By Rieva Lesonsky
In some ways, choosing a computer is similar to buying a car. When automobiles first burst onto the scene, it was rumored that Henry Ford said drivers could buy their Model T Ford “in any color, so long as it’s black.” Of course, over the years, the options grew.

The same is true with computers. Not all that long ago, you could purchase any type of computer you wanted, so long as it was a desktop. But as Dell’s latest lineup shows, computers haven’t taken nearly as long as cars to provide an array of options every business owner can use—and love.

The new touch interface in Windows 8 gives us even more choices. Here’s a quick look at the various form factors in Dell’s new lineup to help you determine which computer is best suited to handle the needs of your business.

Most programmers, engineers and secretaries arrive at the office, sit down at their desks, tap away at their keyboards and click their mice until the day ends. If your job sounds a lot like this, you’ll want to consider a desktop, such as Dell’s OptiPlex 9010 All-in-One touch, which offers greater power, substantially more storage, a large 23-inch screen and a very business-friendly price–along with new touchscreen capabilities. The large screen comes in particularly handy when looking at sizable schematics or spreadsheets. The all-in-one body of this desktop means the computer and screen form a single unit, taking up less space than traditional towers. Plus, the multi-touch display on this desktop takes advantage of the new Windows 8 user interface for more efficient navigation and greater productivity.

Convertible Ultrabooks
The innovative star of the PC world is the new convertible Ultrabook. Dell’s XPS 12 Convertible Touch Ultrabook marries the best of the laptop and tablet worlds with its innovative, flexible design which converts into both. A big complaint for bloggers, mobile researchers or sales professionals when using a tablet is that they miss the inputting speed of a keyboard. (I’ve actually written a blog on the touchscreen of my tablet, and believe me, it was painstakingly slow.) The XPS has a keyboard—along with a 12-inch bonded Corning Gorilla Glass screen and rugged carbon fiber exterior ready to withstand the wear and tear of business travel. With its flip hinge design, the laptop quickly converts into a tablet so you or your sales team can easily show off glossy spec sheets or beautiful photos of your latest products without hoisting a laptop mid-air.

For the truly mobile worker who spends more time reading emails, browsing the Web and sharing materials in a face-to-face environment than inputting words or numbers, a tablet is the best tool for the job. Dell’s XPS 10 tablet is perfect for sales professionals or mobile vendors who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for storage and other bells and whistles they’ll never use. The 10-inch HD display, two cameras and enhanced audio features make videoconferencing on the road a pleasure. When you and the tablet eventually find your way to a desk, an optional keyboard dock is there for truly seamless computing.

This is a paid post in conjunction with IDG and Dell.