Dell Inc. launched in February an enhanced security version of its Latitude 10 tablet, aiming for potential federal government customers who want the capabilities of the iPad, but with added protections.
The new tablet would be easier and less expensive to integrate into a Windows environment than an iPad, Dell officials said.
The enhanced security version has fingerprint and smartcard readers, which offer two-factor identification.
“There are no additional forms of authentication for an iPad. So if I crack your four-letter code, … I have every piece of information that you have on there,” said Rob Orlando, end-user computing field marketing manager for Dell.
Dell is currently working on getting the tablet certified for government use under the federal information processing standard.
Certain federal agencies would require changes to the device at the BIOS level, which is the software used to load a computer’s operating system, Orlando said. “We would work with those agencies to do that.”
Dell is also offering a ruggedized case for the tablet built to 810F military specifications, he added.
The enhanced security Latitude 10 could face competition from the “secure iPad” developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The federal government, including the Pentagon, has long been interested in tablets, but securing the devices often comes at a loss of capability.
For instance, the Arlington, Va.-based CACI International Inc. “neutered” thousands of iPads for U.S. government use, said Dan Allen, the company’s former chief executive officer, in an interview with Bloomberg. The company removed the webcam and disabled Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities to meet security requirements.Photo Credit: Dell Inc.