Dell Inspiron Duo: Interesting Design, Slow Boot?

Microsoft’s Windows Experience Blog’s Ben Rudolph got his hands on the Dell Inspiron Duo convertible touchscreen netbook and ran it through some timing tests.

The Inspiron Duo features a dual-core Atom N550 processor, 2GB RAM and 320GB hard drive. Ben reported that it took 36.5 seconds to boot, 17.5 seconds to shutdown (with no apps open), 9 seconds to sleep, and 1.5 seconds to wake. The two most important measurements to me are the cold boot time and time to wake. My MacBook Air takes about a second to wake. So, I’ll call that a tie. The Air’s Solid State Drive (SSD) beats the Duo handily though. The Air takes about 15 seconds to boot to a useable screen. I booted my SSD equipped Asus Eee PC T91MT netbook which is also a covertible netbook with a touchscreen. It has a pokey Atom Z520 processor. It took a miserable 1 minute 15 seconds to boot. And, Windows was still doing a lot of start up tasks in the background that essentially leaves the T91MT unusable for another few minutes.

The Inspiron Duo’s relatively slow boot time (compared to the Air) is a bit worrisome as Windows PCs have a tendency to slow down even more with time and the addition of various software that wants to start-up following the boot process. On the other hand, the Inspiron Duo’s $550 price is reasonably attractive for a full-feature netbook.