Ever since Apple graced the masses with the iPad, the demand for netbooks has more or less evaporated, as companies were forced to either reduce prices further (and lose out on profits) or attempt to reinvent what was once seen as the “poor man’s” laptop.
It looks like one company has chosen to do the latter, which a few Microsoft employees were able to demo for the rest of the world (note: video is from Dell, not Microsoft).
The core of the duoâ€™s uniqueness is the screen itself; rather than have a convertible screen that is hinged at a single point on the chassis and rotates laterally, the duoâ€™s lid is fixed and the screen rotates inside the bezel[.] [...]
I found the duo comfortable to work on â€“ the tight 1366 x 768 resolution, even on the 10â€ viewable screen area, was easy to read, and 12â€ body offers up a keyboard that was big enough to type on without my fingers cramping. Sound was impressively good for something this diminutive and I enjoyed singing along to the newÂ Zac Brown Band album on Zune.Â My office mates, however, did not.
In touch mode, the duo is a capable entertainment companion.Â When you flip it to reveal the touchscreen, a finger friendly interface called â€œDell Stageâ€ pops up, and gives you one-touch access to your photos, movies, theÂ Blio reader, and games.Â Â Itâ€™s an unobtrusive overlay to Windows 7â€™s standard interface thatâ€™s there when you want it to be there, and hidden when you donâ€™t. (Windows Team Blog)
The Inspiron Duo starts at $549 and may actually prove to be a serious contender against the iPad, although that depends upon how well Microsoft Windows 7 works with the netbook tablet laptop (or whatever one wants to call it).
Dell’s visionary netbook also boasts plenty of space by offering a 250 GB hard drive as well as 2 GB of RAM.
Truth be told however I’m not so sure if that last fact matters as the netbook is sporting an Atom processor which honestly are not the best processors for computers (smartphones are a different matter however).
While this netbook could prove to be a holiday blockbuster for Dell, it may also be the company’s ticket to compete against not only Apple, but HP as well (the latter who is creating a tablet for Windows 7 as well as webOS).