Dell’s New Desktop/Tablet Hybrid

Dell’s XPS 18 is an 18.4-inch desktop/giant tablet hybrid targeted at families and active consumers | Photo courtesy Dell

Dell’s XPS 18 is an 18.4-inch desktop/giant tablet hybrid targeted at families and active consumers | Photo courtesy Dell

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen an eye-popping product from Dell. But the company just joined the realm of Sony, Lenovo and Asus by announcing the XPS 18, an 18.4-inch desk-top/giant tablet hybrid targeted toward families and active consumers. Compared to existing models, the XPS 18 is probably closest to the Sony Vaio Tap 20.

Weighing in at 4.8 pounds, the XPS 18 is still heavier than a 10-inch tablet, but lighter than the 12-pound Tap 20. You can purchase it with an optional solid state drive, and it features an aluminum back finish with soft grip for traction and comfort. It comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and its flexible design allows it to be used in a variety of ways for the most comfortable viewing angle: on an optional powered stand for “walk up” computing; on any flat surface using the built-in flip-out feet; laid flat for sharing; or held on your lap for reading and browsing. Dell promises five hours of battery life with moderate usage, and three-and-a-half hours for movie-watching time. It runs full Windows 8 natively in the tablet mode.

“The XPS 18 will change the way people define and use a PC today,” says Dell Consumer PC Group vice president Kirk Schell. “Everyone who uses it is shocked and amazed at how light it is and comfortable to use in a variety of settings. By combining the performance, versatility and space-saving design of a traditional all-in-one with an ultra-thin and light touch display and unmatched battery life, we’re giving customers a whole new computing experience that can go anywhere.”

As a bonus, the Dell Wyse PocketCloud application is pre-installed on the XPS 18, helping you build your own personal cloud and remotely manage personal and professional content.

The Dell XPS 18 will be available for $899.99 on April 16, just in time to spend your tax-return money.

Click Chick’s Mobile App of the Week: CheapAir

Searching for a flight these days is so different from what it used to be, especially for people on the go. The CheapAir app has made it easier to search for cheap airfare on the go by simply speaking your search parameters into your iPhone.

Not having to type in your search saves you valuable time, and the app actually understands your voice fairly well – you simply say, “Lihue to Las Vegas, April 13 to 19.” You’ll then receive results, and the app gives you the general information you want to know, such as if the aircraft has Wi-Fi or meal service. Of course, you always can type in your search the traditional way.

This CheapAir app comes at a time when the use of mobile phones for travel information is growing significantly. According to The Digital Consumer report by Tealeaf, an IBM Company, 15 percent of consumers already are using the mobile web for travel services, and 13 percent are using mobile travel applications downloaded from one of the top app stores.

CheapAir is free and is available for your iPhone or iPad from the iTunes Store. Also note CheapAir will give you a travel credit of up to $100 if your fare drops after your purchase.