The Dell Inspiron Duo is an innovative netbook / tablet PC hybrid with a screen that revolves so it can be used as either a traditional laptop or a convertible tablet.

We got to spend some hands-on time with the Dell Inspiron Duo, and here is our first-look review.

Unlike the Dell Adamo, which beats the Apple MacBook Air in the slimline stakes, the Dell Inspiron Duo is a hefty 1.54kg machine. The overall dimensions are surprisingly large. In order to cram in the dual surround needed for the 10.1in screen and the separate frame in which the screen spins through 180 degrees. Dell has had to make the Inspiron Duo 24mm-thick. It’s also 328mm wide and 235mm deep, with not much of that expanse usable.

The 'Flip' screen of the convertible Dell Inspiron Duo makes it stand out from both the tablet and laptop crowd. However, we found it rather heavy and it's far chunkier than the super-slim Dell Adamo model. Nor does it have the desirable design credentials that had us drooling over the Adamo.

Running an Intel Atom N550, the Dell Inspiron Duo is really a netbook in a heavier-than-normal chassis. However, it has a battery life of a mere four hours. Graphics are integrated on to the chip, so while the 1366x768 resolution display is touted as HD, playback will be anything but.

The Dell Inspiron Duo runs Windows 7 32bit, has 2GB of RAM, 802.11 b, g and n Wi-Fi and a 320GB hard drive. A 1.3Mp webcam, Bluetooth, 2W onboard speakers and a pair of USB ports but no HDMI complete the hardware list. Prices start at £479 from Tesco and John Lewis.

See also: Group test: what's the best netbook?

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Dell Inspiron Duo: Specs

  • Windows 7 32bit
  • 2GB RAM
  • 802.11 b, g and n Wi-Fi
  • 320GB hard drive
  • 1.3Mp webcam, Bluetooth
  • 2W onboard speakers
  • 2x USB ports
  • Windows 7 32bit
  • 2GB RAM
  • 802.11 b, g and n Wi-Fi
  • 320GB hard drive
  • 1.3Mp webcam, Bluetooth
  • 2W onboard speakers
  • 2x USB ports

OUR VERDICT

It's too early to make a true judgment on the Dell Inspiron Duo, but early impressions are that despite the marketing hype this product is more heavy netbook than svelte tablet.

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