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Forget Adamo: Dell’s Real MacBook Air Rival Is the Latitude Z

Dell’s forthcoming high-style laptop may finally be a worthy rival to the Apple MacBook Air, right down to its lofty price tag.

Dell Latitude Z

Dell’s much-hyped Adamo–its high-style MacBook Air-rivalling laptop–failed to deliver on the technology side when it was released recently. That could be because Dell’s really banking on its Latitude Z machine to be its high-style MacBook Air rival, as evidenced by its first hands-on review.

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The guys at RegHardware recently got their mitts on the 16-inch machine, and at first glance it really does seem to match up to the Air’s design: Brushed aluminum body, check; back-lit keyboard, check; skinny profile, check; tiny power brick, check; limited number of connector ports, check. This last may not be seen as a boon, but Dell hasn’t gone as minimalist as Apple. The Latitude Z has an ethernet port, DisplayPort, two USB sockets–one of which doubles up as an e-SATA connector.

Dell Latitude Z

The machine also performs well thanks to its CULV Intel Core 2 Duo processor at either 1.4 GHz or 1.6GHz, up to 256MB solid-state drive, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, a fingerprint and RFID reader, a 2-megapixel Webcam, and a 1,600 by 900-pixel widescreen. It runs Windows, starting with Vista, but switching to Windows 7 when that OS launches, but it’ll also have a special basic Linux install, dubbed Latitude On, which gives instant-on access to email, IM, and the Net.

Sadly, all this goodness seems like its might result in the Z being priced into the stratosphere: When it hits in August or September it’s expected to cost $2,400. In comparison, the new 2.1GHz MacBook Air with a 128GB SSD now sets you back just $1,800. And remember, when it launched, the Air faced healthy criticism for its apparently high-cost, high-style features. Dell: When will you learn Apple’s lessons properly?

[via RegHardware]

Related Stories:
Dell’s Ultra-Thin Adamo Notebook to Rival MacBook Air
Dell’s New PCs Shamelessly Borrow Apple Designs
The Apple Wannabes: Dell, Microsoft, Pepsi, and Google

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About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)

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