina than style

While the Latitude 10 looks and feel a lot like other Windows 8 tablets, even ones with faster Core i5 processors, when we ran our standard PC benchmark tests the difference was obvious. Atom-powered systems, such as the Latitude 10, Acer W510, or HP Envy X2, were much slower, with the Dell taking nearly five times as long as the Surface Pro to run our multitasking benchmark.

Despite the improvements made to the platform since the Netbook days, the Atom is simply not in the same league, even though the price difference between Atom and Core i3/i5 systems is not particularly commensurate with this performance difference.

Now, keeping that in mind, that a tablet uses an Atom CPU isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. First, the Windows 8 UI works smoothly on Atom systems, and you won't feel like you're using a slower machine. Microsoft apps, such as IE10, are also clearly optimized for Atom, and Web page scrolling -- something that can trip up slower PCS -- is also very smooth. However, third-party apps are less consistent. Netflix worked fine, but Google's Chrome Web browser was very stuttery, for example.

The real advantage of having a tablet with Intel's Atom platform is battery life. Even with just the default two-cell battery in the Latitude 10 (a larger swappable four-cell version is also available), the system ran for 9 hours and 8 minutes in our video playback battery drain test, about twice as long as the Surface Pro.

Conclusion
Windows 8 tablets are still too new and untested to have proven themselves as full-time productivity devices, especially when compared with their hybrid or convertible cousins, which can at least pass most of the time as everyday laptops. There's a definite price advantage to going Atom, as well as battery life, which is important for on-the-go use.

I liked Dell's docking station, but not the cheap-feeling cover, nor the lack of a Surface-style small keyboard. Frankly, the Latitude 10 fails to excite, but that's not always a bad thing if you're appealing to the staid corporate IT market.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Load test (average watts)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Dell Latitude 10
10 

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System configurations

Dell Latitude 10
Windows 8 (32-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760; 2GB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 747MB (Total) Intel GMA; 64GB MMC SSD

Microsoft Surface Pro
Windows 8 Pro (64-bit); 1.7GHz Intel Core i5; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Sharedl) Intel HD 4000; 128GB Micron SSD

Acer Iconia W510P-1406
Windows 8 Pro (32-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760; 2GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 747MB (Total) Intel GMA; 64GB SEM64G SSD

Acer Iconia W700
Windows 8 (64-bit); 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 128MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 128GB Toshiba SSD

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
Windows 8 (64-bit); 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 128GB Samsung SSD

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Dell Latitude 10 (64GB, Windows 8 Pro)

Part Number: SL10AF1B

MSRP: $649.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Wireless Connectivity Bluetooth 4.0
  • Type Microsoft Windows 8 Pro
About The Author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.