Written by: Judah Quintana
Laptops are a significant part of everyday life now. With the recent rise of touchscreen it would seem undeniable that someone out there is trying to perfect the first touchscreen laptop. The Dell Inspiron Duo Convertible Tablet with 10.1″ Multi-touch Screen is a laptop that starts out just like any other, with the exception that the screen can be flipped into a touchscreen computer.
In an era that’s filled with copycat tablets, and laptops, it is a breath of fresh air to see some originality in design, with a familiar enough concept. However, to say that the Dell Inspiron is completely a breath of fresh air would be overstating it a bit. There are a few glitches here and there in the software, but the design itself does begin to nurture some form of curiosity, but over time flipping your screen around would get old quick. So the question is, is it worth the $399.99?
In the end it is still just a basic netbook. It has an Intel Atom N570 Dual Core Processor, and 2 gigs of ram. Though, when you add on the touchscreen interface, it is a bit sluggish. It does have a Broadcom HD chip, which does accelerate your video playback, so you can play some decent HD video on it. The screen is 10.1” and can play 1366 x 768 HD video, which is above average.
Ultimately this is a media oriented laptop. When you flip the screen over to the custom touchscreen interface, it brings you just a poke away from music, photos, video, a web browser. . .etc. Which is probably why there is an optional JBL speaker hub, which you can use just like any other docking device which allows you to share video or music.
• You can use the touchscreen and keyboard at the same time
• Plays above average HD video
• Easy to use touchscreen interface
• Broadcom HD chip allows good video playback
• Webcam included (1.3 megapixels)
• Sluggish touchscreen interface
• No keyboard backlight
• Short battery life (3hrs 57 min)
• Dock is an extra $100
• Lots of useless Dell software installed including a lot of “lite” versions that ask you to upgrade to the paid full version.
So in the end everything sort of evens out. The benefits of good HD video are countered by an noticeablely sluggish touchscreen interface. The swift video playback, is weighed down by a short battery life, and the media oriented interface can only reach its full potential if you’re willing to put out an extra $100 for the JBL dock. You win some, you lose some. You might just want to stick this one out, until Dell’s able to iron out some of the wrinkles.