Just when you thought the netbook was no longer relevant in this connected world, out comes the Inspiron duo from Dell. Well, technically it’s a tablet, and if you want to get specific it’s a “convertible tablet.” But it definitely has characteristics of both a netbook and a tablet. Couple this with the Streak—the smartphone that has characteristics of a tablet—and what you have is a little family of hybrid connected devices coming out of Dell these days.
As for the Inspiron duo, priced at around $549, it’s that one with the fancy flip-hinge design where you can have a touchscreen one minute and a keyboard the next. For those not familiar, jump on YouTube and watch the latest commercial in Microsoft’s ‘To the Cloud’ campaign where the four entrepreneurs are trying to finalize their business plan so they can all quit their day jobs. You get a brief glimpse at the Inspiron duo when the hotel clerk uses it to, “green light the project.”
If anything, it certainly grabs your attention when you see it do its thing. But what keeps your attention are things like the fact it’s running the Intel AtomTM N550 dual core processor. To me, building the Inspiron duo with such parts means this device certainly means business. Or pleasure. Or both. I guess that’s the thing; while Dell seems to be targeting both business and consumer uses for the device, it’s hard to guess which group will take to the device more right off the bat.
When you put it in “tablet mode” with the screen facing outward, you have a 10-inch screen for gaming, reading, video, and a whole host of other fun things. Flip the screen inward and you have a keyboard that speaks to your productivity side. Then, if you chose to purchase the optional dock (for about $100 more) Dell suggests you can the device as an alarm clock or digital photo frame.
Here’s another little tidbit that struck me as being interesting: The device is running Windows OS. I can’t help but notice Windows jumping more and more into the connected space these days—its Windows phone commercials are everywhere! Through the holiday season, Dell says the only physical retail location it will be available is at Microsoft stores.
Perhaps Dell is on to something with its hybrid devices. Call it a tablet, call it a smartphone, or call it a netbook; just call it connected. More cool things are sure to follow.

1 comment so far

  1. What is, or will be, THE “connected” operating system? Big Google says that Android and Chrome will merge. That’s where I’m putting my bets.
    Samsung introduced an Android tablet at my local Verizon and Best Buy outlets, $600, but no phone in it. With two cameras, front and back, a natural for dashboard mount and CB like communication for Big Brother type company dispatchers.
    Android has mobile Google maps and only the un-informed will be buying GPSs and Internet capable devices totaling in this price range.
    I am holding out for a dual operating system tablet with a netbook and an LG Ally.