Laptops

Poll: Is the new Dell Adamo worth the laptop's $2,699 price tag?

Dell hopes to take a little air out of Apple's sails with the stylish, expensive Adamo laptop. Apple fans are willing to pay big bucks for the latest from Jobs and company, but are consumers ready for a "luxury" product from Dell? What do you think?

Dell hopes to take a little air out of Apple's sails with the Adamo. This upscale laptop packs a lot of tech into a stylish, ultrathin package. But, it's going to cost you. Dell offers the Adamo in a $1,999 configuration and a $2,699 one.

While Apple fans are willing to shell out almost any price for the latest from Jobs and company, I'm not sure the same can be said for Dell. Perhaps Dell is hoping to capture more of the enterprise executive market? Corporate IT departments that mostly support PCs may be more willing to deploy the Adamo than bring in a handful of Apples.

Regardless of their motives, I think many individuals view Dell as a value brand. They're the company of $699 laptops and $499 desktops (monitor not included). Are consumers ready for a "luxury" product from Dell? What do you think?

If you want to see what's inside the Adamo, check out our gallery, Cracking Open the Dell Adamo.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

54 comments
metilley
metilley

Comparing a Dell with an Apple is assinine. Apple's are worth their price but their prices could be lower. They would attract a lot more customers if they were (lower in price). Most Dell's (including the Adamo) should cost no more than $500 - $600.

donnakline
donnakline

No. The Mac has its own cachet and features that Apple fans love. A Dell is just a PC laptop.

Zpunky
Zpunky

From Dell??? No way!

akfaka
akfaka

Put a Ferrari body over a Yugo engine, nice work Dell. As long as you guys use Garbagesoft's broken Windows, no matter how much Gucci perfume you pour over dog $&@T, it still smells like $&@T!!

bigroj
bigroj

Hello? Did anybody question how Vertu made a business selling what are essentially Nokia cellphones in fancy cases but with massive pricetags? Some people will buy the Adamo simply because it is expensive and exclusive and establishes the owner who has enough money to be able to buy something that others cannot afford. The fact that it is better looking than most will help. Personally, I predict a version with a diamond-encrusted Dell logo on a platinum base sometime in the near future. What does it matter that costs $2,699 if you want it look good on the desk in your private plane?

tim
tim

In a word, No. I can't imagine what their marketing people must have been smoking to come up with this as a positive move for Dell to take at this time. Their website describes it as ?A union of advanced technology and exquisite design, Adamo was inspired by an irrepressible love of engineering.? Did they really think that consumers are focusing on looks at a time when the economy is in such a state of flux? Do they still consider a Core-2 Duo processor to be a big deal when Core-2 quads are already being used? As to having it be attractive to the "enterprise executive market", corporate IT departments are just as unlikely to willingly support a laptop loaded with Vista Home as they are a desktop version. [yes, that is the default OS for Adamos]. Now, had they waited until Windows 7 was available to load on these systems, and had they planned the architecture to include DUAL quad-core processors..... Well now, that's a different ball park entirely.

j.bryce.reeves
j.bryce.reeves

It comes in a pretty, transparent, plastic container. Who wouldn't pay $2700 for that? by the way, no they aren't standardized, but i have beat my dell laptops up and they keep running, not sure how many times the one i have now has been dropped. Maybe not great for a business pc, but just fine for most users and no i don't get the low end Dell's either. (still light-years ahead of toshiba, in my humble opinion.)

JoniFili
JoniFili

Why would Dell name its laptop after a french 60's singer?

tim
tim

As impressive a singing career as Salvatore Adamo had, I doubt that it was sufficient to prompt Dell to name this system after him. Dell claims to have named it Adamo because that is the Latin word for "to fall in love with" (or, "find pleasure in"). I guess they figure people are going to buy it because they are so enthralled with the aesthetics of it. Doubtful.... Interesting to note, Dell has used this Latin verb in its first-person singular conjugation. In other words, it reads as though the computer is declaring that it has fallen in love with you. More correctly, they should have used "Adamare" which is the present active infinitive form of the verb and could have been interpreted to indicate that the computer personifies "to fall in love with". Or, they could have used any of the more specific forms of the verb that are formed by its Person, Number, Voice, Mood and Tense. (e.g.: adamatum est = it will be fallen in love with). They should probably have consulted a Latin scholar before naming it......... or, they could have called it the "Salvatore Adamo".

