Dell starts taking orders for the Inspiron Duo

After last week’s coverage, few secrets about Dell’s Inspiron Duo remain. Still, we’d be remiss not to point out that a product page for the convertible netbook has appeared on Dell’s website, and that the company has started taking orders. The order configurator quotes a "preliminary ship date" of December 15, so if you order soon, you might just be able to get one of these puppies in time for Christmas.

Despite what we heard last week, Dell only appears to offer a single configuration: priced at $549.99, it packs an Atom N550 dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 320GB 7,200-RPM hard drive, and a 29 Wh battery. Oh, and since we didn’t know last time, the machine weighs in at 3.39 lbs and has a thickness of 1.03" to 1.13".

I don’t want to be a buzzkill, but $550 sounds awfully pricey for a half-netbook, half-slate with probably worse battery life than either type of device. To put things in perspective, 29 Wh is about half the battery capacity Asus’ Eee PC 1015PN needed to stay up for 7.3 hours in our web surfing test (with the discrete GPU powered off). My guess is the Inspiron Duo would be lucky to breach the four-hour mark. You know what they say—jack of all trades, master of none…

Comments closed
    • A_Pickle
    • 9 years ago

    I thought this thing was brilliant.

    Then Dell gave it Intel GMA 3150 graphics. I can barely hold in my excitement.

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 years ago

      I really like the 3150 GMA graphics too. If you look at the spec sheet it has some truly outstanding features like:

      – T&L for DirectX 6 games
      – Hardware MPEG2 decoding all of those DVD’s
      – /[

    • Skrying
    • 9 years ago

    1. That battery is pathetic. That alone would keep me from buying this device and recommending it to others.
    2. Windows 7 is not fit for finger input. I have little confidence in Dell building a suite of applications that fix this.

    That’s about it. I think it looks alright, the construction is fine for me given the price (based on appearance and having handled a few Dell netbooks), the input array is enough and I don’t think Atom is that big of a hinderance thanks to the Broadcom chip. I would have liked to seen 4GB of memory but that’s fine.

    However… those are two massive, massive issues. This is supposed to a versatile and mobile device. Clearly that battery isn’t meant for such a reality. Even further software is the absolute most important aspect of these types of devices. It’s great that Windows is “open” in the sense that you can do with it what you want. But that means absolutely nothing about what will be available to overcome Windows 7 short comings with touch based input. Not to mention all the other applications that are not designed for it. Just the thought of checking email on this device with your fingers makes me annoyed.

    These type of devices need to be top down solutions. They need to be designed in every aspect for their intended purpose. This is a weird hybrid that doesn’t cut it in a number of areas. The experience is likely to get really frustrating really fast.

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    Alas, Alack! sorry, been playin too much of worms reloaded! wtf is the slate? this gimmick wont solve any of my problems!

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      This just made my brain explode. You and amirol good buddies?

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      Ever play “Nightcrawlers”?

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      ahhhh now I understand. Worms. reloaded. the new one. gotcha. At first I thought you were insane.

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 years ago

    This is to tablet PC’s what a netbook is to a notebook.
    2007 called. They want their “innovation” back.

    In other news, this thing needs to dual-boot two OS’es that both have access to the same data partition:
    1) W7 for the “notebook” mode
    2) Windows Phone for the “tablet PC” mode

    Don’t try and make me use W7 with a touch screen. It’s a cobbled, half-assed job that’s barely an improvement over XP tablet edition.

    • trackerben
    • 9 years ago

    This transformer thingy does serve to point to the next generation of tablet case designs. No reason why an iPad or a Tab can’t be made to operate in this manner, ‘s why.

    My beef with iPad is that it’s still too heavy for what its form and UI is superb at – light computing and media access in transient and nontraditional situations. It really needs to be at most 0.5 lbs (about 1/7 the mass of the Dell Duo). Could use a camera, USB and memory slots, and an exposed common filesystem, too.

    For more industrial duties we’ve got real notebooks.

    • TEAMSWITCHER
    • 9 years ago

    I feel sorry for anyone who buys this plastic POS. When the net-book gained popularity everyone was holding up to Apple to say “Look at this, this is innovative!”

    At the same time Apple was developing the iPad, a device that serves the same purpose but with much higher quality – better screen, battery life, form factor – A true ground breaking innovation.

    Devices such as this, both expensive and bizarre, are never going to be serious competition for the iPad.

      • cegras
      • 9 years ago

      What’s wrong with this thing? For the price it seems about right, and probably packs faster hardware than the ipad. And to top it off it’s a real computer, so you aren’t locked into the microtransaction apple ecosystem.

        • tay
        • 9 years ago

        Its not about the hardware bro….

          • cegras
          • 9 years ago

          Er, what is it about then? Besides having faster hardware (and a Broadcom decoder), it also is a completely open system that will let me put any sort of of media content onto it with the accompany software to view it.

      • Grigory
      • 9 years ago

      You forgot to mention that the iPad is magical.

      (I shouldn’t feed the trolls, tho.)

      • MrBojangles
      • 9 years ago

      “At the same time Apple was developing the iPad, a device that serves the same purpose but with much higher quality – better screen, battery life, form factor-”

      -no usb connectivity, locked down hard drive size that cannot be user upgraded,A set list of “features” and connectivity that cannot be changed or upgraded,restricted to only using apple approved apps,no flash support greatly limiting browsing potential for most,2-3X the price of a netbook that does everything it can and more,can only add files via itunes(a horrible, horrible interface to use),cannot upgrade anything about the device whatsoever after buying… unless of course you buy another one at full price,takes 3 steps back on “inivation” and hardware progression and two steps forward on locking down and stagnating hardware performance and expandability, again cost 2-3X as much as a netbook, it’s apple……..ect…….ect…..ect

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        dudes. Don’t feed the trolls.

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      Does your handle indicate that you’re bisexual?

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        LOLOLOLOLOL

          • TaBoVilla
          • 9 years ago

          totally! =)

        • TEAMSWITCHER
        • 9 years ago

        Are you trolling these forums looking for bisexuals?

          • 5150
          • 9 years ago

          Just pointing out the obvious.

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          I… might… be….

    • amirol
    • 9 years ago

    Oh ,If you find this,with an APU taste sooner or later.Alittle watty byt so shiney.Thanks to the Designer this is what I need but the Price…know,all intell based slates are skeyward in the first impresion…

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      I think amd and intel are both poor choice for slates. ARM is just better. and now that they’re scaling up crazy quickly, and they’re out of order… AMD and Intel are late to the game…

        • amirol
        • 9 years ago

        Sweaty dear, is it true to say ARM product CPU in term of common usage?
        I heard ARM s cpus are not alike Intel AMD s? Am I wrong?
        Thanks

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    no matter how short battery life is on this one, no matter how inadequate the windows or the custom dell user touch interface is, how lackuster that atom performs… at $500 I’d rather get this than an iPAD, for sure!

      • poulpy
      • 9 years ago

      Ah man, I feel for you! It almost makes sense, it failed really really short.
      Next time maybe?

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      DAMN YOU EUROPE TIME ZONES!!!! well done sir.

      • tay
      • 9 years ago

      Nice sarcasm.

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