Dell's first 3:2 tablet PC also sports a new pen (sold separately).
Last year's best-reviewed Windows laptop gets a 2-in-1 revamp and Dell Active Pen support.
We knew Surface Studio inspired designs would be on their way, but who could have expected to see them so quickly?
The USI 1.0 Specification provides independent hardware vendors (IHVs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the first time an industry standard, non-proprietary, active stylus protocol.
When Wacom announced its Bamboo Smart stylus "for select tablets and 2-in-1 convertible devices" at CES back in January, it was big news. Until that point, only a handful of OEMs' Active ES pens had hit the market and they seemed to be incompatible with one another.
Why would anyone build pen capability into a device and then hide it from potential buyers? It's not the first time I've asked that question on this site, and it's especially one I shouldn't have to be asking myself in mid-2016, at a time where pen computing is being promoted as a vital feature of the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
From Direct2Dell, the company's official corporate blog:
Introducing More Choice: Dell Introduces Venue 8 Pro and Venue 10 Pro Tablets
Dell’s focus on continued innovation in this space is enhanced with two new professional-grade tablets we will be making available in mid-November: the Venue 8 Pro 5000 Series and the Venue 10 Pro 5000 Series - both designed to further expand the capabilities offered for organizations in the healthcare, retail/hospitality, education and manufacturing spaces. Each deliver:
- Best-in-class security with the Dell Data Protection suite that encompasses comprehensive encryption, advanced authentication and leading-edge malware prevention.
- Speed, reliability and fanless design, built on Intel® AtomTM Quad Core processors.
- Advanced manageability through automated and streamlined system deployment, monitoring and updating, Dell Configuration Services and product lifecycle planning.
- Outstanding reliability with MIL-STD testing for real-life conditions, backed by the industry’s leading support and coverage with Dell ProSupport Plus.
- Unmatched Dell expertise as the Microsoft Partner of the Year, ranking No.1 in Windows deployment; built on the foundation of Windows 10.
Active pen featuring Wacom technology for a true writing experience with accuracy and natural feel.
- 2x2 Wi-Fi, LTE and optional NFC so workers can stay connected.
- Accessories and imaging for specialized verticals.
Venue 8 Pro 5000 Series Tablet
With a thin and light hand-held design, weighing in at under one pound, the Venue 8 Pro was created for companies that require specialized applications and on-the-go productivity. Some key Venue 8 Pro features include:
- Handheld design for use on-the-go
- 8-inch HD (1280x800) & FHD (1920x1200) touch display
- Optional NFC support for additional security
- USB Type C docking (coming in 2016) so users only need one cable for power, data, video and a desktop experience
- 2x2 AC WLAN and optional WWAN
- Starting at $299 in North America
Venue 10 Pro 5000 Series Tablet
With an innovative 2-in-1 keyboard, the thin and light Venue 10 Pro is ideal for workers who need a balance between mobility and intensive productivity. The Venue 10 Pro offers:
- 2-in-1 keyboard that delivers an exceptional Continuum experience for a seamless transition between tablet and desktop modes
- 10.1-inch FHD (1920x1200) touch display
- High quality dual speakers and microphones for easy and reliable interaction with the Cortana personal virtual assistant
- Multiple ports, including USB Type C, USB Type A, microHDMI, headset jack, microSD card reader and noble lock slot (on tablet)
- 2x2 AC WLAN and optional WWAN and NFC
- Starting at $429 in North America
EDITOR'S NOTE: I missed this story when it was released last month, but better late than never. It's also noteworthy to highlight that Microsoft and N-Trig are not part of this initiative.
Single USI Stylus Will Work Across Multiple Devices, Platforms
WAKEFIELD, Mass., USA – April 23, 2015 – Prominent OEMs, stylus and touch controller manufacturers today announced the launch of Universal Stylus Initiative (USI), a new organization formed to develop and promote an industry specification for an active stylus.
The USI specification will make it possible for manufacturers to design products to a single standard, rather than the variety of proprietary approaches now in use, and it will be compatible with current notebook computer operating system requirements. USI seeks to provide a consistent user experience while increasing the availability and consumer appeal of the active stylus, through providing industry-wide interoperability and adding functions and features not supported by current styluses.
Founding members of USI include Atmel Corporation; Hanvon Pentech Co., Ltd.; Intel Corporation; Lenovo Inc.; Sharp Corporation; Synaptics Inc.; Wacom Co., Ltd.; and Waltop International Corp. at the Promoter level; and Dell Global B.V.; eGalax_eMPIA Technology Inc. (EETI); Elan Microelectronics Corporation; and Focal Tech Electronics, Ltd. at the Contributor level.