Messenia
Messenia

I don't mind the price but it's too heavy. I don't care about styling and I think the focus on Apple's MacBook Air is an irrelevant diversion. My number one priority for a laptop is mobility. What I was looking forward to from Dell was an updated Latitude X300... and this doesn't qualify.

KaryDavis
KaryDavis

...but then I value computers for their productivity, not their style. Like everyone else, I drool over the Apple eye candy, but I've always been strictly a PC person because it does not make sense to me to pay twice (sometimes triple) the amount to achieve the same results!! "worth" is relative... and relatively speaking, I think computers are a lot like cars. All new cars accomplish the same goals, but everyone has their preference for models, makes, sizes, etc. Then there are the select few who just want to show others how successful they are, or stand out in a peer group, or keep up with the jones, by purchasing the most expensive flashiest cars on the market. I don't think the new Adamo is "worth" the purchase price...but then, I drive a Huyndai...:0)

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I used to have an IBM Thinkpad, straight from the business machines division in Toronto and not available from retail outlets. It was a standardized build, guaranteed. 5-yr, onsite same day service, which they really stuck to! At the time, 1999-2000, it was over $3200.00 with a RAM upgrade to 640MB. PIII, 1.13 Ghz etc. Not exactly high end specs but it STILL outperformed most of the XP desktops around last year, until i finally killed it Well I [i]can[/i] fix it, it's not completely dead, but I didn't have time to do it when I asked the boss to get me a new one in time for a meeting. So now I use an HP Pavillion Entertainment notebook, it does the job, it works just fine and runs all the apps and games i want to run, in fact I haven't found anything it doesn't run, but....its STILL a piece of crap for $1000.00 and doesn't even hold a candle to the IBM I had before. Do I expect it to run and hold it's own against machines 9 years form now? God no, I would be surprised if it made 2 years, but its cheapo and that's what the company did in a rush to get me up and off to a meeting.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

No one's laptop is worth $2700 in 2009 dollars. 1999 dollars, maybe; 2009 dollars, no.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

And again it was just splitting hairs. But GD/Itronix puts a lot into their systems, a LOT. it has a lot to do with mounting pads, shock absorption, heat transfer, security (a VERY big issues as they meet military standards) etc. Itronix also have full GPS options, self destructing hard drives or emergency data disruption etc Those guys really get into the security and reliability part of the game. Having been there and met their engineers and reps, they are almost weird/infatuated about it, they REALLY go to extreme lengths!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Although your paying far more for the hardening and the case than the electronics, you've got me there.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Sure, I know I am splitting hairs now but your statement is just too bold. I sold notebooks just last year that were resold to the end user companies for over $7000.00 each. They had small screens, only average processors and speed, were not pretty and fancy like retail notebooks etc. but they had a purpose. A very durable one. IN fact they will last for YEARS longer than anything on the market today. General Dynamics/Itronix started by building them on contract for the military, Itronix then took them to the next level by making them available to enterprise. I used to have clients in forestry and the Alberta oil fields that relied no them heavily. Intrinsically safe (MILITARY STANDARD 810F, not just i67), heated for cold weather use, can be dropped/kicked and thrown around without issue etc. I know, an exception to the rule indeed but it does prove that SOMEBODY's notebook is worth more than $2700.00 in 2009 dollars, in fact WHOLESALE they averaged over $5000.00 Ea. NOTE: This is nothing like the Panasonic Toughbook, stuff that is semi rugged but still retail quality. I literally threw them on floors during demos, took them outside and washed them down with a hose etc. An amazing product indeed! http://www.gd-itronix.com/index.cfm?page=Products:XR-1 Check out the product test videos on this page, REALLY cool stuff, can you imagine doing that with a Compaq (or anything else) from Best Buy? LOL :D http://www.gd-itronix.com/index.cfm?page=Products:XR-1

