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article imageDell following Lenovo, building its own Microsoft Surface

By James Walker     Sep 13, 2015 in Technology
Dell is apparently working on a laptop that will directly rival the Microsoft Surface. It will be a 12-inch tablet with a kickstand and detachable keyboard and follows a similar unveiling by Lenovo, proving the success of the Surface line.
The Dell XPS 12 is described as "innovative design for the best 2-in-1 experience". As The Verge reports, its existence is revealed in a series of Dell marketing slides leaked by German news site Giga. The convertible device will join Dell's premium XPS range so will not be cheap or lacking on quality.
Leaked marketing slides of the Dell XPS 12  a tablet to rival Microsoft s surface  revealed by Giga....
Leaked marketing slides of the Dell XPS 12, a tablet to rival Microsoft's surface, revealed by
Although processor, memory and storage options are not detailed, the slides promise up to 10 hours of battery life and a 4K Ultra HD IPS display. Aside from the massive resolution, the panel boasts a 1200:1 contrast ratio and 400-nit brightness rating for easy outdoor usage.
The tablet can connect magnetically to a backlit keyboard which includes a precision touchpad that "works flawlessly". If that claim holds up in general use then Dell could have just conquered a key flaw found with the Surface. Many users complain that the small, rectangular touchpad on Microsoft's keyboard covers is inaccurate and hard to use, potentially putting Dell's precision one ahead. The Surface also currently lacks any form of keyboard backlighting.
Like with other convertibles, the XPS 12's interface will automatically adjust to better suit keyboard and mouse input when connected to the dock. Windows 10's Continuum mode will swap the full-screen touch-friendly Start menu for the traditional desktop when it detects a keyboard and mouse is present, making convertibles true two-in-one devices.
Leaked marketing slides of the Dell XPS 12  a tablet to rival Microsoft s surface  revealed by Giga....
Leaked marketing slides of the Dell XPS 12, a tablet to rival Microsoft's surface, revealed by
Like with the Surface, Dell will be making a stylus available with the XPS 12, although it is unclear whether the Dell Active Stylus will be bundled in the box like the Surface Pen. The company highlights how it can be used to annotate webpages in Microsoft Edge or easily write notes, saying you can "one click to OneNote". This suggests that it will feature a button to immediately jump to the app, a key feature of the Surface Pen.
The reveal of the Dell XPS 12 follows Lenovo's unveiling of the Miix 700 at the IFA trade show in Berlin earlier this month. Like the XPS 12, the Miix 700 is unashamedly Surface-inspired with so many similarities that at first glance you could easily mistake one for the other.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700
The Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700
The design of the tablet even uses the same inward-curving sides as the Surface and a similar kickstand mechanism. Although it may be true that the Miix 700 is a blatant copy of Microsoft's device, its existence importantly confirms that the Surface is a winning concept and a worthwhile device to develop.
News of Dell also creating a similar tablet only further confirms this; if two of the largest computer manufacturers in the world are so obviously copying the hardware underdog then it must have done something right.
The first and second generation Surface models were positively reviewed but Microsoft only really took the brand mainstream with the launch of the Surface Pro 3 last year. A large-scale advertising campaign heralded the arrival of a 12-inch tablet with adjustable kickstand and pressure-sensing stylus. It quickly proved to be a hit with business users and mobile productivity seekers, becoming an ideal choice for people who wanted the versatility of a tablet but the power of a laptop.
Its success was enough to warrant the launch of a cheaper, lower-end model, the Surface 3. It includes all of the standout features of the Pro but in a smaller form factor, creating a perfect device for students who can't afford - and don't need - the power of the Pro.
Over a year on and long overdue for a replacement, the Surface Pro 3 still sells well. Recently, its success landed Surface brand leader Panos Panay a promotion to overall hardware engineering manager at Microsoft.
With three premium convertible devices soon to be in stores, people looking for powerful, go-anywhere Windows tablets are going to be spoilt for choice. All will feature cutting-edge hardware, beautiful design, easy conversion to laptops and a handy stylus for pen input.
One of the most important steps in launching any new business product is idea verification. With both Dell and Lenovo playing copy-cat, Microsoft's concept of a kickstand-sporting tablet seems to have finally passed that crucial step.
Competition is key and the Surface Pro 4, expected to make an appearance next month, looks set to be the first Surface model to have serious rivals to contend with. If Microsoft isn't careful, its winning formula could be ripped out from under its feet by the brands it has carefully stayed ahead of to date.
More about Microsoft, Surface, windows 10, Dell, dell xps