Dell puts Adamo ultraportable out to pasture

After being subjected to a series of price cuts, Dell’s Adamo ultraportable notebook has finally been discontinued. The thin-and-light 13-incher last sold for $900, which is less than half of its original $2000 asking price. Dell doesn’t appear to have a replacement waiting in the wings, either.

The Adamo was launched to compete with Apple’s MacBook Air and other premium ultraportables, and I’ve always thought that it was the best looking of the bunch. Dell isn’t known for its sense of style, but the Adamo’s machined aluminum chassis is stunning, especially in black. Plus, I’m a sucker for spacious keyboards with big, contoured keys and LED backlighting.

Dell hasn’t announced a replacement for the Adamo, suggesting that it might be getting out of the premium ultraportable market to focus on less expensive designs. Given how many times the Adamo’s price was cut, it seems unlikely that consumers were lining up to buy the system. Really, can you blame them? Dell’s Vostro V130 offers a similarly thin design and an attractive aluminum chassis with prices starting at just $430.

There was a time when only premium notebooks offered what could be called ultraportable designs. However, the rise of netbooks and advent of CULV-powered thin-and-lights to combat them has reshaped the notebook market dramatically. Perhaps Dell is clearing the decks to prepare for a new flagship ultraportable based on Intel’s upcoming dual-core Sandy Bridge CPUs, but I don’t know if there’s a place left for such machines—at least outside of Apple’s ranks. Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

Comments closed
    • Trymor
    • 12 years ago

    “It might be nice if somebody catered to your particular obsession” – We could probably all relate to that about something in our lives… heh.

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    And a year from now I’ll still be suggesting that you’re in a minority, and after a certain point most people will trade additional battery life for something else — lower price, beefier components, or whatever. Everybody would like more battery life, but (again,beyond a certain minimum run time) most consumers have other, higher priorities (or think they do when they make the purchase decision, which is all the mfrs care about). It might be nice if somebody catered to your particular obsession, if for no other reason than to see how many others there are like you, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    • djgandy
    • 12 years ago

    13.3 is not ultra portable. 13.3 is a standard laptop size. No wonder it didn’t sell. You can’t just put a ULV processor in a laptop and call it ultra portable and then try and charge Sony ultra portable prices.

    Sadly there is actually a lack of real ultra portables around these days, despite the fact that manufacturers are abandoning CD drives and thus saving a huge amount of space. Lots of these 13.3 ones though.

    Trying to replace my 11.1 CoreDuo ULV is proving impossible.

    • KoolAidMan
    • 12 years ago

    Yup. Most of the time the Adamo actually cost more than an MBA with faster/better specs. By the time the Adamo’s price came down, nobody cared because the 2010 MBA was such a leap forward from the original MBA and the existing Adamo.

    • cynan
    • 12 years ago

    Sigh.

    Unfortunately, the only company that can seem to get away with selling notebooks with an emphasis on quality for a sustained profit is Apple. In the 13.3″ ultra-thin-light-portable (take your pick) the sole exception may be the Sony Vaio Z. However, it only seems to come with RAID 0 solid-state drives and starts at a wallet-wrenching $2000 or so here in Canada.

    I was recently in the market for a notebook of this type (12″-13.3″ that was portable, but did not skimp on features) and ended up with an Acer (gulp – that’s right Acer) 3820TG

    For the price and small form factor, the 3820TG cannot be beat (or at least that’s what I concluded)

    Specs:
    13.3″, 1366×768 mediocre LED backlit screen (so far, meh, but it gets better)

    core I5-480 (dual core, hyperthreading, 3M cache, 2.67 clockspeed)

    Switchable Indel HD graphics and AMD HD 6550 (which seems to be on par or even slightly faster than the 335m in the Alienware m11x)

    Rounded off with 4GB DDR3, 500 GB HDD, Bluetooth 2.1, Wireless G/N, etc

    And a surprisingly nice looking aluminum lid (though chasis is plastic – but fairly rigid)

    Battery life is advertised at 8 hrs with the included 6 cell, 6000 mhA battery (and this seems to be pretty close if power saving settings are maxed out). And the keyboard, while probably not up to the standards of a Macbook Pro, is pretty decent (large keys and almost no flex – though the action is a tiny bit mushier than optimal, but not too bad)

    This configuration currently sells for as low as $730 in Canada. And, unfortunately for those south of the border, the 3820TG seems to be unavailable in the US.

    To put into perspective, a machine that is as fast or faster than an Alienware m11x, is lighter (weighs about 4 Ibs or just under), thinner and costs less with a similar configuration.

    As mentioned, the drawbacks are the ho-hum screen quality and the lack of any ports faster than USB 2.0 for data transfer (no idea why they couldn’t have added the eSATA…)

    I would have loved to have had the opportunity to pay a couple hundred more for a better screen and all metal chassis, but there just isn’t any option outside of a macbook pro or Vaio Z and those are about 2 to 3 times the price.

