DigiTimes is reporting that Dell has placed orders with a Chinese manufacturer for 12.1-inch touchscreen panels.

Dell previously confirmed that they were working on a convertible tablet PC due for launch by the end of 2007.

In the previous video response to rumours Jeff Clarke, a senior vice president of the business product group, said at the time that he wanted to "end speculation" about the product.

The product was confirmed as a Latitude tablet PC for the education, healthcare and corporate market place.

Clarke described it as an "exciting product" and said it was to be "one of the lightest weight" convertible tablets in the marketplace.

This news that orders are being placed for parts obviously suggests that it won't be long until it's brought to market.