Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Technology giant Dell announced the release of the Inspiron Duo Convertible tablet, sporting a flip design lets users switch from touch to type, listen to music, use as an alarm clock or view photos with the Inspiron duo Audio Station and read books, watch movies and play games on the 10-inch high-definition (HD) display. The optional $99 Inspiron duo Audio Station dock with 7 in 1 card reader and JBL speakers, two additional USB 2.0 ports and an Ethernet adapter, which charges battery while displaying photos or digital alarm clock.

The Flash-capable tablet retails for $549.99 and sports an Intel dual-core Atom processor N550, Windows 7 Home Premium with 2 GB of RAM, HD accelerator for enhanced HD playback performance, a 1.3 MP Webcam and microphone and up to 320GB SATA hard drive. The device also offers integrated Wi-Fi and optional connectivity choices such as a Bluetooth and a 4G mobile broadband option.

dell inspiron duo tabletThe Dell duo Stage user interface is designed to let users access content as well as a collection of creative applications. Touching the MusicStage tile reveals an individual’s personal music collection, while the VideoStage organizes personal videos and downloaded TV shows and movies and gives people the ability to purchase or rent content directly from partners like CinemaNow in the United States. The PhotoStage includes integrated social networking capabilities through Facebook and Flickr so users can upload their latest photos or view pictures of their friends, and BookStage provides a central location for storing and purchasing e-books (available in the U.S. and U.K.).

During a conference call to investors earlier in November, Steve Felice, president of Dell’s consumer and SMB group, told analysts that the company is also determined to build its tablet business. Dell sees a lot of potential in tablets and is "really driven to bring this capability into the mainstream of the business," Felice said. While over the last year the company did a lot of learning, Dell is now ready to be "more bullish" in its actions, he said.

While Dell and other tablet makers rush to market with products in the wake of Apple’s successful iPad launch earlier this year, a recent report from Strategy Analytics finds they’ve got a long way to go to wrestle market share back from Apple, which currently controls 96 percent of the tablet market. "The tablet wars are up and running," Neil Mawston, a Strategy Analytics director, said in a statement. "Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, an extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet segment into a multi-billion-dollar global business. Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, WebOS, BlackBerry and other platforms are trailing in Apple’s wake and they already have much ground to make up."