Dell's Inspiron duo: Success hinges on finding a market

Dell's Inspiron duo, a hybrid tablet-netbook, is now available---at least at Microsoft's store---but the larger question is whether this contraption will find a market.

Dell's Inspiron duo, a hybrid tablet-netbook, is now available---at least at Microsoft's store---but the larger question is whether this contraption will find a market.

The PC maker showed off this hybrid at Intel's developer powwow a few months ago. The reaction was a collective huh?

Gallery: Dell's does backflips over new Inspiron duo tablet

Engadget notes that the base model will start at $549 so the price is right for the most part. The risk is that this device, which weighs in at 4.5 pound, doesn't play laptop or tablet well. I must admit I'm at least curious since I'm torn between a laptop and tablet---it would be all tablet if I didn't have to write a lot.

The Inspiron duo is your run of the mill netbook, which will be too small for my hands anyway. Flip the screen and you have a tablet. From there, Dell takes over the user interface.

In a blog, Microsoft did its own take and noted the screen is unique. Microsoft gushes: "Hands down, the duo is one of the best convertible devices on the market."

Also: Five things the Inspiron Duo tells me about Dell's strategy (or lack of one)

OK, fine. But few bought convertibles the first time around. There may be a market for touch and type devices, but this device makes me curious. It doesn't make me drool.

I'll leave it to you. Is there a market for this type of convertible? Or is it a niche product that's doomed?

Here's Engadget's video:

And the initial launch:

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