Dell Inspiron Duo Software Windows 7

When Dell aboriginal demoed the Inspiron Duo and its angular alternating awning on date at IDF in September, our mouths about hit the floor. It looked like a apparent old netbook until its 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen did a bewitched backflip and bankrupt bottomward over its keyboard to morph into a tablet. It was like annihilation we'd anytime apparent before. And we absolutely ample it would be the array of arrangement that would break bound up in Dell's labs, but back its specs were appear -- a dual-core Atom N550 processor, 2GB of RAM, and Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator -- it became axiomatic that the netbook / book amalgam was the absolute deal. Running Windows 7 Home Premium and Dell's new Date interface, the $550 netvertible has the abeyant to auspiciously alternate both the netbook and book world. It additionally has a absolute attempt at actuality the absolute accessory for those clashing amid affairs a netbook and a tablet.

The Inspiron Duo hides its secret power extremely well, which means that when you glance at it from afar you're likely to mistake it for an average clamshell netbook. But, of course, it's much more than that, and a closer look at its lid starts to reveal its hidden talent. The cover is made of two materials: the border is adorned in a soft rubberized plastic, while the back of that rotating display is covered in a glossy coating with a subtle pattern. As the pictures reveal, we were sent the ruby red version, but it will actually only be available in a grayish black at first -- the red and blue colors will follow some time in January. The whole rotating process is better seen in the video above, but when you open the lid and push the top of its glossy display, it vertically rotates within that aforementioned rubberized bezel. Oddly, it's not a bi-directional hinge, so it will only rotate backwards.



In clamshell mode, Dell got most things right with the chiclet keyboard and touchpad. Similar in styling to the keyboard on the Dell Inspiron M101z, the panel is void of any flex and the matte keys are a real pleasure to type on. We wrote the brunt of this review on the system, and found ourselves typing at an extremely decent clip for a netbook. However, our one complaint about the keyboard is that the plastic surrounding the keys is very glossy and attracts fingerprints. Still, let it be known: the keyboard on this system is now one of our favorites on a 10-inch netbook.

The horizontal viewing angles aren't terrible, but they aren't good by any means. We were able to share the display with a friend when it was in tablet mode, but the vertical angles are so incredibly bad that it affects seeing the screen at almost all angles. Now, because the screen vertically rotates, the poor vertical viewing angles are extremely noticeable, and while you're not going to be looking at anything on the screen at an 90-degree angle, even at about 35 degrees colors start to fade and distort. That means when you hold the device in tablet mode at an angle, you're lucky if you can even make out shapes of what's on screen. The result is having to hold this thing pretty close to upright at all times. You can see a lot of this in the hands-on video above, but it's truly disappointing and unacceptable. We imagine Dell had to use a substandard display here to keep the price down, but there's really no excuse for this sort of poor LCD choice on a system that quite literally revolves around its screen.

MusicStage: As you'd expect, this one is your portal for everything music. It pulls in album art / tracks from your locally stored music, but also has tabs for Napster and Radiotime. The Radiotime is actually very visually appealing -- radio stations are overlaid on a globe and you can twist and turn the globe as you'd like.

PhotoStage: Similar to the music app, PhotoStage pulls in pictures that are stored on the hard drive, but also lets you access images from your Facebook and Flickr accounts right from the interface. The ability to select which friends' albums get pulled in is a nice touch. Tapping the play button transforms the tablet into a digital photo frame as images can be set to cycle on different time intervals.

VideoStage: The main interface on this one pulls in thumbnails of your locally stored video, but also recent rentals from CinemaNow. The player is basically a skinned version of Windows Media Player, but there's an option to select TrueTheater quality, which seems to just brighten up the images. While a 1080p clip played smoothly within the app, we preferred WMP for speed reasons, which we will be getting to momentarily.

Books: Have you read our review of Blio for PC? If you're wondering what Dell's e-book implementation looks like that's all you have to do. The Books shortcut launches that very reading program, which currently has about 50,000 paid titles from Baker & Taylor -- there are over a million titles if you include free books. You'll want to download Kindle for PC if you're looking for a broader selection.

Games, Paint and Internet: These three don't link to Dell's own programs. The games shortcut just brings up the Windows games folder, which consists of Hearts and FreeCell. The paint app launches CyberLink's YouPaint application and the Internet icon just launches Internet Explorer 8. We don't want to turn this into an IE8 rant, but we don't like the browser on any system, nevertheless a tablet. Firefox is always the first program to be downloaded on a Windows 7 tablet. It really would have been nice to see Dell do some work on top of Microsoft's browser, and that's ultimately how we feel about these last three apps -- it just feels like Dell gave up when it came to customizing 'em for tablet use.

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