Observations on the Adamo Launch

Since we introduced it earlier this week, the chatter about Adamo continues. Blog posts from John Biggs at CrunchGear and CNET rose to the top of Techmeme. There are almost 600 media articles since we made it official. Beyond that, folks are still voicing their reactions to Adamo on Twitter.

Lots of folks reacted to the price point, noting that the entry configuration on the MacBook Air is less expensive than our Adamo $1,999 system. Our starting configuration includes a 128GB SSD drive – and adding a 128GB SSD drive to the MacBook Air adds $500 to the bottom line. And our $2699 system offers 4GB RAM or built-in mobile broadband for a $200 premium over the MacBook Air’s high-end configuration.

We understand that Adamo will not appeal to every customer. Our marketing efforts have made it clear that Adamo is a high-end product – not mainstream, and certainly not gaming. Adamo is an expansion of a whole portfolio of mobile products that starts with our Dell Minis, which have become some of the most popular netbooks in the market, to almost a dozen other laptop options in an array of sizes (13 to 17-inch) and price bands ($499, $799, $1,000 and up). While the Adamo laptop represents the pinnacle of our mobile lineup, we’ll continue to invest at all price points to deliver a solid mix of performance and technology no matter how much you’re looking to spend.

In our view, value can still play a role in higher price points. Emphasis on design is part of that premium for Adamo. The ID team was inspired by and spent time with luxury items outside of the technology space, like fine Swiss timepieces, fine writing instruments as well of some of the less traditional like women’s cosmetics packaging and high-end cars. All of these items have a certain heft to them, a solid feeling of quality, and that was the design goal for the Adamo laptop.

We followed our own path in terms of design to deliver a full set of features in the thinnest laptop in the world, including 13.4-inch 16:9 HD display with edge-to edge glass, solid state drives, support for up to 4GB DDR3 RAM, and best-in-class connectivity including a standard Gigabit Ethernet port, 802.11n and optional mobile broadband (3G).

We’ve also seen some comments from Direct2Dell readers like hht001 who compare the Adamo against the MacBook 13. In my opinion, the Studio XPS 13 which we announced on at CES 2009 is a more direct comparison. With a starting weight of 4.85 lbs., the Studio XPS 13 combines more performance and features than just about another other thin and light notebook available today.

The Studio XPS 13 is also the only 13-inch laptop to support two GPUs via the Hybrid SLI technology. The exterior design draws inspiration from luxury automobiles – Obsidian Black high-gloss finish with brushed aluminum and fine leather accents. It also features an edge-to-edge HD display and expansive backlit keyboard. And checking Dell.com today, $1,099 buys a Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz processor, 13-inch edge-to-edge display with 2.0 MP webcam, slot load DVD+/-RW with upconversion, 4GB DDR3 memory; 320GB 7200 RPM hard drive; NVIDIA GeForce 9400M G graphics, and 802.11n wireless, plus all the ports (1394a, HDMI, USB/ eSATA). It also supports PowerShare, which is a technology we first introduced in our Latitude E family of notebooks that allows customers to charge portable devices through USB even when the system is powered off.

As Alex mentioned in his previous post, Adamo is meant to serve as the laboratory and inspiration for design ideas that will flow through the rest of Dell’s consumer product portfolio in the future. The thought and creativity that went into bringing Adamo to market resulted in some amazing innovations. The Consumer Group at Dell has been unleashed and is well on its way testing boundaries across a variety of personal technology devices. Stay tuned…

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca