Dell Inspiron Duo Forum for discussion on the netbook/tablet hybrid by Dell, the Inspiron Duo.

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  (#11) Old
lmtgruen lmtgruen is offline
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Thumbs up Hoping for the best - 08-22-2011, 01:00 AM

Nice little machine. Running full versions of some MS Office products, often simultaneously w/ lots of cut and paste: OneNote, Word, PowerPoint.

Ditched McAfee and disabled DuoStage at startup / screen flip.

Not running Thinix. Net browsers = IE and Firefox.

Runs warm w/ my fairly heavy use of MS Office products and occasionally does not immediately wake from sleep. I think this is an overheating protection in the firmware. Not sure.

1) the touchscreen features;
2) full MS Office capabilities (bought separately);
3) great WiFi / surfing and video playback;
4) USB ports on machine and also SD card slot on dock;
5) the fact that I can use it as a picture frame slideshow in the dock!

Not liking:
1) short battery life;
2) occasional refusal to immediately return from sleep upon attempt to boot, although probably related to overheating, so real issue for me would be the overheating -- if this is it, I can just set it on my A/C vent going full-blast;
3) ugly fingerprints on screen, although easily rectifiable;
4) wish it had a DVD player, although we're working on getting vids on it.

My $0.02
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  (#12) Old
getjasonlee getjasonlee is offline
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Default 10-01-2011, 06:27 PM

I love it!

I got my Duo on 9/27/2011. I played around with it for a day or two and due to the advice on this board and the sluggishness of the Duo, I clean installed Win 7 Ultimate. Talk about a world of difference. Runs great.

I also installed Thinix Touch. Great product also.

So far, my only con about the Duo is the battery situation. Why, oh why would Dell make this thing without a replaceable battery?

Oh well. I got it, it's great, and that's all.

Studio 1555 - Mini-Mac 10v - Inspiron 17R - Inspiron Duo
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  (#13) Old
clockworkoranj clockworkoranj is offline
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Default 10-03-2011, 12:10 PM

If you think a clean install of win7 cleared up some sluggishness- you may want to try the Win8 dev preview. Makes a pretty big difference.
The non modular battery still hurts.
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  (#14) Old
getjasonlee getjasonlee is offline
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Default 10-12-2011, 11:15 PM

No doubt on the Win 8. I almost never use Win 7 anymore on my Duo. I hope the final release is at least as good as the preview. Microsoft, please don't mess it up!

Studio 1555 - Mini-Mac 10v - Inspiron 17R - Inspiron Duo
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  (#15) Old
jaydee711 jaydee711 is offline
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Default 11-03-2011, 07:51 PM

I've had my Duo for 4 days now, and I love it!

I am not using it as out of the box. I have a MSDN subscription and downloaded Win 7 Home Premium SP1 ISO. I switched the hard drive for a crucial m4 SSD, installed Win 7 HP and activated it with the serial that came with the Duo. I then installed the drivers and Quickset. I did not install Stage, but using Thinix instead.

Thinix is okay, but the first days I did missed the responsiveness and simple layout of the android tablet browser. Then I found Opera Mobile for Windows 7. Wow! It work, function and behave exactly like the android version. Full screen (even hides the taskbar), multitouch navigation, flicking up and down, instant responses. As I said, it works as smoothly as the opera mobile on my Asus Transformer. Only drawback is that opera mobile for win 7 has no flash support yet.

I've read about bad wireless performance. I may have been lucky getting the Atheros Wlan/Bluetooth combo and not the broadcom. It works flawlessly on the networks I've tried, and streams 720p and 1080p movies over my wireless network withouth any problems. I downloaded the Crystal HD drivers directly from broadcom, and did not use the one provided by dell.

Finding a good way to hold the duo while you watch movies or browsing does need some time getting used to. After a while I found a comfortable position to hold it without getting tired, and with a good angle. I actually don't mind that much that the guy next to me on the plane have a hard time seeing/reading what I am doing on it in portrait mode.

In regards to power, I have not installed any games yet. But I run several programs from the adobe creative suite without problems, though only when I need to make some quick changes/work on the road.

As I previously said, so far I am loving it! (and the original screen tilting to get it into tablet mode got some wows at the first meeting I brought it to)


For all of you that haven't tried it yet. Download Opera Mobile 11 for Windows 7 Tablet here:

It's like browsing on your android.

