Friday, January 21, 2011

IDF 2010: Dell Inspiron Duo combines tablet and laptop, runs Windows 7 Home Premium

Dell finally seems to be breaking free — at least a little bit — from the beige design box it’s drawn itself in over the years. After debuting the Streak(The Dell Streak is the first Android tablet ), it’s now showing off a hybrid tablet and laptop system that it’s calling the Inspiron Duo and was unveiled today at the Intel Developer Forum.

The 10-inch screens serves as both the display for the typical notebook setup as well as a detachable tablet (via a swiveling hinge). It contains Intel’s dual-core Atom N550 processor and runs Windows 7 Home Premium instead of Android. Considering Dell envisions the Inspiron Duo serving two masters — entertainment via the tablet and productivity via the physical keyboard — Windows makes sense, though it remains to be seen if performance will be an issue for the device.

Dell is promising the Inspiron Duo will be available later this year, though no pricing has been revealed. It’s clearly gunning for one of the iPad’s biggest weaknesses — the difficulties using the Apple tablet as a productivity tool without an included physical keyboard — by providing the best of both worlds. But will that make it a more attractive alternative than the Android tablets that are on the way?