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11/16/2010
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Dell Hybrid Tablet Coming Next Week

The 10-inch Inspiron Duo tablet-netbook, positioned as an iPad competitor, runs a dual-core Atom N550 processor and offers work and entertainment features.

Dell Inspiron Duo
(click image for larger view)
Dell Inspiron Duo

Trying to differentiate itself in the hot tablet market, Dell is expected next week to launch the Inspiron Duo, a hybrid device that acts as both a tablet and converts into a clamshell netbook.

The device resembles a netbook. But when the case is opened and the screen is flipped backward, it becomes a high-end netbook with a full QWERTY keyboard, running Windows 7 and a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, according to reports. Other features, including RAM and storage, are not yet known.

The 10-inch Inspiron Duo is being targeted as a competitor to the Apple iPad. When the device first appeared at an Intel developer conference in September, a marketing executive said that while tablets are good for entertainment purposes, they aren't ideal productivity tools. The executive, Dave Zavelson, said the Inspiron Duo would be ideal for both work and entertainment, and then showed off the hidden keyboard, according to CNET.

Hybrid laptop tablets are not new. Others on the market include Hewlett-Packard’s EliteBook 2740, which acts primarily as a 12-inch laptop running Windows 7 and retails starting at $1,599. Earlier this year, Lenovo announced a 3.8-pound IdeaPad U1 Hybrid, an 11.6-inch $999 laptop that has a retractable multitouch screen with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and runs Windows 7. The Inspiron Duo will also reportedly come with a docking station to provide power and data synchronization.

The Inspiron Duo may be officially announced on Nov. 23, though Dell did not respond to a request for confirmation. Pricing was not available. A YouTube video of the Inspiron Duo said it will be available on Dell.com by the end of the year.

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