Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Dell Adamo -- New York Times Gadgetwise

“Thinner”: The Sequel - Gadgetwise Blog -
Call your product “the world’s thinnest,” and the line begins to form. In theory.

Dell’s just-announced “premium” computer notebook, the Adamo, starts at $2,000 and has the thin cachet. It is the first high-profile competition for the MacBook Air from Apple.

The Adamo, the subject of much speculation last year and a rather funky, if somewhat surreal, Dell demonstration at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, is 0.65 inches at its thickest point, with its guts wedged into a single piece of aluminum (did we mention MacBook?) and weighs about four pounds, about a pound more than the Air.

Adamo, which will ship later in March, is a brand as well as a piece, Dell says, and today’s entry is billed as a flagship model, which means lower-priced laptops are most likely in the pipeline. You’ll find all the usual component suspects here, including an Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 processor running at 1.2GHz (fairly pedestrian performance for two large, I think), 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 128-gigabyte solid-state drive, in keeping with the current fashion for thin notebooks. Also, two USB 2.0 ports, one combo USB/eSATA port, a DisplayPort output and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi.

Want an optical drive? There’s none on board. It’s an option, as is a Tumi carry-bag.

“Great design needs to be timeless and evoke emotion in people,” Alex Gruzen, senior vice president of Dell’s consumer products, said in a statement. ”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.”

Well, the Adamo does tell time. But it’s facing economic headwinds — the MacBook Air has struggled to find an audience — at a time when thrifty might trump fashionable, certainly in the laptop arena. And the Mac is less ($1,799) with a faster chip. Still, if you want a Rolex, you want a Rolex.

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