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Dell Launches 9.9mm Thick Adamo XPS

Gordon Kelly by

Dell Launches 9.9mm Thick Adamo XPS

Any more viral and the Adamo XPS would've given us Swine Flu. So it's about time Dell fessed up...

Happily late last night it came clean and officially outed what has become the world's thinnest laptop. Measuring 340 x 273.9 and just 9.9mm at its thickest point, the second generation Adamo makes the MacBook Air look positively bloated at 325 x 227 x 4-19.4mm. Interestingly though the aluminium body of the XPS weighs 1.44Kg, slightly heavier than the 1.36Kg of the Air and I'd be more interested in weight for overall portability than thickness - but that's just me.

Other than its malnourished dimensions the other rather funky aspect to the Adamo XPS is how it opens. Firstly it has a touch sensitive strip along the front which you simply swipe with a finger to open the laptop - very bling. Furthermore when it does open the mechanism involved is like nothing we've ever seen with the back of the screen becoming a prop for the base and angling the XPS into a typing friendly position. Dell has also integrated the connectivity into the side of the screen rather than the body to keep things ever so svelte.

Is this all style over substance? Well yes and no. On one hand, the design is ingenious both creating a natural typing angle, enabling such slim dimensions and enabling unprecedented airflow to keep itself cool. On the other it means there is no room for adjusting the screen angle, you'll likely soon scratch and scuff the back of the XPS in what is a very visible area when closed and it won't be at all comfortable to use on your lap. Whether the pros outweigh the cons will ultimately be an individual decision.

Happily however amongst all this design is some grunt since Dell has kitted out the XPS far better than its meek predecessor. An Intel Core 2 Duo (1.4GHz) ULV processor is at its core, coupled with integrated (though HD capable) graphics, 4GB RAM, a 13.4in 1366 x 768 LED backlit display and large multi-touch trackpad. On top of this is WiFi, Bluetooth and even GPS. HDMI has been sacrificed in favour of the smaller DisplayPort, but an adaptor is provided into the box. You'll also find 2x USB 2.0 and an Ethernet port (take note MacBook Air). Lastly Windows 7 is predictably the OS of choice.

So your heart is set and there's just two things that can ruin it: battery life and price. And yes, they just might. The former is a real disappointment with the standard three cell battery lasting just two hours and the upgradable six cell only good for five hours - no better than the Air and worse than most netbooks and Lenovo's X301. Next is price and this starts from $1,799 (£1,209) and is only likely to increase this side of the Atlantic.

Ultimately though those who are likely to buy this machine made their minds up long before reading this far. With a Christmas launch date on the cards, I'm sure you already know which camp you fall into...


AdamoByDell Official Website

Go to comments

Hamish Campbell

November 6, 2009, 8:36 pm

Hey, and there I thought Apple was exploiting the market with horribly overpriced hardware.

Turns out they are quite competitive? Please discuss below.


November 6, 2009, 8:52 pm

Kudos to Dell for being so bold, but I can't help thinking that the unconventional design when open will lead to fewer sales than if they'd been less adventurous. The side on view looks incredibly fragile.


November 6, 2009, 8:53 pm

Hmm that screen hinge is silly. A super ultra portable laptop you can't use on your lap? Where do they find the plonkers who design these things?

Tim Sutton

November 6, 2009, 9:04 pm

@ haim

Thanks so much for giving your permission for anyone else to comment. In the comments section. Of a website that isn't yours.

Aaaanyway. I like the design of this. It feels retro to me, I think I'm remembering very old PDAs that did something similar with an angled keyboard when they were opened.. or possibly I'm getting confused with typewriters or something, but either way it appeals.

The price and specifications do not though. I'm not a fan of anything Apple, but I'd certainly go for the older yet still more powerful Air superslim over this if I had to choose between the two.


November 6, 2009, 9:17 pm

from what I've seen in unboxing galleries around the net, ethernet is not built into the lappy itself, but there is a USB to Ethernet adapter included in the box


November 6, 2009, 9:21 pm

What is there to discuss? Apple was never the only company to release expensive high-end ultralight laptops. Sony and Samsung, among others, have had thin and small premium laptops for years. E.g. here is a review of the 2004 X10: http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

Oh and IBM/Lenovo and Toshiba also have premium ultralight laptops. It's not an Apple thing. In fact, before the advent of netbooks, if you wanted a ultraportable laptop, you usually had to spend a sizable amount of money. What Apple did contribute is what they always do; they put a lot of work into the design and into the marketing. Successfully, since every newly released high-end portable is now compared to the MacBook Air.


November 6, 2009, 9:32 pm

"...far better than its meek predecessor. An Intel Core 2 Duo (1.4GHz)..."

"...three cell battery lasting just two hours"

"...worse than most netbooks.."

You cannae have your cake and eat it.


November 6, 2009, 9:37 pm

Has it ever occurred to one of these Ultra-thin laptop/netbook manufacturer's to add a built-in backlight to the keyboard? I know Alienware have multi-coloured ones. It really wouldn't hurt for something as high-priced as this; as most people that make good use of their laptop/netbook will want to use them in low-light/no-light conditions.


November 6, 2009, 9:43 pm

One day Sony will repeat the awesomeness that was the X505 (http://www.trustedreviews.com/.... Until then I really can't feel enthusiastic about upgrading from my TZ to anything else.


November 6, 2009, 9:48 pm

This is really cool!! I want to get one of these...this video Ultra-thin from Intel http://tiny.cc/rDIBw shows how such a laptop is possible....


November 6, 2009, 9:52 pm

This is bonkers. No ability to adjust the screen position????!

People are gonna buy this because it 'deploys' with the swipe of a finger and then realise it's actually terrible to use, resulting in bad marketing for Dell; tards!

The Asus implementation would be the better of the 2.


November 6, 2009, 11:04 pm

I'd think that most people that make good use of their laptops will be able to use the keyboard without looking at it, making a backlight superfluous. ;)


November 7, 2009, 2:54 am

@morsch: Not really, Laptops like this are compared to the Air because, like the air, they may be putting style over substance. The Ultraportables from sony/lenovo/toshiba etc. are designed for usability first and style second.

It'll be interesting to see how usable the Adamo XPS actually is, I think it might surprise a few people.


November 7, 2009, 3:06 am

@ Hugo

I've just picked up a Vaio X series (http://www.sony.co.uk/product/.... It's rather impressive! Sony consider it a successor to ye olde X505...


November 8, 2009, 10:08 am

a bold if not an incredibily stupid design decision by dell. hp at least had ergonomics in mind with the double-hinged screens on its dragon range. and moving the ethernet port over to the power supply unit for their voodoo range was a clever way of freeing up port space without inconveniecing its users. its just that none of these ideas were implemented or improved on by either hp or its rivals.


November 8, 2009, 2:16 pm

Yeah, I lean down quite heavily on the palm rests and I'm not sure that hinge could take it.

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