Dell claims design leadership with Adamo

Dell gathered together a modest audience this morning to make three announcements and then give a tantalizing look at the hotly-rumored Adamo luxury laptop line.

Dell Adamo White


View images of the Dell Adamo up close

Dell got things rolling this morning with an announcement on the software distribution side. Where Dell.com recently began offering music and movies, there will now be downloadable software as well. Next up was a subsidized netbook partnership with AT&T similar to the one the company announced with Vodafone in September. The Inspiron Mini 9 will be able to be purchased for $99 with a two-year mobile broadband contract (and after a $50 rebate) with AT&T. Dell Wasabi portable photo printer was also unveiled, but was discussed only a little. The device will be in the same class as Polaroid's PoGo, offering bluetooth connectivity that allows cameras and phones to print tradeable shots.

The next announcement was where things began to pick up steam. Adding to Dell's Mini line of netbooks, the company unveiled the Atom Z530-powered Inspiron Mini 10 this morning. Their "perfect 10" netbook offers a 16:9 720p HD display, a full edge-to-edge keyboard, a built-in TV tuner, built-in mobile broadband connectivity, GPS, 802.11n, a multi-touch and gesture touchpad, and design studio customizability. Aesthetics was an important theme in today's Dell gathering, with the hallways lined by artists' design studio laptop shell creations, and Kidrobot artist Tristan Eaton putting his trademark designs on Dell products in the background.

Michael Tatelman, Vice President of Global Consumer Sales and Marketing said, "At this point, I'd like to put a stake in the ground and really declare design leadership in our industry, which is something that Dell has not been able to do for a long time, and is something we've invested really heavily in in the last few years and I think now, you're starting to see the manifestation of that."

Dell is drawing a sharp line between performance and design in its product line, the company's peak performers fall under the Alienware line, and the peak examples of design will come under the new Adamo line.

The product which had various accessory leaks happen several months ago has caused a great deal of speculation among fans of the company. Today, a production model of Adamo was shown off, ever so briefly, ever so distantly, and with no information regarding specs. We do know that there is both a black model and a white model.

Coming from the Latin "To fall in love with," Adamo was actually the project code name for Dell's luxury laptops, and it just stuck. Tatelman said, "It's a funny process...As we went through, we were saying 'What do we call Adamo?' And we went through a series of exercises with agencies, trademark licensing, and all the things you do associated with naming a product, and we said 'This is silly, why not Adamo?'"

While wheeled out only for a moment, and in front of a detail-obscuring black background, the back of the device was visible, showing three USB ports, an Ethernet port, and the DisplayPort that was leaked several weeks ago. The device has an extremely thin and angular profile, and will begin shipping within the first half of this year.

Unfortunately, information on the internals is scant, but it was made absolutely clear that it is not a netbook and not powered by Atom. Its similarity to MacBook Air can currently only be attributed to its thinness and aluminium-ness.

View images of the Dell Adamo up close

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