USI technology will enable interoperable communication between an active stylus and touch-enabled devices such as phones, tablets, and computing and entertainment platforms from numerous manufacturers, allowing consumers to seamlessly write or draw on different devices with one high-quality stylus that delivers a realistic pen-on-paper experience. The group expects to publish the initial version of the USI specification in the third quarter of 2015.
“USI’s founding members have come together to enable interoperable active styluses that function across many content creation devices,” said Ajay Bhatt, Intel Fellow. “Our goal is to make the active stylus more affordable and widely available in the market. Consumers who buy USI-compatible devices will know that they work seamlessly with each other while providing a high-quality writing or drawing experience.”
“The market has sorely been needing a universal communication standard for active stylus,” said Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research. “To date the market has been limited by proprietary touch controller-stylus solutions, which limits OEM choices and cost reductions. With the USI specification released, we expect that the capacitive active stylus market will grow from 100 million units in 2015 to 300 million units in 2018, opening up new markets such as smartphones and all-in-one PCs.”
[Additional comments from USI founding member companies appear at the end of this press release.]
Features of the USI specification include the method by which the stylus communicates with content creation devices and provides additional information such as stylus pressure levels, button presses, erasing, and other features. Through the same sensor that one’s finger uses to command a device, the stylus communicates via different frequencies to perform the action of writing — writing with up to 2048 different levels of pressure to give the pen-on-paper experience and render thinner or thicker lines in note-taking, painting and doodling, just like an ink pen.
USI is currently accepting additional member companies who are ready to be hands-on in completing and promoting a specification to achieve active stylus interoperability. USI welcomes any organization that wants to be involved in this industry initiative. Several membership levels are available.
About Universal Stylus Initiative
Launched in 2015, Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) is an international not-for-profit technology trade association whose mission is to define industry-wide standards for interoperable communication between an active stylus and touch-enabled devices such as phones, tablets, and computing and entertainment platforms. The USI specification provides for a stylus capable of communicating with different touch sensors and touch controller integrated circuits, so that users can employ the same stylus across numerous touch-enabled devices, as long as each device’s touch controller is compliant with the USI specification.
USI founding members include Atmel Corporation; Hanvon Pentech Co., Ltd.; Intel Corporation; Lenovo Inc.; Sharp Corporation; Synaptics Inc.; Wacom Co., Ltd.; and Waltop International Corp. at the Promoter level, and Dell Global B.V.; eGalax_eMPIA Technology Inc. (EETI); Elan Microelectronics Corporation; and Focal Tech Electronics, Ltd. at the Contributor level. Membership in USI is required in order to obtain the specification and to license the IP that it contains. More information about USI and USI technology is available at www.universalstylus.org.
SUPPORTING STATEMENTS FROM USI FOUNDING MEMBERS
“As a leading provider of touch solutions, we identified a need to develop a standardized specification for an active stylus across multiple platforms,” said Stan Swearingen, SVP, CTO and GM of Touch Business Unit, Atmel Corporation. “As a founding member of Universal Stylus Initiative, we partnered with 11 other companies to define and drive a ubiquitous standard across platforms with capacitive touchscreens. We are excited to launch this new initiative and standardized specification, and believe it will drive more active styluses into the market, creating an evolution of touchscreen devices into content creation devices.”
Elan Microelectronics Corporation
“With device form factors converging, the demand from consumption to productivity is key in the next stage of technology revolution. We firmly believe that the active capacitive stylus, because it scales to multiple screens and sizes, is the right solution to meet this demand,” said Joe Yeh, Special Executive, President’s Office.
Hanvon Pentech Co., Ltd.
“As an expert in pen input technology and production for over two decades, Hanvon Pentech owns 140 patents and always believes in the beauty of using a digital pen to capture inspirations,” said James Zhang, General Manager of Hanvon Pentech. “The initiative helps to eliminate the limits among touch screens, allowing users to use the same stylus to create content on different mobile devices, while providing excellent and precise writing and drawing experience. As a founding member of USI, Hanvon Pentech is dedicated to the development and promotion of the universal stylus. A new era of expression is coming.”
“Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) benefits the consumer by defining a common stylus interface to ensure interoperability between pens and devices while simultaneously providing room for manufacturers to innovate,” said Wallace Pai, VP Large Display Business, Synaptics. “As the leading provider of human interface solutions and a founding member of USI, Synaptics sees a great opportunity to develop customized features that advance the tablet and notebook user experience.”
Wacom Co., Ltd.
“With the right technologies and IT environment in place now, mobile products such as smartphones and tablets are ready to embrace the stylus as a primary input interface to support human creativity. As the IT industry and customers’ ability to manipulate their devices mature, we believe the stylus, the most intuitive tool in human history, is about to gain momentum rapidly among mobile products. Wacom is happy to take the lead in this momentous shift,” said Masahiko Yamada, president & CEO of Wacom.
Waltop International Corp.
