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Slideaway

For a company that's known for boring, good-value desktop PCs, this is is a pretty impressive piece of design innovation. Dell have put together a prototype tablet with a really interesting addition - a slide-out keyboard.

But not just any slide-out keyboard - after all, Samsung's Series 9 tablet has already done that. The unnamed Dell design features a rubberised keyboard with a split key design, a bit like that demonstrated by Microsoft in their Windows 8 demo last week - and then promptly announced as part of iOS 5 by Apple days later. It looks like the keyboard is designed to be used with the thumbs, much as you use the keyboard on a slide-out QWERTY phone.

Apart from that, we don't know much about the mysterious beast. But one thing's for sure - we won't see it for a while. Dell have already announced one tablet, the Streak 10, and they say that won't make it to the US till 2012 - and Europe some time after that. Still, it's good to know that manufacturers are still determined to come up with something new in the world of tablets.

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