If you recognise the name ‘Dell Adamo XPS’ and it’s not because of the recent hype it’s probably due to the original “Dell Adamo” machine that went under that name and was released back in March and proudly took the title as being the thinnest laptop around which somewhat took the wind out of Apple’s Air’s sails – by about 0.11 inches to be precise.
Well the race for the thinnest laptop has been a little quieter since then, and this probably down to the fact that most manufacturers have realised most people actually can’t tell the difference between 0.65 and 0.76 inches, and even more importantly aren’t willing to pay hundreds of pounds for the difference. But Dell have seemingly been undeterred by this opinion, and have really pulled the stops out with the Dell Adamo XPS – the new thinnest laptop.
And when I say thin I mean thin: Dell have managed to roughly half the thickness and it now measures on average (the actual values vary by about 0.4mm either way depending where you are along the laptop) 9.9mm. For those of you unfamiliar with metric that’s 0.39 inches, whilst the original managed 0.65mm, and the Air came in at a relatively fat 0.76 inches.
If you’re looking for more relevant comparison, that means it is thinner than a standard CD jewel case, which by any measure is very impressive! But how on earth have they managed to do this? Well by severe space saving and a few clever tricks.
The first thing they’ve done is positioned the keyboard so that it fits in the slight recess created by the screen, but this means the hinge for the screen sits about 10cm further up from where they normally lie. This means (and you will probably have noticed this already in the pictures) that the screen sits up at around a 25 degree angle which I am assured is weird, but not something that you can’t get used to!
The second thing they’ve done is scrap anything unnecessary from the outside of the laptop – you still get the basic sockets (power [obviously], headphones, line in, two USB ports and a DisplayPort socket) but you can say goodbye to your Ethernet port, and you will have to rely on external DVD/Blu Ray Drives for your disk based needs – for a small cost of course!
Another interesting point is the lack of obvious branding – there is just a small “Dell Adamo” imprint on the front laving the rest looking very chic and metallic! The other major curiosity is the way in which you actually open the lid: there isn’t a button rather a pad which you stroke your finger across to open the Adamo XPS up. Yes this does mean that if the relatively short lived (about 2 and a half hours) battery dies than you cannot open it, and although Dell are right in their logic that you wouldn’t need to open it when it has no power they evidently haven’t counted on people wanting to show it off!
Finally after all of that on the dorm factor, we get down to the specs, which aren’t as bad as they could be given the space Dell have given themselves to play with. There’s 1.4GHz Intel ULV processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a Solid State 128GB drive as standard – the screen is 13.4-inch HD WLED 720p (1366 x 768) and will be more than adequate for anything you want to do with it.
And now the scary bit: the price. It will be released at $1,799 which is about £1,100, and in case you’re not very good at processing figures I’ll tell you that’s a lot especially for a laptop that can only muster 1.4GHz of processing power.
And it’s for that reason that I think the Dell Adamo XPS will be something that will be confined to the hands of people with lots of money, and who are more than happy to show this to everybody else. Yes it’s great to see people pushing the boundaries, but it has to be said that this really is a niche market – and we can only hope that this kind of innovation will filter down to the ‘lower’ end of the market and that us mere mortals will get a taste of this thin-goodness.