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

NOTHING from Dell has even been worth more than $1000.00. To think of spending over $2500 on something with the DELL name attached to it is just plain scary. They offer the bottom of the barrel, the sweepings off the floor. Dell has a history of inconsistency, changing parts halfway through a product run, as it seems they like to just unload the warehouse shelves and use whatever fits. For them to even TRY to step into a more professional/enterprise ready market, they must gain a reputation for hardware standardization (which has left them out of that market so far) and start building reputable products, not just cheap ones to lure the cheap consumer/small business into their web. For them to come out of the gate what they claim is a high end product is like Fischer pretending they can produce audiophile quality products or Chevy pretending they can build high end sports cars, or Britney Spears pretending she can sing....I think you get the picture.

F4A6Pilot
F4A6Pilot

She has a body by Fisher and a brain by Univac... I guess I should apologize to Univac and Fisher did make Corvettes and the Buicks of the 50s & 60s too...

frvr
frvr

no dell is worth any price. with their lousy customer service and their "well that price was yesterday" attitude, the only thing I use a dell for is a boat anchor. F*** them.

DadsPad
DadsPad

No, the price is just too high. Laptops are not much of a status symbol anymore. Apple users are a dedicated bunch that love the Mac OS. I do not judge this, it is a decision that is individual. All the Apple buyers will shun the one from Dell as it has Windows on it. That said, there are always people that will buy the latest and greatest. However, what is cool in the tech world now, will be old hat in a month.

stepjan
stepjan

Since time immemorial, Apple has been noted to produce "luxurious" and frivolous goods. They had always failed that's why their name is scarcely known beyond the borders of the US.Because of this, I don't see why Dell should follow Apple's footsteps. Dell is noted for robust and productive devices and so they should not tag along Apple in producing luxury goods-- As for the pricing, Apple will always be expensive and Dell should continue to be Dell:less expensive products.

mg_roberts
mg_roberts

why? because choices are good. dell makes great products at great prices. i've had 5 dell laptops, 2 from various jobs and 3 for personal use. they are tanks, they take any abuse. and the more time that goes by, the more customization they offer. that's on of the reasons i'm not an apple fan. people buy an apple and expect to stand out; when everyone that has an apple has one that looks exactly like yours. do you really want to be just like everyone else? you're willing to pay a premium to have what everyone else has? i'd rather pay a premium and have a more robust OS and have something that no one else has. next year, the adamo will probably look different. with mac, it's the same boring look, year after year.

akfaka
akfaka

>>Dell is noted for robust and productive devices ? Where have you been?

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

how would you know that the Apple name is scarcely known beyond the borders of the US? UK - I see ipods, iphones and macbooks everywhere, they have adverts on prime time TV. Schools and Universities have labs full of them. Scarcely known beyond the borders of the US? More like scarcely known in Ghana.

Dogbert 7
Dogbert 7

"They had always failed that's why their name is scarcely known beyond the borders of the US." Really? Scarcely known? http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/01/apples-sales-abroad-helped-offset-effect-of-weak-us-economy.ars "International vs the US, international on Mac was much stronger than the US. International growth was 16% on Macintosh year over year, 2% in US. We saw several countries over 20%." It may not be the platform of choice worldwide (with only 2.5% of the world market) but it's hardly "scarcely known." And that percentage is only growing...

