Dell takes cues from Apple, intros thin, aluminum laptop

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Steve Jobs must be blushing right now. Five months on from the launch of Apple’s aluminum MacBooks, Dell has introduced a luxury laptop that’s also milled from a single block of aluminum and equipped with an "edge-to-edge glass display."

Despite similarities with the new MacBooks, the Dell Adamo—named after the Latin verb "adamare," which apparently means "to fall in love with"—is really a competitor for the MacBook Air. Dell made the system just 0.65" thick, and it includes a 128GB solid-state drive as standard plus a battery rated for over five hours of run-time. (That probably explains the hefty $1,999 starting price.)

Otherwise, the Adamo doesn’t have particularly dazzling specifications: a 13.4" 1366×768 display, a 1.2GHz low-voltage Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, Intel integrated graphics with DisplayPort output, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and Windows Vista Home Premium x64. There’s no built-in optical drive, either, and if you want more storage capacity, it looks like you’ll have to purchase an external mechanical hard drive.

Dell has put up a sleek Flash mini-site to pimp the new laptop at adamobydell.com. If you just want to order the thing, you can hit this link and choose between Onyx (black) or Pearl (silver) flavors of the Adamo. Dell quotes a ship date of April 21.

Comments closed
    • jdaven
    • 11 years ago

    I just realized something. The regular Macbook 2.4 GHz edition has all the same features as the Adamo and is $400 cheaper. It has a backlit keyboard, unibody Aluminum “luxury” casing, 13.3″ screen and is almost just as light (4.5 lbs versus 4.0 lbs) and thin (0.95″ vs. 0.65″) as the Adamo.

    I knew there was something bugging me about this thing. The specs for build, weight and dimensions are just not enough to differentiate the Adamo from the regular Macbook. Plus with the Macbook you get an optical drive, 1.2 GHz, I repeat, 1.2 GHz (double the speed) more on the processor (also 1600 MHz FSB 6MB cache versus 800 MHz 3MB cache), Nvidia 9400M graphics, all the port as the Adamo (except eSata) and finally what’s infinitely more important, the ability to upgrade the harddrive and battery by just lifting a single latch.

    And for $400 less, you can add extras like 3 year warranty, video adapters, software like iWork, etc. I think that anyone who picks the unibody aluminum $2000 1.2 GHz Adamo over the unibody aluminum $1600 2.4 GHz Macbook either really hates Apple or thinks that 0.5 lbs is really, really important.

    • Stranger
    • 11 years ago

    Why would anyone pay $2k on a laptop with integrated graphics?

    • joselillo_25
    • 11 years ago

    IMHO netbook or similar computers needs to be cheap. I would not like a $2700 computer to use while traveling in train or bus or in a bar or an airport.

    • Dashak
    • 11 years ago

    I’ll buy into this new design when (if) they start applying it to laptops that pack some horsepower. I just want something simple on the outside, you know? A matte aluminum or charcoal case with a decent dual core and video card. Something that doesn’t proclaim my inner geek to the world, you know? Also, scrap the touchpad in favor of trackpoint. Give me a 5400rpm hdd, optical drive, and some usb ports on the left or rear. Also, a non-shiny – I know; a pretty technical term – screen. /Just my 2 cents.

    • Code:[M]ayhem
    • 11 years ago

    Hey Dell you’re only 2 years too late.

    The days of people paying $2000 for a laptop just to make a fashion statement are over.

    • thebeastie
    • 11 years ago

    Wow what a radical idea! a thin laptop!
    Its not even that thin, lol

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 11 years ago

      .65 inches isn’t thin?

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        Some people just won’t be happy until you can roll the thing up and ship it in a poster tube.

          • thecoldanddarkone
          • 11 years ago

          I’m pretty sure at that point they still won’t be happy. 🙂

        • willyolio
        • 11 years ago

        depends on what you compare it to. i mean, it might be thinner than any other laptop out there, but it’s still thicker than a human hair.

    • DASQ
    • 11 years ago

    I like the screen.

    • Dually
    • 11 years ago

    I’ll be expecting a blog post from Geoff skewering this product for being overpriced and having lesser specs than the cheaper alternative. Complete with references to the Michael Dell Distortion field, Dellidiots and Dellolytes.

    EDIT: And having viewed the flash site now, fashion accessory comments are also due, as is something regarding how we are intended to love this laptop, not compute on it….

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      No, no — this device has an adequate number of function keys and can accept standard peripherals.

        • Dually
        • 11 years ago

        There’s no command key! 😉

    • p645n
    • 11 years ago

    Anybody know who shot the pic’s on the flash site?

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    Next week Dell is going to come out with a tiny, nearly control-less mp3 player. It will actually out-innovate *ahem* Apple by having only one button for stop/start.

      • PRIME1
      • 11 years ago

      It will use an innovative suppository interface.

        • eitje
        • 11 years ago

        clench: play/stop.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        That would make the resale value pretty crappy :-\

          • SHOES
          • 11 years ago

          now make it play what song im thinking of and you just sold one…

            • metalhead
            • 11 years ago

            Something from Korn?

