updated 07:30 am EDT, Tue March 17, 2009
Dell Adamo 13
Dell this morning unveiled its heavily promoted Adamo notebook. Consciously designed as a competitor to the MacBook Air, the ultraportable carries an etched, designer aluminum chassis that measures just 0.65 inches thick at virtually every point but which has a unique hinge design that lets it fit genuine expansion, such as Ethernet, DisplayPort and three USB connectors that include a combo eSATA port. The thinness also belies a relatively long battery life that Dell estimates at about 5 hours, though the system is significantly heavier than the Air at 4 pounds.
The luxury bent of the design also comes through a 13.4-inch, 1366x768 LED-backlit display, a backlit keyboard and a solid-state 128GB drive as the only internal storage. Dell goes so far as to give buyers an external, color-matched DVD burner, a similarly-hued Tumi designer carrying case, and a choice special Adamo service.
In contrast to its Apple counterpart, though, Dell has chosen to give the launch systems slower but more power-efficient ULV Core 2 Duo processors and accordingly gives them higher price points. A base model costs $1,999 with a 1.2GHz processor, 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Moving to a $2,699 version increases the speed to 1.4GHz, doubles memory to 4GB and adds a 3G modem.
Each system has the choice of a $389 Jet-Setter bundle that adds the DVD burner, a Tumi sleeve, Office Home and a year of premium service; a $339 Entrepreneur bundle replaces the optical drive and Tumi case with a 250GB external drive. Dell is taking orders today and expects systems to arrive in earnest on March 26th.