A few weeks ago my friends at Dell graciously agreed to send me an Adamo to test for a couple of weeks – to be honest I’d have rather they just made it an open ended deal but ah well, you can’t have everything…

Dell_Adamo_Pearl_Product2_610x569For those of you who haven’t come across the Adamo before – it’s Dell’s hit at the top end of town, an answer to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air – while falling neatly, in my opinion, between the two.

I have to admit that I’m a materials guy, happier with leather and steel than plastic  – the Adamo certainly meets my preferences – it’s resplendent in some beautiful work – the rear panel has some CNCd ventilation holes, the bottom is exquisitely etched while the frame to frame glass is something to behold – the Adamo truly is a beautiful piece of kit.thumb_dell_adamo_hands-on_5-480x320

The Adamo comes in at a miserly 19mm deep – and while this necessitated a little bit of customisation of my laptop bag to ensure the machine was nicely padded, it was a modification I was more than happy to make. The Adamo is thin– while at the same time being rock solid – much more so than the MacBook Air – perhaps because of it’s squarer, more solid construction.

The build quality extends past the body however, the keys are beautifully scalloped and nicely backlit, the trackpad is resplendent in aluminium and there’s not an exposed screw to be seen. I’d have to say that the trackpad button click is way too heavy for my tastes, I ended up using the Adamo with an external mouse most of the time.

The unit weighs in at 1.8kg (for comparison, the MacBook Air is 1.36kgs while the 13 inch MacBook pro comes in at 2.04kg). Personally I was happy to gain a few hundred grams of weight when compared to the MacBook Air as the extra weight makes a big difference when it comes to rigidity and solidity.

The Adamo screen delivers a beautiful 1366 * 768 resolution and is a joy to watch – crisp and with beautiful contrast – Dell has spent extra on this screen for sure. – It also comes with a lovely ambient light sensor to ensure screen brightness is always right for the particular lighting situation.

For those who like technical details, the Adamo uses a 1.2GHz ultra-low voltage Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Mine came with the standard 4Gb of RAM, a 64 bit operating system and a luscious 128Gb solid state drive.

In terms of connecting to the outside world, the Adamo has three USB ports, an ethernet post and an external monitor port. There is unfortunately no memory card read and, in keeping with the Air theme, no optical drive. Regular readers of this blog however will know that I believe all software should be on the web and hence the need for an optical drive is greatly reduced.

This is no budget machine – the unit I tested has a price tag of just shy of $4500 – that’s roughly three times the price of other dell units – but if you’re a fan of engineering, are on the road frequently, don’t need a built in optical drive, and want to be able to annoy your Apple fanboy friends – the Adamo might just be for you. Now I just need to convince Dell to send me one for longer next time…..

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Will be interested when Dell make it available without an OS for those of us who want to install a proper operating system.

  • Dave, What, you mean like Win7?


  • No, Win7 would also qualify as a “less desirable than nothing” operating system. I was thinking BeOS 🙂

  • Yeah – I figured you meant something like that…. just being provocative is all….

  • Thanks for the challenge – I guess some people might’ve inferred that I was talking about Linux, so it’s probably best for me to make it explicit. 😉

    I’ve already got plenty of Linux machines (which are great), but if I wanted a conversation starter, one of those Adamos running BeOS would fit the bill 🙂

  • More rigid and solid than an Air???

    I am trying to bend mine at the moment by holding at a corner and twisting on another and its not possible. Are you trying to say you’d like an Air to review as well?

    Disclosure: I am not an Apple shill but if they paid me enough I would be

  • @Miki – send me your air and i’ll review it (as for sending it back… I can’t guarantee anything!)

  • Seen it… The only problem I have with it is it’s a little ‘metrosexual’ for my liking – ie: a bit girly. The cover texture is a little like fishnet stockings.

    On specs it’s great, but if I owned one, I would be just a little shy to pop it on the cafe table. It’s just a little “Look at me – I wanna be in the apple club, but they won’t let me so will I’ll start an Adamo club – wait – no members!”

    Great machine, but I think the product designer may have been a little effeminate. I prefer the slightly more manly XPS’s

    – Julian

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