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The Dell Inspiron Duo functions both as a standard Intel Atom powered netbook and as a Windows 7 tablet. That’s because the lid has been specially designed so that the screen rests on a hinge inside the upper portion of the laptop. All you have to do is push the screen back 180 degrees and close the lid to turn the laptop into a tablet.
The Duo garnered quite a bit of attention when it was first introduced, but as far as I can tell, enthusiasm waned a bit when the computer actually went on sale for $549. While there aren’t many convertible tablets for that price, it’s still a lot of money for a computer that’s really no larger or more powerful than an average netbook — especially one that weighs 3.4 pounds and gets just 2.5 hours of battery life.
The good news is that now that the Dell Inspiron Duo has been available for a few months, we’re starting to see it sold at a discounted price. The Microsoft Store is offering the Duo for just $399 right now. That’s still a bit high by netbook standards, but it’s not that high, especially considering the Duo’s specs.
The computer features a 10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel capacitive multitouch display, a 1.5 GHz Intel Atom N550 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 320GB, 7200 RPM hard drive. It runs Windows 7 Home Premium, has a 4 cell battery, a 1MP camera, 2 USB 2.0 ports, and 802.11b/g/n WiFi.
I wonder at the decision processes within Dell when they design their products. How did they talk themselves into believing this thing would succeed with such battery life? It’s obvious what happened: once they were done with the whole swivel mechanism, the machine was heavy. So they needed to cut weight — hey I know! let’s give it a lighter battery to keep the weight down … sad.
You also have to remember it is a 10″ screen stuck in an 11.6″ body which is another major flaw.
Thanks, I forgot that part. “Hey, let’s shrink the screen too, make sure the bezel is huge. No, huger. Little more. Perfect.”
If this thing had a 6-cell and got 6 or more hours battery life, they wouldn’t be able to keep them in stock, it’d be a no-brainer to pick it over any other 11.x” Atom-powered netbook. It’s as if every laptop under 12″ is legally required to include some near-deal-breaking handicap.
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