The Dell Inspiron Duo is expected to begin shipping next week. The Duo is one of the most intriguing 10 inch mini-laptops to launch this year, thanks to a unique design that lets you convert the computer from netbook to tablet mode by flipping the screen around and closing the lid.

But the convertible tablet functionality is just one of the things that makes the Duo different. It also has a rubberized case, an optional docking station that lets you use the computer with external speakers, and Dell Stage media software that launches automatically when you convert from laptop to tablet mode.

The Dell Stage software includes music, photo, video, books, games, paint, and internet apps. Given that Windows 7’s default apps don’t tend to run as well as they could on low cost tablets (most likely due to hardware constraints), it’s nice to see that Dell has put some effort into improving the experience.

That said, the folks at Laptop Magazine took a pre-release version of the Dell Inspiron Duo for a spin, and the media software looks kind of sluggish at the moment. It’s worth keeping in mind that this is pre-release software and hardware though, and things may work better on the final version.

You can check out Laptop’s video overview after the break. There are also more photos, screenshots, and much more information at the Laptop Magazine blog.

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10 replies on “In-depth look at the Dell Inspiron Duo”

  1. your reviews suck. You review the software not the hardware. What about viewing angles? The deciding factor that determines tabled prices?

  2. It’s a shame Dell didn’t go right with a SSD. Apples MacBook Air really changed the netbook market by adding the SSD. PC manufacturers need to take note and stop wasting time w/ 5400 and 7200 rpm drives if the netbook is to survive.

    1. Two misconceptions… First the MBA is not really part of the netbook market and netbooks actually started with SSD’s and are not new to it!

      They just switched most netbooks to HDD’s because they are more practical.

      Problem is cost and capacity, there is no way for them to give SSD’s with anywhere near normal HDD capacities and still keep the pricing at their present low levels.

      The MBA is in reality a premium ULV ultra light notebook and gets confused with netbooks only because it’s nearly as small and similar light weight. Everything else though is clearly in the ULV notebook category, with significantly greater performance and much higher pricing than you would get with a netbook.

      While the Dell Duo is a Netvertible and that means Dell has to balance features with pricing. Since a SSD can easily double or even triple the price of a system with anywhere near normal HDD capacity. Unless of course potential buyers are willing to make due with much less capacity for the same price…

      1. You don’t need to have the same capacity SSD. I don’t need a lot of storage capacity in a netbook. I would rather have a fast 32GB or 64GB SSD option than a 7200RPM 320GB HDD.

        1. Actually, a lot of people do need more capacity than a SSD can provide for the price. Basically, there are many reasons why hard drives still dominate the market and why they switched netbooks off SSD’s and switched them to HDD’s.

          Besides for the price of a 32GB SSD you can get a HDD with over 500GB and at 7200RPM the performance is more than adequate for most people.

          I prefer SSD performance myself as well but it’s hardly practical for everyone.

  3. what i wanna kno is when u flip it into tablet mode, it automatically launches those media apps, rite? so can u have it in tablet mode and still run, yknow, normal windows 7 stuff like internet? and 1stkorean, why is dell a bad thing? theyre like HP but waay cheaper

    1. Yes, when in tablet mode you can click an “x” on the top right hand corner to use normal windows 7. 🙂

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