Dell's XPS Duo 12 Might Have The Best Laptop Of The Hybrid Combinations

Over the next few weeks, you're going to hear a lot of noise from manufacturers about how one hybrid product or another gives you all of the benefits of a laptop and a tablet with no compromises on design. The Dell XPS Duo 12 is one of the few that actually seems to back that up.

The Duo is a convertible tablet/laptop that switches from laptop to tablet mode differently to most other hybrids currently being pushed onto the market. It's a fully functional touchscreen laptop in its default mode, but when you push the display through its frame, it swivels all the way around and latches itself in place with magnets.

From the front, you can see a bit of light seeping through the frame, which makes the design feel cheap at first. But the mechanism is sturdier than it seems, and Dell knows it's got to make the thing last if anyone's going to buy it. Exactly how sturdy it is remains to be seen, but for now, it's proving to be pretty solid.

The screen itself is a 1080p Corning Gorilla Glass panel with excellent colour representation.

The XPS Duo 12, like the XPS 10, shares its design language with Dell's lovely XPS 13 and 14 ultrabooks. Where it's different -- aside from the swivelling screen -- is the carbon fibre on the front of the lid; it's aluminium on the XPS 13 and 14. Otherwise, the general look and feel are the same. That's a good thing, since those XPS ultrabooks are really nice machines with great keyboards.

In the short amount of time we spent playing with it and putting it through its paces, the XPS Duo 12 stands up in the usability department. The trackpad is very good and miles ahead of those on previous XPS machines. Dell has been making great machines with mediocre trackpads for a while, but it seems to have overcome that hurdle with this hybrid machine.

We don't have full specs and pricing just yet, but if you're at all interested in a hybrid Windows 8 machine, this one is worth getting excited about, along with the XPS 10.



    Two problems, first it 'Dell' Second unless the screen has a separate battery and doesn't share power like the transformer, that swivel connection will no doubt cause problems with wear and tear down the road. Oh and did I mention it's a 'Dell"..!

      Two problems, first it ‘Dell’ ...

      ... Oh and did I mention it’s a ‘Dell”..!

      Your point is? I've owned Dells, Acers, HPs and IBMs within the last 10 years (and even worked for one of them for 5 years)... Some haven't of my experiences with each band been that great, some have been spectacular. There isn't any rule to it - all brands can and have released dud, poorly designed models, and all will sell some laptops that fail within the warranty period.

        How'd that "haven"t slip in there mid sentence? I need coffee...

        Once bitten, twice shy! Not only was my experience bad, they were actually rude about it! So sorry dude, not hap'nin. Plus that swivel thing is dodgy no matter how much it cost.

          I had 3 fail on display in my store once, one where the nVidia graphics card was clearly failing, the other two had a hard drive failure and one just failed to turn on. I had one customer repair take over a month, it was out of Dell's warranty period at the time, but the failure had happened before it expired, after a month of replacing the hard drive and then receiving the wrong software CD, further delaying it. I'm pretty sure we ended up just giving the guy his money back.

          I'm often amazed by Dell (and impressed that they're offering Ubuntu), but it's sort of hard to include them with all these failures at one period.

        I think that Noddy may be referring to Dell's poor track record with tablet devices.

      I get the feeling you've had bad Dell experiences. I have too, to be fair, but not enough to discount the entire company. HP on the other hand... *shakes fist*

      It looks very clever, but yeah... that frame thing... hmm.

        Actually, Dell for my IT Dept. has been the worst. Crap ADP cover which they change the rules every month, and bad manufacturing processes. (BTW, stay clear of Latitude E5420 and E430, there is a LCD cable issue there) HP have been solid machines, and always process the claims quickly and quietly.

          I have a Dell latitude E5420 beats MacBook pro fantastic machine same with my Dell vostro 260 desktop.

      I have an XPS 15 and UL2711.. They are amazing! Compared to some of the crap I've owned in the past, Dell make high Quality products, especially when you buy into the XPS tier.

      Dell make some great machines. Only an idiot would judge them by their cheap consumer PCs. Who would be brave enough to do this with their PC - ?

        You really have a way with words dude, you should be a politician... No really..

    It's an nice looking unit, but I agree - going off DELL's record, and the fact that people (Teens/Children) nowadays assume that any technology should/can withstand a nuclear explosion, that poor hinge/swivel mechanism won't last 5 minutes in a house with a few kids.

    Looks like a nice machine. After having to use an iPad for field work which I spend half my time doing I can tell you I would not be using this as a tablet. One device for all sounds nice in theory, but unless it a tablet the size and weight of the Nexus 7 that I can just connect to a monitor when I get home and use the full OS then for field work it is pointless.

    It's all depends on what model you buy actually, you really can't compare $500 notebook and $1500 notebook. no matter what brand it is, when you spend $500... you will get what you paid for.

    II am on my third Dell. Two Desktops and a Laptop. I have had very good luck with very few problems. I have a lot more problems with Windows than with almost any computer.
    I like Dell.

    Ding Dong errr..... Dell

    Should be good can't wait!!!!!

    Dell is the best!!!!!

    Looks Awesome

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