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Dell Adamo Laptop

Steve Morgenstern
From the Print Edition:
Catherine Zeta-Jones, September/October 2009

Odds are you've never seen the words "sexy" and "Dell" in the same sentence before, but the company's slim and gorgeous Adamo laptop is the kind of tech that inspires hardcore hardware lust. The body is sculpted out of a single aluminum block, giving it solidity you can feel. The sophisticated design combines polished and brushed metal surfaces in intricate, but harmonious patterns. And Dell rightly trumpets the fact that this is the thinnest laptop you can buy, with a depth of just 0.65 inches (just a hair slimmer than the MacBook Air at its thickest point). All in all, the look and feel are striking. Pop the top and you find a beautiful 13.4-inch glass screen that runs nearly edge to edge, maintaining a sleek modern look that has no bezel bulging around the screen like a plastic picture frame.

The Adamo keyboard is terrific, a full-size version with a perfect touch-typing feel and backlighting that's a lifesaver when banging out deathless prose in dark spots. I generally toss a mouse in my bag to avoid the discomfort of moving a cursor with a laptop touchpad, but the Adamo version is significantly better than most, quite sensitive and large enough so you don't need dainty little gestures for precise positioning purposes.

The processor isn't the fastest available, but except for playing computer games or editing video, it's more than adequate. And the feature set is extensive, including wireless networking, Bluetooth and mobile broadband connectivity, a 128-gigabyte solid-state hard drive (with no moving parts) that resists bumps and lowers power consumption, a webcam above the screen and a full array of connectors for external gear (such as a CD/ DVD drive, which isn't built in).

Despite its svelte physique, the Adamo weighs, a surprising four pounds—everyone who has picked up my review unit remarked that it's significantly heavier than it looks (due in part to that lovely glass screen). The MacBook Air, by contrast, weighs just three pounds, and when you're racing through an airport or racing down the street to a meeting, a pound is not trivial.

The price is no featherweight either, starting at $2,000, but technological luxury has its cost, and the price per impressed passerby is pretty reasonable. Visit dell.com.

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