jb… a weblog by Jonathan Buys

Adamo - Apple Pushes the Industry Forward

I almost feel sorry for the other hardware manufacturers. No matter what they do, no matter what they come out with, they seem to be forever following in Apple’s footsteps. Such is the case with Adamo from Dell, a clear shot at the MacBook Air.

Adamo uses the same machined aluminum manufacturing process introduced by Apple with the Air, which has since spread very successfully to the rest of the Mac laptop line. Adamo markets itself as very thin, and very light, and has an artistic feel to their advertising that seems out of place with “cookie cutter” Dell. In fact, the marketing is almost too artistic, almost like they are trying too hard to shed their old image.

The specifications between the two lines are very similar.

AdamoMacBook Air
CPU1.2Ghz Core 2 Duo1.6Ghz Core 2 Duo
GPUIntel GMX 4500NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Storage128GB SSD128GB SSD
Weight4 Pounds3 Pounds

As you can tell, this is not truly an apples to apples (pardon the pun) comparison. At this price point, the major difference between the Air and the Adamo is the $500 optional SSD. Configured with the 120GB SATA drive, the Air comes in at $1799. The Air is faster and lighter than the Adamo, and includes a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card.

A more accurate comparison may be with the MacBook, also configured with a 128GB SSD.

CPU1.2Ghz Core 2 Duo2.0Ghz Core 2 Duo
GPUIntel GMX 4500NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Storage128GB SSD128GB SSD
Weight4 Pounds4.5 Pounds

The MacBook case is larger and heavier. With the MacBook there is a half a pound difference in weight, but there is a big difference in the 2.0Ghz speed boost in the CPU. Fortunately for Dell, the Adamo is not about hardware internal hardware specs. It’s about trying to catch up with Apple in industrial design.

The screen looks gorgeous, I love the edge to edge glass design. The Adamo screen has a slightly different resolution from the standard 1280x800, coming in at 1366x768. Dell has done a great job with the Adamo. Unfortunately, its still not a MacBook killer, simply because its still not a Mac. Great industrial design is only one part of the puzzle of what makes a Mac a Mac. The other vital piece is OS X. With OS X and the Mac Apple has created a machine that drifts into the background, gets out of your way, and lets you do what you set out to do. Adamo ships with Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit. No matter how great the hardware is, if the software is not intimately tied to it the way only a company that creates both the hardware and the software can do, it’s still just another PC.

People may initially buy their first Mac because of the design, or the halo effect of the iPod. They buy their second Mac because of the experience.

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