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

While I agree that MAC is hardly scarcely known, perhaps it is just picking up speed in other nations now whereas it has been around but not too popular until more recently with all the BS fears and fables behind Vista. just a thought, just a thought

That_IT_Guy
That_IT_Guy

"BS fears and fables behind Vista" I will agree some people have made Vista out to be worse than it actually it... but come on... are you honestly telling me you think Vista was fully-cooked when released? I use it now... after hours of tweaking the D'hell out of it. It's like XP Home was when it came out... crap. Even M$ has dropped the Home Basic from the lineup. Why? Because the basic versions are crap and the "Ultimate" version still has to be heavily tweaked to be reliable. I am NOT Vista bashing... just telling you what I have lived. I'm hoping 7 is not cursed with the 'not ready for prime time' curse M$ has suffered from since... well, day one.

Dogbert 7
Dogbert 7

Certainly the poor market performance of Vista (warranted or not) didn't hurt Apple's performance. And I think that has also allowed them to expand more into other markets a little bit more aggressively than they had in the past. Also the iPod has been a huge hit nationally and internationally by any measure. That has also helped increased Mac sales. So I'd say there are a number of forces at work behind the increase in Apple's market share.

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

You mean like the over-bloated piece of garbage operating system that it is? I understand that the majority of users out there like to be led, step-by-step, through a process of adding things like their network connections, and their printers, and everything else they want to do... Not to mention being asked half a billion times if I want to add my network to the list of acceptable networks to use. Right now I'm debating one whether or not I want to format almost every new computer we buy to use Linux since the newest ones BSoD when I try and install XP on them.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Did you keep a straight face while typing that? "Dell is noted for robust and productive devices" :D Dell is noted for low end garbage built out of whatever they had laying around in the warehouse. Two supposedly identical computers get shipped, one with a Western Digital Hard drive and one with a Seagate hard drive, that doesn't work for organizations that require standards. Their warranties, product quality, component consistency etc. are all for the retail consumer, not enterprise or, as you suggest, robust or productive needs. They are for companies or individuals with no budget and seeking a low end, off the shelf build. Junko crappo that only compares to the retail junko-crappo from retail outlets like Best Buy.

DJL2
DJL2

Wow...so you remember when Western Digital was high quality and Seagate was low quality? That was so long ago (early 90's). Nowadays, the quality differences are virtually nil among all component and PC brands. All PC builders use whatever is available at the time. And for those who still think of Dell as "cheap", they haven't been paying attention to its prices over the last 5 years. Dell ain't cheap anymore.

Hans.Hilberink
Hans.Hilberink

Dell is a great company, they make good products and support them very well, can you say that about Apple? I cannot. I own Dells and never got annoyed with these products, Apple however is off my wish list. regards, Hans

That_IT_Guy
That_IT_Guy

Yes, I can say that about Apple. Best laptop I ever owned was the Pismo PowerBook (among other Apple laptops, but the Pismo still rates as best overall). And I owned it while I worked at Dell! LOL! I worked there and I can say from first-hand knowledge... Dell is average/mediocre, at best. They are not the worst by far, but they are nothing close to top shelf.

sidekick
sidekick

I guess I have low standards. I usually go with Dell because I have been happy with their reliability. Most of my users run Office, need internet and email, and maybe an app or 2, and for them a Vostro meets their needs. Heck, I'm writing this on a Vostro 200 right now.

DJL2
DJL2

Oz said-- "Their reputation is low end, cheap consumer devices, not high end, enterprise ready, "robust" devices with the standardization that competitive products in that same market offer." That may be your impression, but the exact opposite is true...just read business reports about Dell's customer base if you doubt me. Dell became the giant it is by selling to large enterprises. In fact, for years Dell sold to consumers almost as an after-thought. The consumer market has never made up more than about 15% of its sales. It's finally trying to change that with products like Adamo.

m_ozzie
m_ozzie

Mate, I'm one of those end users the networks are made of :)...and HAD enough of Dell's rubbish components. I've been through 2 laptops in 2 years and both, (Latitude D series) had the mobos, replaced; the new box had the screen replaced ... 3 days later the mobo went kaput :) Yep, you're right cheap but NASTY!