“As a company engaged in developing and promoting the use of the stylus, the most natural input for digital devices, for over 17 years, Waltop has observed the increase in stylus demand for digital devices, as well as the decrease of pen use among students. An initiative to push forward the adoption of the stylus among digital users will effectively advance its use on all mobile devices, in addition to notebook computers,” said Ben Lee, Vice President, Sales & Marketing. “Based on broad knowledge about using digital styluses developed over the years, Waltop is pleased to take part in this group in order to realize its long-lasting vision of bringing pens back to people in writing, sketching, and the numerous other occasions when grabbing a pen and a piece of paper seems so natural.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: NotebookPCReview is reporting that the Latitude 13 7000 will include a Wacom digitizer (pen sold separately). I could not find any reference to pen support in the release below.
New Latitude portfolio, including a new 2-in-1 and rugged laptop, enables secure and manageable productivity for every workforce
San Francisco, California--As a global leader in providing the most secure and manageable commercial PC solutions, Dell today debuted sleek, completely redesigned additions to its trusted Latitude portfolio: the Latitude 7000 Series 2-in-1 detachable laptop; the Latitude 3000 and 5000 Series laptops; and the Latitude 14 Rugged laptop.
“Dell understands the complexity of supporting the wide variety of devices present in today’s evolving workforce environment,” said Kirk Schell, vice president and general manager, commercial client solutions, Dell. “Our new portfolio enables businesses of all sizes to embrace sleek and innovative form factors their workforce will be proud to use day after day to accomplish their productivity goals. While they look like thin and light consumer devices, these commercial PCs are backed by the industry’s best security and manageability that only Dell provides.”
New Latitudes Enable Productivity Anytime, Anywhere
Dell’s new additions to the Latitude family of commercial PCs offer a variety of work styles and use cases—from the executive road warrior to the rough and tumble demands of workers in the field. The new Latitude 13 7000 Series is the world’s most secure 2-in-1, combining a lightweight business Ultrabook™ and a detachable tablet in one powerful device without compromise. This “laptop-first” 2-in-1 offers a large 13.3-inch display and a professional, ISO-certified backlit keyboard, bolstered by the convenience of Instant Go from sleep mode, a feature often reserved for smart phones and traditional tablets. When paired with the Dell Mobile Office, a suite of accessories specifically designed for this device—a carrying case, sleeve, power companion and universal dongle—the Latitude 13 7000 Series 2-in-1 detachable laptop offers ultra-mobile professionals a first-class productivity experience.
According to a preview from Dell’s latest Evolving Workforce Study, flexibility and the ability to work anywhere continues to demonstrate considerable benefits for overall health and well-being than working from the office. Case in point, employees who are allowed to work from home reporting they spend more time with their families (26 percent), get more sleep (21 percent), drive less (48 percent), and feel stressed less often (29 percent ). From the corner office to the coffee shop, the new Latitude 12 5000 Series joins the Latitude 14 and 15 5000 Series for a fully-featured, premium mobile experience to meet the needs any mobile professional. The world’s most secure business laptop, the Latitude 5000 Series has a new, sleek design that is 20 percent thinner than the previous model. It also offers all day battery life with a 4-cell battery, enhanced materials for durability and enterprise-class support and services.
Designed to meet the needs and budget of small and growing businesses, the new Latitude 14 and 15 3000 Series offers the essential features of a business-class laptop with the right balance of mobility, productivity and affordability. Thinner and lighter than previous generations and backed by enterprise-class support, the new 3000 Series boasts all-day battery life, a spill resistant keyboard, up to 1 terabyte of storage and 14-inch or 15-inch displays with touch options.
Dell is the only Tier 1 vendor in the world with a fully rugged portfolio, and Latitude rugged devices are backed by Dell’s security, manageability and enterprise-level support. The latest addition to Dell’s rugged portfolio, the Latitude 14 Rugged, is built for durability to survive wherever the job takes it. Data is protected from the elements, while enabling performance at high temperatures with fourth generation QuadCool™ thermal management. With an expansive 14” outdoor-readable display, everything can be seen clearly in bright and low light conditions and standard resistive touch means gloves can stay on. A customizable RGB backlit keyboard enables comfortable usability in all environments and Stealth mode allows users to go incognito with a simple keypress.
Pricing and Availability
- The Latitude 13 7000 Series 2-in-1 starts at USD $1,199 and will be available mid-October worldwide.
- The Latitude 3000 Series starts at USD $640 and is available in Asia.
“Dell is continuing to emphasize a customer promise to create the most secure and manageable environments,” said Patrick Moorhead, founder, president and principal analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. “Each of these areas is a critical component for any IT department, but so is the need to satisfy the user. Dell has wrapped its core IT strengths with new thoughtfully designed and attractive products geared for enhanced productivity in a variety of customer use cases.”
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.
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