            • b_naresh
            • 11 years ago

            This discussion made me LOL

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            ‘Deep In the Hole’ by AC DC?

            ‘The Clincher’ by Chevelle?

            ‘Wind Below’ by Rage Against the Machine?

            ..then I got bored looking through my songs.

    • PRIME1
    • 11 years ago

    1366×768 display, 1.2GHz, Intel integrated graphics,no built-in optical drive.

    bleh

    As a PC guy I would take the Apple over this.

    Although Apple needs Blu-ray.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 11 years ago

    Could we get a shot of the front of it?

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 11 years ago

      Sorry, this is a PG-13 site. No full frontals, just gratuitous butt shots.

    • ssnseawolf
    • 11 years ago

    Good product, poor timing.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 11 years ago

      ditto 10char

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Apple tax, no Apple logo? What?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      Dell tax! Microsoft tax! Tax tax!

        • cygnus1
        • 11 years ago

        You can’t double stamp a triple stamp

          • acejj26
          • 11 years ago

          You got it backward. It’s “You can’t triple stamp a double stamp.” Still funny though.

            • no51
            • 11 years ago

            Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?

            • Windogg
            • 11 years ago

            Mock……….

      • funko
      • 11 years ago

      128gb ssd and eventual coupons both work to make it seem like there is not much tax here.

    • Skrying
    • 11 years ago

    I can live with the processor. I can’t live with the Intel graphics. I really dislike the weight. I absolutely hate the fact that you can’t even customize your options. Why can’t I add RAM to the base $1,999 configuration? Why can’t I upgrade to the 1.4Ghz processor without being forced into mobile broadband? Just ridiculous, it’s a major sacrifice of function and there didn’t need to be one! I fully expected a flagship product and what I got was a poor attempt at a fashion statement instead. Screw that.

    • wizzard
    • 11 years ago

    I have to say it – it’s like MacBook Air, but way better.

    – they different design that it is going to attract more technical folks and less sheeple
    – it has more USB ports and even eSATA
    – it has ethernet port
    – the optional mobile (GSM?) adapter on is huge plus

    Of course it is expensive, but for the money you get actual usability and style, not just the style.

      • jdaven
      • 11 years ago

      Your first point makes no sense and you know it. Nice try with sheeple but with model names like DESIRE and ADMIRE, I’m pretty sure making your laptop sound like a perfume commercial is not going to attract technical people.

      Your second and third point is the time honored critic of the MBA…lack of ports. This will just come down to preference. However, since the Adamo is so underpowered its hard to justify the price just to get more ports. Apple might change future MBA versions to include more ports, and Dell might up the performace specs in future versions of the Adamo. Again, it will come down to what the enduser wants and I believe there is room for both but not room for such an underspec’ed part at these prices.

      Your last point is like saying I would spend an extra $700 on a TV tuner. These types of added features on the highest end model will appeal to a very small number of users. If I’m not wrong, you can connect your 3G phone to any computer using bluetooth and USB connectors to browse the internet without having to spend $2700 on an underpowered laptop that has one included inside.

        • wizzard
        • 11 years ago

        Nobody cares about the name, it’s the look that counts.
        USB ports may be negotiable, but ethernet port is not. Not in the bussiness/enterprise environment.
        Nobody really cares about the processor where this thing is heading, and I’d rather have 50% more memory than 20% more cpu speed.
        Sure you can be online via your phone, but it gets awkward when you need to use the phone and Google at the same time.

          • jdaven
          • 11 years ago

          Wizzard, I’m sorry but you keep talking about enterprise market and then say things like looks is all that matters. Do you think the enterprise market gives a damn about looks? Do you see a low level accountant getting a $2700 laptop because of the looks?

          And yes processor speed does matter to many, many people. And no ethernet port does not matter to enterprise, just to you or maybe your company. Wireless is perfectly acceptable in many, many companies.

          Your only good point is about peripheral connectivity which is a big strike against the MBA. But because of the performance of the MBA, mobile professionals really enjoy it. The adamo has more ports but it is too expensive and too slow for anyone. They will lose out to the X300 for any enterprise situation and the MBA for looks and performance.

        • Ethyriel
        • 11 years ago

        I thought it sounded more like a Battlestar commander.

        If they shaved a pound, pound and a quarter off, it would be a winner. For what it offers, it’s just too heavy. At that weight, I want a 1.86Ghz processor like the X200s offers, a 1400×900 screen by default, or even better, 1600×900 like the Vaio Z. And if you aren’t going to give us an optical drive, damnit, I want longer battery life. Even better would be the choice the X300 offers. And seeing that it’s aimed at consumers, I’d think an Nvidia chipset with superior integrated graphics would have been a wise choice for Dell.

