Just ordered a Dell Inspiron Duo Convertible


I’ve been thinking about ordering a new laptop / tablet for awhile now.  I wanted something to keep me ‘organized’.  I had the following qualifications:

  • Portable – small and light
  • Convertible into a tablet or a netbook  So I can enter information (like a posting) and / or use it as a reader in tablet mode.
  • Multitouch – for use when in tablet mode.  Plus I think ‘multi-touch’ and surface is going to be the future.
  • Wireless N Wifi – Fast wireless networking (why else would I have Wireless N in my house?)
  • Bluetooth – for communicating with devices, headsets, etc…
  • Reasonably priced

I’ve been using a older convertible netbook – a Toshiba Portege M200.  at 15” its not a bad laptop and tablet it required the use of a stylish while in tablet mode and I was always afraid of loosing the small, light, $30 pen.  Plus it did not have the ‘flick’ and ‘drag’ which is becoming so common.  Not to mention the fact that one of the USB ports physically ‘broke’ leaving me with a single USB port – usually used for the mouse because typing with the touchpad would find the cursor literally bouncing over the screen as my hands get to close to the touchpad and ‘tap’ it.  Reading a reference book in tablet mode was somewhat awkward. The unit is heavy and to scroll up and down you need to use the stylish.  Once I thought I had dropped the stylish on the bus never to be seen again.

Before the Toshiba I had (and still have) a Fujitsu tablet – even older.  But that had not keyboard which proved frustrating. I am hoping that a tablet I can ‘type’ on via touch with a keyboard would solve that problem.  I wonder of I can get OSX to run on it….

What did I get?  A Dell Inspiron Duo Convertible Tablet. 

Dell Inspiron Mini Duo
Key Features
  • Picture perfect. Experience superb visuals on the 10.1-inch HD multitouch display.
  • Converts to your needs. The unique flip-hinge design enables seamless transition between touch and type modes.
  • Your life at your fingertips. The intuitive touch screen and duo Stage software provide quick and easy access to your music, movies and photos.
  • Support for Adobe Flash. View your multimedia the way it was designed to be seen with the fully Flash-capable Inspiron duo.
  • See me, hear me. Stay connected to friends and family with the 1.3 MP Webcam5 and microphone.
  • 10.1-inch high-definition display with 1366 x 768-pixel resolution for native HD 720p display and featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio that brings all your entertainment to life in stunning bright colors.
  • 1.5 GHz Intel Atom dual-core N550 processor (1 MB L2 cache, 667 MHz FSB) combines performance and energy efficiency to provide new levels of support for applications like games, as well as Adobe Flash technology for improved access to multimedia sites such as YouTube and Hulu.
  • 320 GB SATA hard drive (5400 RPM)
  • 2 GB installed DDR3 RAM (800 MHz)
  • Integrated Intel NM10 Express graphics with Microsoft DirectX 9.0 support.
  • Wireless-N Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) for ultra-fast connectivity to home and business networks (plus backwards compatibility with older wireless routers).
  • Bluetooth connectivityenables you to communicate and synchronize wirelessly with Bluetooth-enabled peripherals such as printers and cell phones.
  • Comfortable keyboard that’s 92 percent the size of a standard laptop keyboard with curved keys for a comfortable fit. Also includes a new palm rest that helps resist fingerprints.
  • Stereo speaker with 2 watts of power
  • 1.3-megapixel webcam with digital array microphone

    Dell Inspiron Mini DuoDell Inspiron Mini Duo

    …with just a flip of the screen.

  • Windows 7 Home Premium makes it easy to create a home network and share all of your favorite photos, videos, and music. And you can watch shows for free when and where you want with Internet TV on Windows Media Center. Get the best entertainment experience with Windows 7 Home Premium.

Its portable but not too small.  Convertible from tablet to netbook.  Has a responsive multi-touch. 

Also I have a USB based Card reader and an USB based DVD drive already (which show how much loosing the second USB port on the toshiba really hurt.)

I had thought about an Android-based tablet.  But the ones I’ve seen were too limited in capacity – yes I think that 32Gb is just too small and had a only-touch interface.  I am confortable typing on a keyboard – I still might make the transisition to a ‘screen keyboard’ but not yet.

And it has Windows 7 Home Premium so will fit nicely with my home group at home.  Windows 7 is also supposed to be very ‘multi-touch’ friendly enabling all the ‘swipe’ and ‘flicks’ you could want.

Some may say “well it doesn’t have a lot of punch” to which I say it doesn’t have to have – If I want a lot of punch I have some pretty good ‘punchers’ at home.  In other words: Its not a desktop!  Its not a Laptop! It’s a netbook / tablet!

You wouldn’t want to play any high-graphics games on the little screen anyway.  Or do much hardcode development.

Wired had a scathing review of it – which mostly consisted of ‘It isn’t an Ipad!’.

So I ordered it at Costco for $499 (plus tax).  Costco also has an excellent 90 day return guarantee.

Will follow up this posting after it arrives.  With any luck posting from the Duo.