ROUND ROCK, Tex. (

TheStreet

) --

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

is rumored to be planning its entry into the

tablet

market, unveiling an Android-based device at next month's Consumer Electronics Show.

The Web site,

Pocket-lint

, reports that Dell is preparing to launch a tablet with a 5-inch screen at the Las Vegas event. Citing multiple "black ops sources," Pocket-lint says that the device will run

Google's

(GOOG) - Get Report

Android

operating system and will compete with

Archos'

Internet tablet and the soon-to-be-launched JooJoo from

Fusion Garage

.

Tablets are big news at the moment, with

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

readying its own

eagerly anticipated

version. Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner recently said that an Apple 10-inch touchscreen e-book could arrive as early as March, citing information from suppliers.

Apple's tablet, known as the iPad, is geared as a

competitor

to

Amazon's

(AMZN) - Get Report

popular

Kindle

according to Reiner, who says that Apple will produce one million units a month.

If Dell unveils a tablet in January, it would get a head start over Apple, which is rumored to be eyeing a February launch for the iPad.

Dell has not yet responded to

TheStreet's

request for comment, although the No. 3 computer maker needs a PC boost. The tech giant recently posted weak

third-quarter

numbers and faces stiff competition from

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

,

Acer

and Apple.

The Texas firm is no stranger to Android and recently launched a

smartphone

, the Mini 3, which is based on Google's operating system.

Google, for its part, is on a mission to extend

beyond

its traditional search business into areas such as

video sharing

,

digital music

, and

PC operating systems

.

Dell shares closed up 11 cents, or 0.84%, on Thursday.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York