Last edited by jaydee711; 11-03-2011 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Link to Opera Mobile
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  (#16) Old
joesduo joesduo is offline
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Default got a great deal - 11-04-2011, 03:26 AM

Hi all, noob here... jumped on a great deal from dell....bought a inspiron 14r and duo, both for $699 shipped.Im really happy with both items ,but find myself using the duo more than the 14r.i have only one issue with the duo ,for instance when i watch youtube videos the sound breaks up ever other minute...i reinstalled drivers for sound via dell just curious if any one else has this problem...thanks
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  (#17) Old
friedje friedje is offline
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Default 11-04-2011, 05:15 PM

no problems with the sound here.
I second that the user experience of opera mobile 11 is great....
except NO FLASH......luckily the IE-10 in win 8 is just as smooth
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  (#18) Old
ibadmus ibadmus is offline
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Default 11-07-2011, 05:54 PM

i bought my dell mini duo in april 2011. The computer is now just shutting down on its own. After calling tech support several times and being instructed by them to put it back into factory mode, this didn't help my case. I was forced into giving the computer to the technical support people and was told that in 7-10 business days that my computer would be ready. This would be perfect because I was only going to be in the country (usa) for only 2 weeks more. Now I call back and they told me I have to wait another 2 months because the equipment is backordered. I have to leave the country without a computer that has a warranty I am paying for and dell representatives tell me there is nothing that I can do about it. I am being taken advantage of by dell, it is not fair and I truly feel cheated and bamboozled.
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  (#19) Old
mhiggs mhiggs is offline
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Default What Stylus do you use? - 06-30-2012, 09:16 AM

Originally Posted by jtay View Post
I have had my duo for about a month now and I like a lot, though it could be a little better. Here's my review:

HDD: 320 GB is fairly roomy for a netbook like this.

RAM: 2 GB isn't THAT bad but 3 or 4 GB is like standard these days. It gets most jobs, even games like Command & Conquer ( C&C kicks ass!), done, though.

OS: Window 7 Home Premium is not that common for minis as it is an excellent laptop/desktop OS and an OK tablet OS.

Touchscreen: I found the touch screen to be very accurate ( fingers or stylus ), perhaps even superior to that of the iPad.

Graphics Card: Yeah, an Intel GMA 3150 doesn't sound like much, but it packs more punch than you'd think. I stated earlier it could run some fairly modern games like C&C ( I'm reffering to Generals ) with ease, but you can play Half-Life 2 and Portal with relative ease as well, but nothing better than that ( I has a steam account too. ),

Overall build: A nice, silicon-ish, rubbery finish surrounds the screen for easy carrying and portability. The flip-hinge feels sturdy - more than you'd think.

Keyboard: This is a comfy and quiet ( I'm typing this review with someone asleep nearby and their still snoring), Chiclet island-style keyboard.

Now let's see what's great, good, bad, and ugly.

The Great:
-Two expensive entertainment devices in one shell for 1/4 the price.
-Ultralight weight yet very productive and powerful

The Good:
- A solid build for any casual user
- Windows 7 provides a user-friendly and customizable way to access files
- It's a Dell, not one of Apple's lab projects
- A considerably low price tag for those interested

The Bad:
- While Windows 7 is a pro for laptops, its a con for tablets because of its small, hard to hit icons and lack of much touch software,
-Dell's Stage UI is underdeveloped and is a couple of cool programs and explorer's main shortcut spot.
-Battery life is ok or below average, it depends on how you use the machine.

The Ugly:

The Verdict:So there you have it. The duo makes for a great laptop and has the POTENTIAL to be an iPad killer. I wasn't even looking for either a tablet or netbook yet I got this and am highly satisfied. I'd give a 4.75 out of 5. I will post further experiences with my duo if possible.
Hi Jtay

Thank you for the review, what Stylus do you use?


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  (#20) Old
Gargamel314 Gargamel314 is offline
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Default 11-16-2012, 07:29 AM

I bought my Duo a year ago (Nov 2011) and it has been invaluable to me.

I was impressed with Windows 7 but it was still a little sluggish. Buttons were so hard to press in tablet mode even when I made them bigger, and it was just cumbersome to use in tablet mode in general.

I installed Windows 8 Pro, and it completely transformed this underpowered, sluggish Windows 7 laptop into an extremely responsive Windows 8 tablet with the bonus of a keyboard. $40 upgrade through 12/31/12, and it was totally worth every penny. Programs start instantaneously, video plays seamlessly, and the only thing I really have any problems with is battery life because I use this thing so much now.

Windows 8 upgrade took several hours to install, but it was the easiest upgrade I've ever performed (and I've performed every one since Windows 95). I can't imagine going back to 7 after using this now. You gotta try it!

The weight of this machine is still a little heavy, but that's mostly because it's built like a tank.

Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant says that the multitouch screen lacks features of Windows 8, but I really can't tell. I guess because the multitouch screen only senses 2 points. Also, it doesn't support "Secure Boot" which is supposed to avert rootkits, but it still has all the functionality of Windows 7. There aren't a lot of apps on the Windows Store yet but I'd imagine that will change soon enough. The accelerometer drivers had to be updated to support screen rotation, but you can download them from the manufacturer's site. Dell also has not posted Windows 8 drivers yet, but I would imagine they will soon.

Internet Explorer works beautifully. I haven't used it in many years because it was so behind the times and slow, but Chrome and Firefox don't even compete with it now. You can search you-tube vids just to see how well the Duo handles on Windows 8. Keep in mind the release preview version doesn't work as well as the real thing when you're watching the videos. It's nice to finally have a REAL tablet experience with this thing now since the iPad and Surface have gotten so popular. I actually feel like this machine is better because it is a full-functioning computer with a keyboard.
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