When I first saw the Dell Adamo at CES 2009, I fell in love. The silver and white model was one of the best looking systems I have ever laid eyes on, and the black aluminum one was very stylish as well. I thought, "dang, this computer is going to blow the [MacBook] Air out of the water....I can't wait!"
And then, we got the full details, and I fell out of love very, very quickly. 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo ULV, 128GB SSD, 13.4" 1366x768 LED backlit, 0.65" thick, 4.0 lbs, $1999. Say whaaa? FOUR pounds? Are we certain that isn't a typo? Sure it looks fantastic, and it is arguably the thinnest notebook out there, but 4 pounds is the nearly as much as my 13" W7s, which is twice as thick and has a dedicated graphics card. Not cool, my friends, not cool at all. Why is the Adamo so danged heavy? Similar notebooks (more on those in a second) weigh around 3 pounds, so the Adamo clearly heavier than it should be. Its constructed out of one piece of aluminum, similar to the MacBook Air, and the Adamo is, according to Dell, the thinnest notebook ever, so...something is clearly wrong here. It even has a standard SSD, so no mechanical hard drive to blame the weight on, and Dell lists a (definitely optimistic) 5 hour battery life, implying a 6 cell battery (couldn't find the Adamo tech specs on Dell's site), so its not that either....The Adamo looks to be made out of the lightest components - supermodel thin aluminum body, SSD, LED backlight, ULV processor and integrated graphics means small fan/heatsink, no internal optical drive - and yet, its closer to MacBook than Air in terms of weight....Uhh, Dell, care to explain?
Now back to the competition the Adamo faces: the aforementioned MacBook Air, HP's Voodoo Envy 133, and the ThinkPad X301 - all feature LED backlit 13.3" screens and weigh roughly 3 lbs. The Air and Envy have faster Low Voltage Core 2 Duo processors and mechanical hard drives, with the Air even packing an nVidia graphics chip, whereas the X301 has the same ULV/SSD combo as the Adamo, but features a high res WXGA+ screen, an internal DVD drive, and the famed ThinkPad build quality and keyboard. All start at around $2000.
Where does the Adamo fit in all this? Its by far the heaviest, it should have build quality on par with the others (all four are built to exceedingly high standards), its the slowest, its not even the nicest looking in this group (Envy...really, best looking laptop out there at the moment), and the cheapest as equipped (with an SSD), though if you look at the higher end Adamo with the faster processor and larger SSD, its also the most expensive. So, looking at the most equivalent configurations, the Adamo is the heaviest, slowest, and most expensive. Congrats Dell, you've given us a brick - literally! And as nice looking as that brick is, it still is just a brick.
Comparison table after the break.
|Dell Adamo||MacBook Air||Voodoo Envy||ThinkPad X301|
|Processor||C2D ULV 1.4GHz||C2D LV 1.8GHz||C2D LV 1.8GHz||C2D ULV 1.4GHz|
|Memory||4GB DDR2||2GB DDR2||2GB DDR2||2GB DDR2|
|Storage||128GB SSD||128GB SSD||64GB SSD||64GB SSD|
|Graphics||Intel GMA 4500||nVidia 9400M||Intel GMA X3100||Intel GMA 4500|
|Screen||13.4" LED||13.3" LED||13.3" LED||13.3" LED|
|Resolution||1366 x 768||1280 x 800||1280 x 800||1440 x 900|
|DVD Drive||External ($120)||External ($99)||External (Inc.)||Internal|
|OS||Vista Premium||OS X||Vista Premium||Vista Business|
|Material||Brushed Alum.||Anodized Alum.||Carbon Fiber||Magnesium Alloy|
|Thickness||0.65"||0.16" - 0.76"||0.7"||0.73" - 0.92"|
|Weight||4.0 lbs||3.0 lbs||3.37 lbs||3.32 lbs|