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Dell's dazzling Adamo put to the test

by on22 June 2009




It's really hard not to like the Adamo, at least on some level. It's truly a magnificently designed piece of kit, and one of the best looking computers we've ever come across.

As much as I like the looks and quality finish, I have to point out that the Adamo faces several major issues. Battery life is mediocre, and to make things worse the battery is integrated. You can't use a spare, and you can't use a bigger unit, and less than three hours of battery life simply won't be enough for many users. The fan is too loud, there is no non-glare screen option, and you're stuck with an expensive SSD, you can't get a less costly HDD version.

Speaking of costs, the price tag is truly staggering. Prices start at $1999/€1899 for the tested Admire configuration. If you go for the Desire version with a 1.4GHz CPU and 4GB of memory and mobile broadband service, the price jumps to $2,699. In the end it even the base version ends up about 10 percent more expensive than the X301 or Air. Also, you don't get a bag or pouch with it, and Dell's selling pouches starting at $99.


In spite of the price, many people will buy it just for its looks, and who could blame them. The Adamo is one of the best looking notebooks on the market and there's no denying it. However, we doubt it will find many takers among tech savvy consumers, as it obviously doesn't offer good value for money, and even if it did, its battery life leaves much to be desired. Even if Dell cuts the price, and it will probably be forced to do so, the weak battery, loud fan and very reflective screen will still force many consumers too look elsewhere.

Now for some words of praise. With the Adamo, Dell didn't just make another notebook, it created an entirely new brand, and as a brand, the Adamo works just fine. We just hope the economic crisis and poor demand don't make Dell change its mind and drop the concept, as the Adamo really shows promise. It's the first product in an entirely new series, so we didn't expect it to be perfect. We're hoping Dell will expand the brand with some more affordable models, more screen sizes, including non-glare options, and some cheaper chips inside.

For Dell, the Adamo thirteen is a brave first step into the thin-and-light premium market which is set to see a boom over the next year or so. Hopefully, we will see more Adamo series products soon, at more sensible prices for sensible consumers like ourselves.

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Last modified on 22 June 2009
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