Dell showed its forthcoming Inspiron Duo Tablet at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF 2010) but it would be nice if it called it the Dell Flip, or at least the Dell Transformer. It’s a convertible -- it works either as a netbook PC or as an entertainment tablet -- but takes a different approach to swivelling the screen, as show in the video below.
The Dell Duo Tablet runs Microsoft Windows 7 on a dual-core Atom N550, and naturally includes a QWERTY keyboard as well as a 10-inch capacitive touch screen. However, specs seem to be in short supply.
The machine attracted some interest. As our very own Rupert Goodwins, who is at IDF, reported here:
IDF keynote presentations normally end with the press invited up to photograph the demo kit, but ZDNet UK has never seen a scrum as insanely dangerous as this. Possessed by one impulse — to photograph the Dell Inspiron Duo flippy-twisty netbook-tablet — the pack surged forwards with such ferocity that they temporarily managed to invade the back of the stage, an area normally guarded by Intel's most massively muscled employees.
Of course, it’s not the first convertible with a flipping screen. I remember writing about one a decade ago, from the Comdex computer trade show. The Vadem Clio (which also appeared under other names) used the same idea, with a different implementation.
Vadem’s machine was one of the many netbooks that appeared at the end of the 1990s, when Microsoft was trying to establish a category of lightweight instant-on “web companions” that didn’t run Windows or use Intel x86 processors. Instead, it ran Windows CE on a MIPS-type Risc processor, the NEC VR4111. Today it might use an ARM-based chip and run Google Android or whatever, but the concept was exactly the same as the one Microsoft was pushing in 1998-99.