Dell created a great deal of buzz in the spring of 2009 with the introduction of the Adamo brand and what was at the time Dell’s thinnest laptop PC. Today, after months of leaked images, Dell introduced the all new Adamo XPS notebook. This thin-and-light notebook PC is as thin as four-tenths of an inch, yet offers extreme durability, cutting edge technology, and a completely new design for laptops.
True enough, the Adamo XPS brings the PC world a stunningly fresh laptop design intended to provide a unique experience from the first moment you touch it. With the swipe of a finger over the front edge of the notebook, the keyboard pops out from under the display as the system opens. In other words, the motherboard and other components traditionally located beneath the keyboard are now located behind the display on the Adamo XPS. You drop down the keyboard rather than raise up the display.
Adamo, derived from the Latin word meaning “to fall in love,” is Dell’s current flagship line of PCs created to offer customers a combination of new design aesthetics, personalization choices and the latest technologies. As previously mentioned, the “Adamo by Dell” brand was announced in January of 2009 and launched last March with the first Adamo laptop, which combined high-performance technologies in an aluminum case only .65-inch thick.
The impressively thin Adamo XPS weighs just over 3 pounds with the standard battery and, unlike many other thin-and-light notebooks currently on the market, you can replace the standard battery with a high-capacity battery if you don’t mind the extra weight. Dell expects to begin taking orders and shipping the Adamo XPS with Microsoft Windows 7 pre-installed in time for the holidays. The Adamo XPS is priced starting at $1,799. More information is available at www.adamobydell.com.
Dell Adamo XPS Specs:
- Processor: 1.40GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ULV SU9400 (3MB Cache, 800MHz FSB)
- Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- Display: 13.4″ 720p (1366×768) HD WLED panel
- Graphics: Intel GS45 Integrated graphics with 256MB shared memory
- 4GB DDR3 RAM (2GB onboard, 2GB in SO-DIMM both running at 800MHz)
- Storage: 128GB SSD
- Network: 10/100 LAN via USB dongle, Intel 5300 Ultimate-N (802.11a/g/n) half mini-card, optional Dell Wireless 2.1 Bluetooth
- 20WHr Li-Ion battery standard (rated at 2 hours and 36 minutes) or 40WHr Li-Ion battery option (rated at 5 hours and 17 minutes)
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 0.38-0.41″ x 13.39″ x 10.78″
- Weight: Starting at 3.2 lbs with standard battery
- MSRP: starting at $1,799
At first glance, there are indeed several reasons to fall in love with the Dell Adamo XPS. This thin-and-light notebook is less than half an inch thick even at its “thickest” part (near the USB ports). The full size keyboard with aluminum keycaps feels extremely nice and should prove much more durable than typical plastic Chiclet style keyboards. Dell likewise did something right by making the battery a replaceable component. While Apple’s MacBooks look cool, road warriors using MacBooks are often tethered to power outlets because they can’t simply pop in a second battery or larger capacity battery while traveling.
Speaking of road warriors, the Adamo XPS includes built-in location awareness via GPS: a fantastic feature that allows you to instantly figure out where you are and where you need to go while on the road. Also, our entire editorial team agrees the capacitive latching device (a piece of memory metal that electronically “senses” when you swipe your finger across it to release the keyboard) is just plain cool.
What’s not to love after reading all those glowing words of praise? A lot. For starters, the Adamo XPS only delivers about 2 and a half hours of battery life with a standard battery despite the use of an ultra low voltage Intel Core 2 Duo processor. While the 13-inch WLED display looks amazing, Dell only offers one screen resolution (1366×768) despite the fact that a higher resolution of 1600×900 would be more attractive at this price point. Speaking of price, let’s face it … $1,800 is a lot to ask for any thin-and-light notebook when many of these CULV-based machines are priced at less than $900.
While the Dell Adamo XPS indeed has an innovative design, the biggest potential reason that style-conscious road warriors might decide to pass on this notebook is … the innovative design. This is the first thin-and-light notebook we’ve ever seen that isn’t designed to be a “laptop.” Since the elevated keyboard drops down out of the display bezel on the Adamo XPS this makes it next to impossible to use on your lap. Granted, most frequent travelers use their notebooks on airline tray tables or hotel desks, but you can forget about comfortably using this PC on your lap in a crowded airport or while sitting on your couch … unless you like using a partially folded notebook that looks like this:
In short, the Adamo XPS might actually be considered a thin-and-light “desktop replacement” since its design isn’t conducive to use on your lap. Still, we reserve our final judgment until we’re able to get a final production-level Adamo XPS in our office for review.
Be sure to check back with NotebookReview.com for more coverage of the Dell Adamo XPS, and be sure to take a look at the discussions in our forums to see what other people think about this innovative new design.