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

First of all, we are looking at Dell offering a "high end" machine for enterprise use. Not servers of desktops bought online cheap for use in the average business (no offense towards you or your employer's business intended). I am also typing this on a piece of crap HP Pavillion Entertainment notebook. It's complete garbage though and I know it and knew it when it was bought (company dollars)! But was priced around $1000.00 CAD about a year ago, I finally killed my IBM Thinkpad after 9 years. THAT was a good machine where any replacement parts were guaranteed to be identical to the originals, but its not available from retail outlets, ordered from IBM's business machines division. My crappo HP now runs all of my audio studio apps, web and graphic design apps, you name it, no problem. But that doesn't make the hardware I'm using "robust" or even just 'good', its retail garbage nothing more and is sold as such. It's low end, retail shite, when it dies it dies, I don't expect HP to offer me an identical replacement part after even 6 months of use, a reasonable replacement or even newer part maybe, but not identical which is a lack of standardization. Standardization is what large companies and government agencies require when seeking high end products, and DELL is neither known for offering high end products (as the poster I had replied to suggested)nor standardization, so how does this new expensive notebook resolve that issue? My comment was regarding reputation, not ability to make a simple machine work for someone. Their reputation is low end, cheap consumer devices, not high end, enterprise ready, "robust" devices with the standardization that competitive products in that same market offer.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

I have a few of their rack servers and they are fine. All components the same throughout and service has also been fine.

DJL2
DJL2

Dell has business product lines, for instance Optiplex, that provide standardized component parts. Not sure if they guarantee identical parts for 10 years though. That's an awfully long time...probably too long to make any financial sense. Try buying a 10 GB hard drive today...would you even want to?? Dell has an enormous presence in the enterprise marketplace. 85% of its sales are large businesses...that's been true for decades. I have no idea where you get the impression that its products are for "cheap consumers and businesses on a budget." In fact, Dell's sales are currently stalling precisely because they aren't drawing in these low-end customers.

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

We use Lenovo tablets for our medical providers and they're near garbage. The plastic they used to make the things breaks, chips, and shatters at the slightest provocation. I've had at least five of them get second-rate replacement hard drives and when I told them I needed a specific type of hard drive I was told by the tech that they are only required "to provide a hard drive of a similar size and form factor." Now, the Dells we have are no real picnic either. But, I've had fewer problems with the Dell laptops we have than any of the other machines we have in the office. Above all, however, the best tablets/laptops we've had in the place were three HP tablets we order for trials several years ago. Those things are tanks. Of all the computers I own personally, the only one that doesn't give me problems is an old Acer upright server that I've installed Linux on. It runs most of my home computer connection setup and I haven't had a problem with it in the 6 years it's been up and running.

been-there-done-that
been-there-done-that

Sure , if you buy one of Dells comsumer lines , that's what you are getting. I have worked with all major brands. Being a Dell (also IBM, Gateway and AppleASP) Certified Tech usually gets you immediate high level tech support for Dell business products . We have over 1000 dell laptops, desktops , servers in the system. (And another 3000 IBM/Lenovo) . Very ,very little problems with the Dells. We run systems at a refresh rate of about every 4 to 5 years so you know they are being hammered. We are running mostly Dells Latitude laptops and Optiplex desktops. These are true workhorses and take a beating day in and day out. All parts are next day delivery, never an issue with them. I have NO problems with standardization, drivers and any such issues. It's just my experienced opinion I am not a "Dell Dude" I personally own Dell, HP, Apple, IBM,Gateway and Compaq laptops at the moment and each one has it's weak points but thought I should add my 2 cents. As far as the new Dell laptop being worth the price. The Air in my opinion is NOT worth the price but I have yet to see/try the Dell so I will reserve judgement on that one for now. I quote OZ "Dell is noted for low end garbage built out of whatever they had laying around in the warehouse. Two supposedly identical computers get shipped, one with a Western Digital Hard drive and one with a Seagate hard drive, that doesn't work for organizations that require standards." Their warranties, product quality, component consistency etc. are all for the retail consumer, not enterprise or, as you suggest, robust or productive needs." That's just wrong. Dell targets many markets one of them being comsumers looking for the cheapest PC money can buy. Yes in that particular case you are correct... some of them are junk. The business Enterprise solutions are a different story. These are not sold retail to end users. The second quote is just rediculous and is not true at all. Sounds like someone has a Dell chip on his shoulder maybe eh ? Another silly quote "Companies like Dell will not offer standardization guarantees. IBM for example will guarantee that the identical parts will be available for 10 yrs." LOL I am still not even sure why such "standardization" is necessary. Just like Palmetto I like to Ghost n go. No problems. I warranty IBM(now Lenovo) stuff all the time and.. uh.. no its not always identical. 10 years??? are you kidding ? I have trouble even getting new parts for my AS/400 that's not even 10 years old never mind an old GL/PL300 or a Thinkpad 390. If you got that kind of warranty for 10 years you probalby paid $$alot$$ for it and really 10 years ? Who in todays environment keeps anything for 10 years ? Ooopps I take that back I have an Old Novell server still chugging along out there somewhere.. I just have to find it ( I think it's in a wall)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Identical as in I can install the replacement parts and not have to load new drivers, and I can continue to use existing Ghost images without post-Ghosting updates or alterations.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Interchange, meaning one part is compatible with the other machine, or identical in that the standards set out and agreed to by the owner are met consistently by identical replacement parts? As Jd noted, in larger organizations, this is often imperative. Each component is approved, spec'd out and must be replaced with identical parts in future. That way when there is a staggered rollout, all machines are identical in every way, regardless of when they were purchased. I don't mean they both have a 120 GB HD, but that they both use 'identical' 120GB HD's. This costs a lot for a manufacturer as they must buy, store and ensure these parts are available for all companies that have such a guarantee, its very expensive and not something DELL is about to pull off. Sure they'll replace the HD with something else that fits and works, but your WD120GB may be replaced by a Seagate 320GB drive, which doesn't SOUND so bad at first, but it is not offering the standardization that many large organizations require; leaving companies like DELL as a low end, budget consumer product line.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

My Thinkpad had a 5-yr standardization guarantee to match teh 5 yr, on site, same day warranty. Very nice indeed!!!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"Now go and buy 200 desktops. In 6 months buy a bunch or replacement parts, and tell me if they match the original hardware." I don't have that problem as much with Dell. I've got a couple of models I purchased at either end of the product life cycle and I can interchange parts without problem. Of course, that may not apply across their entire product line. Compaq was really bad about this. On some products the driver download pages would list several different makes and models of components (NICs, audio, video, chipset, etc.)

jdclyde
jdclyde

IBM would allow you to purchase systems in the six month cycle, and other than amount of ram or CPU speed, it would be an identical system. When you have thousands of systems, this is crucial. For a small office, it isn't as big of a deal, and you purchase based upon price, not quality. The last time I called Dell support, as I sat on hold for 20 minutes I got to listen to their recorded message pushing upgrading from on-site to GOLD on-site to reduce being ignored for the hour or so......

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Now go and buy 200 desktops. In 6 months buy a bunch or replacement parts, and tell me if they match the original hardware. That's the problem with a lack of standards. Companies like Dell will not offer standardization guarantees. IBM for example will guarantee that the identical parts will be available for 10 yrs. So if you company replaces parts over time, they will receive identical parts to those in existing machines, Dell simply does not guarantee such service. Which for government buildings, military usage and enterprises that require such standardization, Dell falls horribly short. For cheap PC's, they will send you anything as a replacement, for the high end user there is no standardization. So you lucked out buying a group of rack servers, assuming at or near the same time, however what happens 3 years down the road? You don't know and Dell can't tell you. To many companies this is just not enough to bank such an investment on and is why Dell has always been the entry level product for cheap consumers or businesses on a budget.

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