The Adamo by Dell has arrived. In what Dell has hyped as the world's thinnest laptop, the Adamo kicks off a new "Adamo by Dell" brand, intended for style-minded people and to disrupt "perceptions of what personal computing is today," the company said in a statement.
Unsaid was that it seeks to unseat the Apple MacBook Air as the pinnacle of design, sophistication-and thinness.
The Adamo is milled from a single piece of aluminum and features a scalloped backlit keyboard and a glass high-definition edge-to-edge display, measuring 13.4 inches by 16.9 inches.
Connectivity is available via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and optional integrated mobile broadband. Users can choose between Onyx or Pearl, as well as a 250GB or 500GB external hard drive; an external DVD+/-RW or Blu-ray disk drive; and, in the United States, 24/7 access to Dell technicians with Adamo Premium Service.
Adamo offers 5-plus hours of battery life, and pricing begins at $1,999 and rises to $2,699, with the inclusion of mobile broadband and a 1.4GHz Intel Core Duo processor over a 1.2GHz processor and 4GB of 800MHz DDR3 dual-channel memory.
Adamo weighs 4 pounds, is 0.65 inches thick and measures 13.03 by 9.5 inches. By comparison, the Apple MacBook Air, with a 13.3-inch diagonal display, weighs 3 pounds and measures .76 by 8.94 by 12.8 inches. It was introduced in January of 2008.
Similarly, the Lenovo ThinkPad x301, released in August 2008, has a 13.3-inch display, weighs 3.9 pounds with its adapter and measures 0.7 by 9.1 by 12.5 inches.
Statements about Adamo from Dell nod to the ideas of creating a design that's timeless and evokes emotion-and that Adamo will be a flagship product, drawing buyers to the brand.
Derived from Latin, Adamo means "to fall in love"-a very ancient name for a device Dell is betting its future on.
The question Dell faces now is whether customers are willing to fall in love with a pricey laptop at a time when the economy continues at a sluggish pace and when both businesses and consumers are spending less on hardware such as laptops and desktops.
At the same time, a new generation of mininotebooks and "netbooks" has shown that vendors such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo can create small, lightweight laptops that cost between $350 and $500.
In the weeks leading up to the Adamo launch, Dell announced its latest quarterly results and announced that not only will it begin to cut costs-Dell began cutting workers earlier this month-but it will also focus more on the netbook and low-cost laptop market.
It remains unclear whether Adamo represents just a fraction of Dell's plan for the future or whether the company is serious in its efforts to overhaul its PC design to compete against stylish offerings from other high-end executive laptop makers, such as Apple and Lenovo.
*This story reflects changes made to more correctly compare the Dell Adamo with the Apple MacBook Air.