Dell 7-inch QWERTY-slider tablet spotted; Dell Streak 10 Pro promised to China first

Two slabs of Dell tablet news this morning, as a hitherto-unseen QWERTY prototype breaks cover and the company confirms that the 10-inch Dell Streak 10 Pro will make its official debut in China first, rather than the US or Europe. Dell VP and mobility manager John Thode told CNET that Android's immaturity and US carrier control were the main reasons for the staggered launch of the Streak 10 Pro, which will have a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display, 5-megapixel rear camera, and run NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor.

There's also a front-facing camera, SD card slot, HDMI port, USB and full 1080p support. The whole thing weighs 700g, and will be offered with an optional dock with HDMI, USB Host, ethernet and other business-friendly functionality.

"This is not an either-or for us. This is a choice about where is the best place to take our story and avoids a bunch of the inhibitors and barriers to success that we've seen in the U.S. market ... Things like confusion over what exactly Android is bringing to the table [and] an immature platform and roll out of devices that weren't quite ready yet. Even simple things like distribution channels that are controlled by the carriers with pricing models that are completely upside down to adoption." John Thode, vice president and manager of mobility, Dell

According to Thode, the Streak 10 Pro will hit the US market, but the date hasn't been confirmed beyond being sometime in 2012. The exec described the US as "trying to swim upstream" and that in China "the growth rates are much more interesting" and could well overtake the US in the next couple of years.

As for the QWERTY prototype, according to Tweakers the 7-inch prototype has been tossed about by Dell's labs for a couple of years now, and is likely to use Windows 8. The slate has a slide-out split QWERTY keyboard – with the space in-between potentially being used for a trackpad – and a place for a rear-facing camera. A commercial launch is still a possibility.