Dell's Sleek Adamo Arrives Today

Dell's Adamo ultraportable is finally here.

Ever since Apple first introduced its MacBook Air, consumers have been lusting after ultra-thin, ultra-light laptops that still pack a solid performance punch. While many manufacturers have come to challenge the Air, from Lenovo's X300 series to Voodoo's Envy 133, Apple's offering has maintained its dominance. As of today, that dominance will be challenged yet again.

Dell's Adamo will go on sale later today, with an expected shipping date of March 26. The Adamo (Adamo means "to fall in love with" in Latin) carries many of the high end features one would expect with an ultraportable of this caliber. The 13.4-inch, 720p display is made from "edge-to-edge" mineral glass, and the entire laptop chassis is machined from one piece of aluminum. For storage, SSD is the only option, with 128 GB being standard.

While good looks and speedy storage are all well and good, the rest of the insides are a bit of a letdown. For $1,999, the Adamo carries a 1.2 GHz Core 2 Duo U9300 processor with 2 GB of DDR3 memory. If you're willing to p[ay an additional $700, you'll get a processor bump up to 1.6 GHz, 4 GB of RAM, and a built-in 3G wireless card. Unfortunately, both models come with Intel's X4500, which leaves something to be desired on the graphics front. Sure, no one was expecting a GTX 260M, but there are several viable alternatives to the X4500. As for other amenities, the Adamo comes with a DisplayPort, with cables to connect to DVI, HDMI and VGA. North America buyers can also expect an exclusive Adamo Premium Service and the upper echelons of Dell's technical support.

In comparison, the $1,799 MacBook Air ships with a 1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo as well as Nvidia's highly regarded 9400M graphics, giving it a solid advantage in both general processing and graphics muscle at a lower price point.

"Great design needs to be timeless and evoke emotion in people", said Alex Gruzen, Senior VP of Dell's consumer products division. "While a premium computing experience was assumed for Adamo, the intent was for people to see, touch and explore Adamo and be rewarded by the select materials and craftsmanship you would expect in a fine watch." Judging from the sentiments of Gruzer and the Adamo's insides, Dell undoubtedly put style before performance with this ultraportable.

One area where the Adamo beats the MacBook Air is thickness. While the Air has a maximum thickness of .75-inches, the Adamo maxes out at .65-inches. However, it should be noted that the Air comes up to .75-inches from .16-inches, whereas the Adamo is .65-inches throughout its body. The Adamo also comes in about one pound heavier than its veteran rival.

While the Adamo is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the ultraportable market, it's lackluster hardware may be an Achilles heel.

  • scook9
    well, its a dell, so i wouldnt buy it anyway.

    does it have a cd drive built in?
    is it going to run as hot as the macbook air?
    what sort of battery (and battery life) can we expect?

    this article leaves alot to be desired in a comparison between the macbook air and the dell adamo
  • Hatecrime69
    wow, not often you see someone come and release a similar product to apple, but more expensive and doesn't have as good specs..heck, at least apple offers the option of a traditional hard drive if you want (well, the option of an ssd actually, but my point is you aren't forced with ssd if your unsure of it)
  • IronRyan21
    Wow so the dell machine actually cost more than a mac air? Hmm . . . .
  • Tindytim
    More thin bull?

    Are people really this stupid? Why would anyone want a laptop that is more expensive, easier to break, and underperforming.

    You're giving up huge fuctionality for fractions of an inch. If that's not retarded I don't know what is.
  • JimmiG
    this article leaves alot to be desired in a comparison between the macbook air and the dell adamo

    Well, this is just a news item. I expect all the major hardware and consumer electronics sites will have thorough reviews soon.

    A bit disappointing on the hardware side - the low-end model should have come with a 1.6 GHz chip and the high-end one with 1.8 or 2 GHz and both models should have shipped with 4GB of RAM. I like that both ship with a big SSD though - I hope you get decent random write performance at that price... I don't think the Intel graphics is going to be a problem though, as gamers hardly make up the target audience. If it doesn't play back HD video smoothly, that might be a problem however.

    Computers like the Adamo, Air etc. are really niche products. They are more of a fashion statement than usable computers. They try to combine form and function but any trade offs seem to be made in favor of form rather than function - ie instead of making it slightly thicker to make room for better cooling, they go with a slower CPU etc.
    They're like a gucci bag or similar - most find them pointless because you can use any $20 bag to carry stuff, but some will pay through their nose for a certain brand or design.
  • crom
    Dell made a Mac... good for them.
  • barrychuck
    After the Nvidia articles about failing IGP chipsets, can we really say the 9400m would be a better choice in an ultraportable with limited space? I think Dell has spoken to this with the lower CPU speed and the graphics choice. A working laptop is better than a malfunctioning one. I'm not saying the Air has issues, just that you can see how Dell engineers looked at the situation and chose reliability over raw speed.
  • Niva
    Actually it was previous revs of Nvidia's graphics failing, I haven't read anything about mass failings of the 9400m, this is a very new chip.
  • cjl
    TindytimMore thin bull?Are people really this stupid? Why would anyone want a laptop that is more expensive, easier to break, and underperforming.You're giving up huge fuctionality for fractions of an inch. If that's not retarded I don't know what is.
    More expensive and underperforming? Yes, but I can't call this easier to break. It's machined from a chunk of aircraft grade aluminum alloy (I would guess that means 6061 T6 or 7075 T6 - really strong stuff). It should be quite well built, and able to take quite a beating. I still don't think it's worth it though - it should really have better specs.
  • hillarymakesmecry
    Two thousand dollars? I think I'll take a laptop that performs equally well, is slightly larger, and costs $350 at a local brick and mortar store. How much is being "sleek" really worth?