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Dell's MacBook Air rival, Adamo, made official

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.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. jondesu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2008



    Looks like the MacBook Air isn't overpriced after all. Faster, thinner, lighter, and cheaper than this wannabe. What's with the wasted space on the hinge? Surely it doesn't need to be that massive just to put a few ports in, so I have to imagine that they could've made thing thing smaller.

    Of course, all of the haters are going to comment on the extra ports (two extra USB, who cares?), and the ability to get a 3g modem, but really, this thing isn't even a contender.

  1. Rolando_jose

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    It's a Mac killer!

    ...unless it has Windows Vista on it....

  1. BelugaShark

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007


    Rear ports

    I'm not a big fan of having the ports on the back, especially on notebooks. The macbook's side ports are much more convenient.

    4 lbs!!! gosh... I thought the Air was kinda heavy at 3 lbs

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Mixed bag...

    ...for this hump backed hybrid that seems to fall smack between the air

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Not ugly.

    Where are the VGA and Parallel ports? It IS a DOSBox™, after all!

    Surprisingly, for Dell, it's not too bad looking.

    The humpback thing is a tad inelegant, but I suppose a reasonable compromise solution for including a full compliment of ports, especially built-in Ethernet. Why, there's even room for FireWire!

    The THIN bezel around the screen is a nice touch. The Air's display looks clunky with that wiiiide bezel.

    I still prefer the rear ports of the Titanium PowerBook, hidden behind a door. I don't understand why Apple puts the ports on the LEFT side of the MacBook, when most people are right-handed.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Heh

    Looks like the MacBook Air isn't overpriced after all.

    Except this uses newer, low-powered chips. So you can't compare it on that (hey, you all would say "Sure, it's cheaper, but the Mac uses a better chip!" if it were the other way around).

    Yeah, and who the h*** would want more than one USB port, or an eSATA port on their computer. And 3G ability? Please, you could just plug in a dongle into the Air's USB slot. As long as you don't need that USB slot for anything else.

    And I wonder if the USB burner requires a special USB port that supplies more power than it should, thus making it unusable on any other computer.

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    ugh that music is awful

    What's with that giant external hard drive?

    "You can't compare it on that."
    Really? Dell gets credit for putting a slower processor in it for a higher price? Is there such a thing as a Dell fanboy?

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Fat butt?

    They screwed the finished look on this thing. Overpriced, and no built in webcam for conferencing?

  1. gudin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2000



    Testudo, you never cease to amaze me with your apparent belief that you are so clever with your never ending negativity about anything mac.

    This thing is attractive enough I suppose, but a battery that is supposedly so long lasting but lasts only 5 hrs as opposed to the Air's 4.5, despite using a much slower chip. So yeah, the chip is newer, and better in that it uses less power, but if the only advantage to that is that it gives you an alleged 5 hrs vs. 4.5?

    I'd take a faster chip in exchange for that, thank you.

    As far as the rest, at 4 lbs, it's more comparable to the 4.5lb Macbook that the 2.9 lb Air. Suddenly all the massive advantages of the ports go out the window. AND you get it at a price point that is much higher than the Air! So all the disadvantages of each, with none of the advantages! Awesome!

    The worst of both worlds! And VISTA to boot! This is sure to kill the Air!

    Why would people buy this again?

  1. sgirard

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2005


    Hope it sells

    Dell has built a following around low price, so unfortunately it's going to be hard for them to ship very many of these. A Dell traveler is going to compare this to a netbook, and it's going to be really hard to convince them to drop the cash on the Adamo when they could get most of the same functionality from a $400 Dell Mini.

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