After all the fuss, Dell's finally revealed the first machine in its Adamo line of notebook PCs. As expected, it's pretty high on the luxury scale and correspondingly high in price. And surprisingly not so high in terms of specs.
The Adamo 13 has a 13.4-inch screen, and it's an aluminum PC that copies Apple's highly-promoted "unibody" design—here's Dell's spin: "A chassis milled from a single piece of aluminum featuring precision detailing and a scalloped backlit keyboard." In fact Dell is pushing that luxury angle aggressively, and the press release is full of such language: "Adamo is the pinnacle of craftsmanship and design and features...Striking high definition edge-to-edge glass display..." For some reason, Dell even feels the need to point out the ads that'll go along with the machines—apparently a "stylish worldwide print campaign shot by acclaimed British-based photographer Nadav Kandar and featuring high-fashion models." U.S. citizens (what about the rest of the world, Dell?) who spend extra can even get access to the "Adamo Premium Service" which gets you 24-7 access to Dells "best trained" technicians and the support of a "dedicated team." Luxury branding indeed.
But then there's the machine's specifications. It's running a Core 2 Duo CPU at 1.2GHz, and has an integrated Intel X4500 GPU, 2GB of DDR3 memory, Wi-Fi Draft-N, Bluetooth 2.1, 128GB SDD as a standard option (the optical drive is an extra, much like the MacBook Air), an optional mobile broadband system and it runs Vista Home Premium. Hmmmm. Though these are base model specs, it sounds a little less "luxurious" than the machine's chassis does. It also weighs-in at four pounds, so it's not particularly an ultraportable even though it's heading towards an ultra-slim at 0.65-inches thick.
And it costs $2,000, rising to $2,700. For the same $1,999 at Amazon, you can get Dell's XPS m1530 which is a slim 15-incher, agreed, but has a 2GHz processor, an Nvidia GeForce 8600m GPU and a 256GB SATA drive. Of course, if you're into Windows avoidance but still want an ultraportable, for $200 less you can get a MacBook Air (with a conventional HDD) which has a 1.6GHz CPU, Nvidia's GeForce 9400m graphics and weighs a scant three pounds. And if you want Windows anyway, for an extra $250 you can run it in BootCamp on the Mac.
Finally there's Dell's packaging. Apple's been selected for a pressure campaign by Greenpeace, and has rethought it's already tidy packaging from an eco angle. It's smaller for more efficient transportation, and it makes extensive use of recycled materials. On the other hand the Adamo has a plastic case that "the product arrives 'floating' in ... with minimal clutter - a beautiful experience for a sophisticated product." That sounds a lot less eco-friendly to me.
All in all it's pretty much what was expected. What will be a lot more interesting is the "Adamo 9" that Dell's just let leak out accidentally—there's no specifications yet, but if the numbering format's consistent we can expect a 9-inch machine in the same design theme. That'll be a very interesting PC indeed, and given the Adamo's closeness to the MacBook Air's styling, it is likely to get the Apple netbook/tablet rumor mill churning all over again.