    • cynan
    • 12 years ago

    Replied to wrong post

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 12 years ago

    I’ll stop complaining when they stop playing the “efficiency” game and actually make new laptops with increased battery life. So yes, a year from now, I will still be complaining when the inevitable ULV Ivy Bridge quad-core line with 4 GHz turbo boosts, 2 GHz GPUs, and minimum $500 price tags show up. :p

    • Trymor
    • 12 years ago

    I like choice!

    That being said, I have been using a 32″ 1920x1080p TV as my monitor for qite some time. I like the ‘large’ pixels, and at 3-4 ft, I don’t notice them at all. The only thing I don’t like about it, is since I have 2 browsers open side-by-side, I still have some side-scrolling on some pages, but for the most part, it’s just ads getting cut off the right side, and I can always just hit the + and – keys on the numpad to quickly size, or ctrl-F11 for fit to width.

    But thats me, and if it were me, I would consider buying a smaller lappy, and carry around a $50 17″ monitor in my bag… 😉

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    Probably many people like you, especially with the aging boomers and gen-x’ers (though not everyone, which is why it’s a shame there aren’t at least a couple of choices beyond uber-expensive Sony Zs and the apparently mythical Envy 14 “radiance”). But that’s kind of my point: for people who want that kind of resolution and don’t want to squint, they need the kind of screen square-footage that puts them into DTR territory. And then there’s the people who just want the screen area and never mind the resolution (pixels as big as your thumb! Hernia-inspiring weight! But hey, you can watch movies from across the room, and then drag it down the hall and do it again!)

    • tay
    • 12 years ago

    Adamo was often at a value disadvantage compared to the MBAir. No wonder its dead.

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    Yes, it’s possible for a budget maker to build a “halo” product, but they really have to deliver the goods: it has to be more than just surface aesthetics and branding.

    • Trymor
    • 12 years ago

    Most Lithium-ion batteries only last 1-2 years, whether they are used, or on a shelf. ALWAYS find the build date on lappy batts, or pass…

    Unless I missed the point, and you mean that lapper never got more than that?

    • Trymor
    • 12 years ago

    My wife had a 12.1″ 4:3 ratio screen that was 1024×768. For me, who already wears glasses, I would not want a higher rez on a laptop screen below 14″ 16×9. I wonder how many ‘consumers’ are like me?

    Besides, you can plug the lappy into someones TV while you visit 😉

    • Trymor
    • 12 years ago

    Just something that popped in my mind, and fingers spewed out…

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    And you will still be complaining that none of them have the efficiency / battery life that you demand. 😉

    “Desktop replacements” are often as much about screen size as they are the guts. I’ve seen plenty of people with DTRs that aren’t doing anything that requires more than a dual-core and IGP, but the reason they have them is to have that big frickin’ 16″+ screen. If there were more 13″- 15″ laptops with something beyond 1366×768 resolution, there might be less need for DTRs, but even then there are people that just want that physically huge expanse of pixels and have a need to lug it around (or simply work for a company that outfits folks with laptops, not desktops or even docking stations with big screens).

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 12 years ago

    The point was that things are actually going back to how they already were in the past. It doesn’t have as much to do with technology or capitalism so much as Intel’s goofs. :p

    I actually do need a new laptop. I was given a brand new battery for this stupid T61 and it still only lasts 2 hours. 🙁

    • blastdoor
    • 12 years ago

    I think this partly shows how brands have become deeply entrenched in people’s minds. Dell, HP, etc == cheap. Apple == premium. Most people who are willing to pay more than $1,000 for a computer go to Apple and won’t even give Dell et al a look. Possibly the only premium PC maker left is Sony.

    • Trymor
    • 12 years ago

    “these types of ‘technology’ are just going to continually be driven down in price until they do away with ________ entirely.”

    Hence, the unsustainable economy of Capitalism and finite resources. We don’t ‘need’ the new stuff, but I for one still love it!

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 12 years ago

    If the idea were to make a high end Sandy Bridge replacement, I think they’d have kept the branding. It seems more like they figured out the reality: these types of laptops are just going to continually be driven down in price until they do away with netbooks entirely.

    The fragmentation between netbooks, ultraportables, and full size laptops was just a phase, and it might not have ever happened were it not for Intel’s ludicrious Atom restrictions and lack of meaningful updates.

    Right out the gate, Bobcat pretty much eliminated those distinctions for AMD’s entire laptop line. It’s back to just picking a screen size.

    “Desktop replacements” will be on the chopping block within the next year as quad-cores move down into low power models and standardized CPU+GPU chips make every laptop capable of switchable discrete cards. You won’t even have to choose between a low or high power laptop anymore. Many will be interchangable.

    • Trymor
    • 12 years ago

    The future of laptops…

    • dpaus
    • 12 years ago

    Wow, that didn’t last long… The real issue, I suspect, is that it was marketed as a ‘[i<]premium[/i<] ultraportable" when, in fact, there was nothing about it that was 'premium' in any way except for the case - it had a last-gen CPU, a mediocre display and otherwise underwhelming specs. If it had been offered with an i7, an HD display (matte, of course) and decent connectivity options, I'd have had no problem ponying up 2Gs for it.

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