Feeds
65%
Dell Inspiron Duo

Dell Inspiron Duo

Flip your lid

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Review Devices that try to reconcile the essentially irreconcilable often come a cropper. As the Good Book says, “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Trying to combine the best of the netbook with the best of the tablet is what Dell’s new Inspiron Duo is all about, but does it work as either, let alone both?

Dell Inspiron Duo

Back in the fold: Dell's Inspiron Duo

First off a word about the lid assembly and screen mount which is the Duo’s party piece. The lid itself opens and shuts just like any other netbook but the screen can pivot through 180 degrees within the lid frame, so it can face inwards to work as a regular laptop or outwards to work as a tablet. Small magnets keep it in place in either position. The design looks fragile but it’s not actually, so durability shouldn’t be an issue.

And a nice screen it is too. It’s only the netbook norm 10.1in corner-to-corner but the resolution is a healthy 1366 x 768. It’s also glossy and capacitive to the benefit of how it looks and how it works when touched. However, it has a less than robust tolerance to viewing angles, especially about the horizontal plane.

Take a shufti around the exterior of the Dell Duo and you will find two USB ports and 3.5mm audio in/out jacks all hidden behind panels on the left... and, well, actually, that’s it. No SD card reader, no more USB ports, no HDMI socket. Dell seems to have decided we don’t actually need the usual netbook array of ports. I beg to differ, however.

If you do want two extra USB ports, an Ethernet socket and a card reader, then you will have to cough up £100 for the JBL-endorsed speaker dock, the Inspiron Duo Audio Station. I’m sure the dock is a great bit of kit and a worthwhile investment if you plan on watching a lot of video on our Duo. Even so, removing expected connections from a small laptop to help flog a desktop accessories is still daft.

Dell Inspiron Duo

A turn up for the netbooks

The Duo’s chiclet keyboard is solid affair with well spaced flat topped keys that have a clean and positive action. The layout looks a tad odd due to the rounded corners of each key but I’ve no complaints about how it works, and the same goes for the multi-touch trackpad and two-piece click bar.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: Working in Stages

More from The Register

next story
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
ICO warns UK broadcasters over filming using drones
Must comply with data protection rules, m'kay?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.