Dell Inspiron Duo finally official, can be yours the first week of December for $549
byJoanna Stern||November 18th 2010 at 11:00amNovember 18th 2010 11:00 am
That's right, just as we had heard, Dell is finally putting an end to the Inspiron Duo's mysterious marketing videos and officially spinning its screen for the world to see! You won't be able to hit the order button on the totally unique 10.1-inch tablet / netbook hybrid today, but according to Dell, it should go up for pre-order sometime soon and start shipping out the first week of December. As for pricing, the base model will start at $549 (£449), and will pack a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, 2GB of RAM, a Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator, 250GB of storage, and Windows 7 Home Premium. Naturally, you'll be able to configure it with a larger hard drive, and adding that JBL speaker dock will bring the price up to $649 (no word on what it will cost on its own). We're guessing those are the details you've been waiting on, but undoubtedly you've got to be dying to know what we think of that crazy-looking laptop. Well, we've got you covered there too -- hit the break for our impressions and a brief hands-on video. %Gallery-107571%
As you may have guessed, the Inspiron Duo looks like your regular netbook from afar. It's got a shiny lid -- it'll be available in that "Marlin" blue color as well as in "foggy night" black and "fastback" red -- and its plastic edges house the typical ports, including two USB ports and one audio jack. Under the lid it's got a nice feeling chiclet keyboard that looks quite similar to the one on the Dell Inspiron M101z and a decently sized touchpad with two dedicated mouse buttons. Yep, it sounds like your run-of-the-mill netbook, that is until you take a look at its 10.1-inch, 1366x768-resolution, capacitive touchscreen and push it backwards. Spin the screen, lock it into place, push the lid down, and voila, you've got a tablet!
The touchscreen itself was quite responsive to light taps, but more interesting is that it automatically launches Dell's Duo Stage UI layer once in slate mode. The interface, which packs a lot of the same social networking features as the one on the Streak, is finger-friendly and provides access to Dell's MusicStage, VideoStage, PhotoStage, and BookStage applications. It's not going to make navigating Windows 7 easier per se, but it does provide an alternative area for media consumption activities. Stay tuned for our full review of the Inspiron Duo, but in the meantime hit the play button below to see this thing flip out!