updated 03:00 pm EDT, Tue September 14, 2010
Dell previews Inspiron Duo netbook, tablet hybrid
Dell took to the stage at the Intel Developer Forum today with the surprise unveiling of a netbook and tablet hybrid it said will be a real production model. The Inspiron Duo when closed acts as a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet but can spin the display within the frame to face inwards and work as a traditional netbook. The dual design would not only be less bulky than a traditional convertible tablet but would open the door to tablet-sized docks, such as one to add speakers for movies and music at home.
While mum on most of the details, Dell painted the iPad as a target by claiming the Inspiron Duo would be the fastest 10-inch tablet available with a dual-core Atom processor. It will run Windows 7 Home Premium as it needs the more expensive OS to support multi-touch, but there are no signs so far that it plans to optimize the tablet for fingers beyond what Microsoft has already done.
The PC builder is edging away from its habit of unveiling systems several months before they ship and hopes to have the Inspiron Duo shipping before the end of the year.
Until the Streak, Dell was one of the more reluctant participants in tablets and only had its conventional Latitude XT series to its credit. It's known to be venturing further into Android tablets with the Looking Glass project, but the Inspiron Duo is its first confirmed large tablet for the home and likely its first inexpensive model. [via SlashGear]