Dell Teases Inspiron Duo, Tablet/Netbook Hybrid Flips to Reveal a Keyboard

Dell introduced the Inspiron Duo, a slate device that at first glance looks a heck of a lot like every other 10-inch tablet out there. Like Dell tiny 5-inch tablet, the Inspiron Duo is bright red. The audience here at IDF didn’t seem all that thrilled about yet another slate device, until the Dell rep mentioned that most tablets aren’t very good when it comes to productivity. Then he pushed back on the display, some magic happened and the thing turned into a netbook.

The Inspiron Duo has a dual-core Intel Atom processor and runs on Windows 7 Home Premium.

Dell’s not revealing specifications, too many details or pricing info today, but it will be available later this year, presumably around the holiday shopping season. It doesn’t appear to support inking, but it does support multi-touch. For long time Tablet PC fans, this device may bring back memories of the Compaq TC1000 series, which was slate first, but had a keyboard just in case.

The Dell Inspiron Duo could be a serious netbook killer. Yes the term ‘netbook killer’ is overused these days, but why would you buy a clamshell when you could a device that looks like it’ll be a more usable on the go.

The device looks very thin, which begs the question- where’s the battery and will it deliver anything close to what people are beginning to expect on a consumer slate?  I’m also hoping that Dell customizes the WIndows experience and offers a touch-centric UI when the netbook/slate is in touch mode.