Dell Adamo review
By Darren Gladstone and Andrew Harrison | PC World | Published: 09:04, 29 April 2009
The Dell Adamo resembles a cross between the Apple MacBook Air and the HP Voodoo Envy 133. Dell's spokespeople claim that the Adamo is the thinnest laptop around (16mm thick, to be specific). Well, where it stands in that respect is a little up to debate depending on which part of the Air you measure, but we can tell you that the Adamo is slimmer than the Envy, for sure. And while we wish that the Adamo had an internal optical drive, you can lug around an external one.
The svelte-but-boxy Dell Adamo comes in two colours, "Pearl" and "Onyx" - the latter made me do a double-take for a sec, since it looks eerily similar to the Envy 133. The difference is that this system's unibody design doesn't smudge up as much in your hands.
The brushed-metal case of the Dell Adamo also feels way more substantial than the Voodoo Envy 133's chassis: we could use the Envy 133 for a couple minutes, and it would look like a crime scene with all the scuffs and fingerprints. And if we happened to be eating cheesy Wotsits at the time - fuhgeddaboutit.
The Dell Adamo's 1386-by-768-pixel display looks to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Air. With a fairly sharp screen and edge-to-edge glass, it looks firmly put together. Also lining the frame are two USB 2.0 ports, a hybrid USB and eSATA port, an ethernet jack, a headphone jack, and a DisplayPort output.
The Dell Adamo also has integrated Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11n wireless support.
Instead of a dedicated microphone input, a small series of dots beside the keyboard do the job; we're not sure sold we are on that feature. One nifty addition: Dell has crammed a user-accessible SIM-card slot on the side (first time we've seen that in a laptop).
We love the Dell Adamo's keyboard. It has wide, flat keys. And the keys slope down, creating a little lip for your fingers to tell when you've pressed each key. A tiny touch-inductive control panel consisting of basic multimedia shortcuts lines the top.
We haven't yet performance tested the Dell Adamo, but Dell spokespeople seemed genuinely scared that we'd try to stack this machine up against other notebooks. Why? They cautioned that they are positioning the Adamo as a fashion statement. Couture computing, if you will.
As with the HP Voodoo Envy 133 and the Apple MacBook Air, we expect relatively low performance numbers from the Dell Adamo. Indeed, this is what you'd expect from a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo U9300 CPU (slooooooooooooow), 2GB of RAM, and a 64-to-128GB solid-state drive. And the sealed battery inside the case will run for roughly 3 hours, according to Dell spokespeople. Translation: the Adamo will be fairly in line with what the Envy offers, and you should buy it only for its style and portability.
And you get all this for the low, low price of... £1,649. The super-deluxe version, which costs considerably more, comes with a 1.4GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM, and will support 3G. Yep, Dell really is gunning for that luxury category, price tags and all. Very Apple-like. (It's also brave, considering the state of the economy, if you ask us.)
Is the Dell Adamo worth the money? Well, as sweet as the machine looks, we're not passing any judgments yet. We still need a final review unit. You can preorder a machine now; expect units to start shipping March 26. Check back for our full review.