Either it's 2008 and the Windows-running Gigabyte M704 UMPC just got some better-looking competition, or Dell is about to do something pretty interesting in the Android slate space.

Behind closed doors, the company has been working on a 7-inch slider with a split keyboard that calls to mind what many of us UMPC old timers remember on the Pepper Pad 3 and Wibrain B1H. The keypads on the render above and real-life photo below don't hold any clues as to what operating system may be planned for the mysterious prototype (i.e., no Windows key or Android buttons), but a relatively thin bezel, rear and front cameras, and a curved back that could hold a kickstand—what's that horizontal line going through the Dell logo and the thicker-looking bottom edge of what could be the battery cover in the render?—are enough to whet our appetites for now.


Whether this device will ever be released or the space between the keys will ever be used for more than just the logo remains to be seen.