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Dell Plans Mobile DTV-Capable Tablet Computers

The Web site has a picture of Dell's Looking Glass 7" Tablet This unit will join the Mini-5 ("Streak") tablet that was displayed in the DTV Marketplace at NAB earlier this month.

The specifications for the Looking Glass indicate that ATSC, ATSC-MH and DVB-T tuners are available as an option. The tablet uses NVIDIA's second generation Tegra chipset and comes with a 7-inch 800x480 pixel resolution screen.

With more features than the iPAD, I expect there to be a lot of interest in this product. While the specs don't show built-in 3G/4G wireless broadband, its WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity would allow it to connect to the Internet using WiFi through Verizon's MiFi device, or through Bluetooth to an existing Blackberry or other cell phone. I've heard people are using Verizon's MiFi with the iPad's WiFi rather than going with AT&T.

The article discusses two new Dell smartphones--the mainstream "Flash," with a 3.5-inch WVGA screen and tri-band HSPA broadband connectivity, and the "Smoke" with a 2.8-inch QVGA display and a QWERTY keyboard in a 12 mm case. The Flash has a "TV out" jack, but there was no mention of a TV tuner option. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see one announced at some point before the end of the year.

PCWorld has more on Dell rumors in the article Dell's Tablet Plans Leaked. That article says the Engadget leaked slides show Streak's "RTS" date as September 2010. The meaning of "RTS" isn't clear, but PCWorld suggests it could be "Release To Stores."

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.