Is Dell set to deliver a tablet?

Dell is preparing to launch a touchscreen tablet device next year, according to reports.

Is Dell set to deliver a tablet?

The PC maker has teamed up with Intel to create the tablet, which is designed to be used as an eBook reader that will compete with the likes of Amazon’s Kindle.

“Well connected industry sources” who spoke to claim the device will be given away for free to users who sign up for digital media subscription services.

Technical details of the proposed tablet are extremely thin, although there’s speculation the device may take advantage of Windows 7’s new touchscreen capabilities.

Wired’s source claims the pair are looking to release the device within the next six months.

The Dell tablet will likely pitch the PC maker into direct competition with Apple, which is heavily rumoured to be preparing a tablet device of its own.

The Mac maker is expected to launch a 10in, 3G-enabled tablet sometime between this autumn and the start of next year. Apple recently confirmed it will be attending the CES technology show in Las Vegas next January, and may be saving up a big announcement for its debut at the show, where CEO Steve Jobs is expected to deliver a keynote speech.

Mobile phone manufacturers Nokia and HTC are also expected to deliver new tablet devices over the coming months, as the iPhone-fuelled demand for touchscreen technology gathers pace.

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