Dell has announced the official launch of the Dell Duo, a device that tries to straddle the gap between a tablet and a netbook.

How does it manage to do this? Well as the hands-on photos show, the key to its dual personality is the fairly responsive 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen that has the ability to swivel, so you can face it inwards to use with the keyboard when you want to use the device as a netbook and face it out when you want to use it as a tablet.

The computer will run Windows 7 Home Premium (touch enabled) and feature a dedicated software hub with big touch friendly buttons to allow you to select applications like photos, music, web, books and paint.

Rather than feature a custom UI that hides Windows 7 completely (like the Exo PC), Dell’s approach is that the software, called Dell Stage, will act as a launcher instead.

Inside and you’ll get an Intel Atom N550 processor, 2GB of RAM, a Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator, 250GB of storage, a webcam and 2 USB sockets, although no SD card reader.

That SD card reader will be found on the optional speaker dock from JBL, that lets you treat your netbook as a rather large alarm clock or photo frame when it’s not in use.

The Dell Inspiron Duo is expected out in the next couple of weeks. 

Update: "The Inspiron Duo, loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium and a dual-core processor with 250GB hard drive starts at £449 including VAT and delivery, £499 with optional dock, and is available starting December 2 on The Inspiron duo with a 320GB hard drive will also be available at select retailers at £479 including VAT in time for the holidays."