Design and Bulid Quality
This what the Adamo is all about. You wouldn't marry a supermodel for her cooking skills, now would you? Well at least I wouldn't, I'm a great cook.
Looking at Dell's product lineup, the Adamo sticks out like Seven of Nine on a geek infested Star Trek convention. Basically, its design is second to none. It is easily the most beautiful PC notebook on the market, but if you compare it to Cupertino's Air, I think it's fair to say they're evenly matched, and it's purely a matter of taste. Unlike some people on our team, I never say hardware is sexy, no inanimate object can ever be, and even most people aren't, either. However, the Adamo comes close, damn close. Kudos to Dell, this time it really managed to match Steve's crack team of latte-drinking designers.
Measuring 330 x 420 x 16.5 mm (13.0 x 9.5 x 0.65-inches), the Adamo is simply the thinnest thing around, and it even makes the Air (19mm/0.76in) and X301 (23mm/0.9in) look like they need some gym time. Unfortunately, the Adamo is not the lightest of the lot. At 1.8kg, or 4 pounds, it's heavier than the Lenovo or MacBook, and it could do with a low-carb diet.
What sets the Adamo apart from most similar designs is the choice of several materials and finishes, all bungled together to create the look and feel of a very exclusive piece of kit. There is some sense in the chaos. The anodized aluminium in a bunch of patterns and textures, coupled with mineral glass on the screen and lid, gives the white Pearl version a very distinctive, yet very elegant appearance. Had they had notebooks in the roaring twenties, this is probably what they would have looked like.
Another thing that sets the Adamo apart from most PCs is the fact that Dell managed to get rid of all those nasty stickers, logos and screws. They're all either hidden or etched into the bottom.
This gives you an idea of how meticulous the designers were in every aspect of the design.
As you can see, there's no ugly ventilation slots either. Everything is styled to perfection. Speaking of ventilation, the Adamo is mostly silent, but once you push it, the fan hidden in the left back corner kicks in, and it's surprisingly loud. Fortunately, you won't hear it that often, as you probably won't run demanding apps on an ultraportable.
The keyboard, media controls and power button are all backlit in white. The lighting level is controlled automatically, via a tiny sensor hidden in the screen bezel. If you want to show off, you can override the automatic control and light it up like a christmas tree, sacrificing a bit of battery life in the process. The font used on the keyboard is a bit awkward, futuristic. We like it, but some more conservative punters might not.
As you would expect from such a pricey high-end product, build quality is excellent. In spite of using several finishes and materials on the chassis and lid, the Adamo feels like a freshly molded slab of aluminium. The general feel of solidity could also be attributed to its weight, as it's a bit heavier than the Air or X301.
There's really not much to complain about here, and we can move on.