        I just don’t see how this is supposed to be better than an X200s which is faster, lighter, and has a higher resolution. I suppose it’s supposed to look better, but I say it’s pretty damned ugly myself. Nothing is worse than overzealous glossiness than hard contrasts between overzealous glossiness and matte. But, if matte black isn’t your thing, the Macbook gives you back $1000 for two tenths of an inch and half a pound, plus it’s faster.

        I just don’t get this laptop at all, and if the world is just, it’s going to utterly fail.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    the differences between this and the Air make it impossible to see which one of them has a better (if somewhat tenuous) value proposition. The Air starts at 1.6GHz, this thing stops at 1.4GHz. The Adamo comes with a standard SSD and Apple charges $500 for the same thing.

    I’d say they’re fairly similar, as when you tack an SSD to the Air, the Air has a lower resolution but a faster processor and video along with better software. I’d call these things a toss-up.

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 11 years ago

      Well here’s the deal, you can get an 12.1 e4200 or an x200s for less. The e4200 comes with a solid state and 1.2 ulv or 1.4 ulv, while the x200s comes with a 1.2 ulv or 1.86 lv. e4200 is primarily made of magnesium alloy while the x200s has things like carbon fiber for the lid and magnesium alloy for the bottom (i believe). Both are thicker than the air, but both are lighter than it as well. e4200= 2.2 with 4 cell, x200s 2.4 with 4. Both also get less battery life with stock batteries.

      The e4200 with 1.4, 2 gigs of ram, and ssd (base) is 1907, but it also comes with a 3 year warranty. (of course you can a refurb for less than half that price)
      The x200s on the other hand is cheaper, It’s lighter but has some nice features. Examples would be like it has a 2.5 inch sata drive and has a 1440×900 screen resolution (I would go blind at that resolution)

      This is only a short look at them. I could go on screen quality, etc.

      I have no problem with the ademo, or the air that matter, they just don’t fit my needed uses or budget.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        I’ll go a step farther and say that the Air and the Adamo are both terrible products for my needs. I’m more of a “desktop replacement” kind of laptop guy – I take performance over portability, and still know that when I need to, I can strap it into a bag adn take it with me.

        If I ever need anything smaller, I’ll buy an iTouch or a netbook. Something in the middle makes little sense to me.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago

    Wow, I’ve never seen so many pro-Apple posts on TR without adi around! Seriously, Dell didn’t nail what Apple did well and with more users getting “netbooks”, this is seriously very expensive.

    What I do like: 1.2Ghz C2D! Intel’s Atom is nice, but I’ll take a lower voltage/speed C2D based chip ANY day of the week! Too bad Intel charges a massive premium for this chip.

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 11 years ago

      Well, you can get an e4200. It’s thicker, but it’s lighter, much lighter. Like 2.2 pounds light. It’s a magnesium alloy instead of aluminum. I’d rather have an e4200 over this any day. I’d also take an x200s.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      Are we reading the same posts? I don’t see any clear-cut rallies for the MBA–which deserves none, imo.

      • Skrying
      • 11 years ago

      It’s because the Adamo is a very Apple like product (not one of the good ones like the MacBook or MacBook Pro though). The C2D 1.2Ghz ULV would be better if the Adamo wasn’t so expensive and similar competition (from Dell infact) is more powerful and lighter.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 11 years ago

    And how many Mac Book Air’s has Apple sold? I certainly see the MBA as a very niche product, and with the huge explosion of low-cost netbooks, I see Dell wasting resources with this. Why not make a laptop people would actually buy?

    That being said, looks good though.

    • Sanctusx2
    • 11 years ago

    It’s not bad for a first pass, at least there will be more choice and competition in this market. Hopefully Dell can bring the price down to something more reasonable vs the Macbook.

    • jdaven
    • 11 years ago

    1.2 GHz, 2GB and Intel integrated at 4 lbs for $2000!!!???

    1.4 GHz, 4GB and Intel integrated with 3G modem for $2700?!?#$T%$%

    EPIC Fail!!!!

    • Synchromesh
    • 11 years ago

    A low voltage processor, 2GB of RAM and integrated graphics for $2K??? Thanks but no thanks. I mean I dislike Apple but even I would take a Macbook or Macbook Pro over this any day.

      • tay
      • 11 years ago

      This is more of a Macbook Air replacement? What is the weight I wonder….

        • jdaven
        • 11 years ago

        4 lbs. 1 lb heavier than the MBA

    • khands
    • 11 years ago

    If it only had better integrated graphics and a higher clocked dual-core.. *sigh*. I know you can’t have everything, but without some horsepower under the hood it’s just a thin, really expensive netbook.

      • jdaven
      • 11 years ago

      This is what I was trying to say back when there was a thread about the Macbook Air. Everyone criticized it for having so few ports and no optical drive but I kept saying over and over again that it has the performance that no other can beat in that form factor.

      No matter how many USB ports or Ethernet ports the Adamo has, it will be hard to justify $2000 for a 1.2 GHz processor with intel integrated graphics.

      Hell, the MBA has a 1.6 GHz and Nvidia graphics for $200 less and is 1 lb lighter.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This