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Dell says, 'Wait, we're doing a slate PC, too!' - plus hands-on impressions

At its Thursday morning CES press conference, Dell briefly announced plans to release a slate-style tablet PC, in the same vein as the rumored Apple Tablet or the HP/Microsoft prototype tablet shown earlier in the week. We checked it out in person.

Update: Hands-on impressions added below.

LAS VEGAS--At its Thursday morning CES press conference, Dell briefly announced plans to release a slate-style tablet PC, in the same vein as the rumored Apple Tablet or the HP/Microsoft prototype tabletshown earlier in the week.

Details are scarce, but the 5-inch device would be smaller than rival ideas coming from HP and (presumably) Apple. Describes as a "tablet concept," there's no guarantee the product would ever reach the public in its current form.

Update: We had a chance to check out the device behind closed doors after the press conference, and even hold it in our hands for a few minutes. The device seems like a larger evolution of a smartphone more than a Netbook, but the larger screen created a much more user-friendly environment.

The silver casing had a sturdy feel, and the back of the unit had an area that looked like it could support a replaceable battery. Haptic vibration kicked in when we tried launching a few feature buttons. While it seems like it could be a compelling product with some Adamo-esque design, we wonder about price, whether it will have phone functionality, and whether anyone will chip in to own such a 3G-enabled device if they already have a smartphone.

Check out a few photos of the concept 5-inch Dell tablet below.