Dell and Intel set out in mid-2014 to develop an entire ecosystem based on Microsoft’s Continuum. The project, referred to internally as Dell Stack, was to center around a 6.4-inch, full-HD mini tablet designed to serve as your desktop, laptop and tablet.
As Venture Beat’s Evan Blass reports, the idea was to streamline the transition that the average user makes between their multiple computing devices a handful of times a day (or in the case of business users, numerous times on a daily basis). Rather than moving files to and from devices or to and from the cloud, data would remain on the core handheld device as it transitioned from use case to use case.
Modern ARM-based processors are plenty quick but for a serious full ecosystem replacement, only an x86-based CPU would suffice. The duo planned to use an x86 chip from Intel’s Kaby Lake Y-series of low-power-consumption, dual-core, laptop-class processors mated with up to 8GB of RAM and as much as 256GB of local flash storage (with a microSD card slot for expansion).
The publication says the original plans for the tablet called for a 6.4-inch display and a chassis measuring less than nine millimeters thick. At some point, it grew to a seven-inch tablet, like to provide more real estate to improve cooling.
So, what’s the status of the project now?
According to documents Venture Beat looked at, the first devices weren’t even scheduled to hit the market until spring 2017. There’s a possibility it’s still in the pipeline but it quite possibly could have been shelved when Intel cancelled its Atom chips for mobile devices earlier this year. Another very real possibility is that Dell may have put the project on hold in the wake of HP launching the Elite x3, a 3-in-1 Windows 10 mobile smartphone whose use cases are extremely similar to the Dell Stack.