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If you’re on the lookout for a new portable computer and can’t decide between a slender touch-screen gadget like the iPad and a more traditional laptop design, then Dell might just have the solution to your dilemma.

At a trade show in the US yesterday, Dell unveiled its new Inspiron Duo netbook with a 10” screen and a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor — essentially a more powerful version of the Atom processors that have been used by almost all other netbooks so far.

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The difference, however, is that although the Inspiron Duo has a traditional clamshell design with the screen in one half of the hinged case and the keyboard in the other, the screen is also mounted on a central pivot that allows it to be flipped 180 degrees. The lid can then be closed to turn the Inspiron Duo into a touch-screen tablet computer, offering the best of both portable worlds — although it’s still a good deal chunkier than the iPad.

Other than it will run Windows 7, there’s no news on the rest of the Inspiron Duo’s specification, or its price, but Dell does reckon that it will be on sale by the end of this year — though that usually means we won’t see it in the UK until early next year.

Here’s a short video that shows the Dell Inspiron’s screen doing its stuff:

[via Engadget]