Dell Continues to Tease Out 7-Inch Mobile Computing Tablet

This is starting to look very real.

Following the debut of its Streak mini-tablet PC, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is beginning to make noise about a new device, confirming plans to bring a larger, seven-inch tablet to market in the next few weeks.

That device is the same product that CEO Michael Dell briefly displayed, without elaboration, while on stage recently at the Oracle OpenWorld conference, and will hit the market "very, very soon," Dell Greater China President Amit Midha told the Wall Street Journal in an interview given in Australia this week.

From Dell, the official line is that the device is still in the works, but the company declined to confirm a timeframe for its launch.

"We continue to explore opportunities across a range [of] screen sizes, including the 7" Tablet prototype Michael Dell showed at Oracle OpenWorld, but we have no further details to share at this time," Dell spokesman Matthew Parretta told InternetNews.com in an email.

According to the Journal report, the new tablet will run on Google's Android operating system, as does the Streak, making it the latest in an array of new tablet devices built on the open source mobile OS, joining offerings from Cisco, Samsung, Acer and others.

Midha hinted at a "whole slew" of forthcoming devices of various sizes and form factors over the next year, including a 10-inch tablet that would likely come as a direct competitor to Apple's 9.7-inch iPad.

On the other end, Dell is planning additional mobile devices with screens in the range of three inches to four inches.

Dell's roadmap will see multiple devices that run on the Android OS, but the Midha said that the company will also roll out products powered by Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system.

Earlier this year, Microsoft had confirmed that Dell would indeed be one of its launch partners for its new OS, whose launch date is a matter of intense speculation.

Midha told the Journal that Dell is also evaluating Google's Chrome operating system.

Kenneth Corbin is an associate editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Android, iPad, Dell, tablet, mobile devices