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Dell Inspiron Duo tablet-netbook coming soon, reveals official video

An official video anticipates the imminent arrival of the Dell Inspiron Duo, the tablet that transforms into a netbook.

The first time we saw the Dell Inspiron Duo, we were blown away by the way it used a cool hinge to convert itself from a shiny tablet to a slimline netbook.

In a new video preview of the device, Dell has announced that the Duo is on its way. The clip demonstrates the Duo firstly as a tablet, sitting in a JBL speaker dock. It flips, and then the magic happens. The tablet is able to split open, revealing a keyboard underneath. The screen swivels within the frame, and you've got a completely different device on your hands. Watch the YouTube vid below to see the transformation in action.

At this stage, the Inspiron Duo looks very, very cool. But we do have our reservations. First of all, it's running on the Windows 7 OS, which wasn't really designed for touchscreen tablets. We recently saw Windows 7 demoed on the HP Slate, and weren't entirely impressed with how it looked and performed.

It's also worth remembering that tablet-laptop hybrids have been done before, and made little impact. The Dell Inspiron Duo may convert in a unique way, but if the touchscreen isn't easy to use, it will be consigned to the dustbin with every other short-lived show-stopper .

If it works well, Dell will be onto a sure-fire winner, combining the fun of an iPad-type tablet with the utility of a lightweight netbook. The video says it's coming soon, so hopefully we'll see it before Christmas.

Dell is probably best known for its laptops and PCs, but in the past year devices like the Dell Streak and Dell Venue Pro have shown it has its eyes on a different prize. We'll be there to see how it measures up.

Image credit: Engadget