iFixit partnered with TechRepublic to show off the fine inner details of Dell’s all-new Adamo. Dell has clearly positioned the Adamo as a competitor to the MacBook Air. Does it have a chance? Dell’s industrial design team is certainly giving Apple a run for their money. First Look Highlights:

  • Dell created a clever locking system that snaps the bottom plate of the computer into place. This allows them to completely avoid screws on the bottom of the computer, giving the Adamo a cleaner look than the MacBook Air. However, the Adamo does have larger gaps between the bottom plate and the computer frame, slightly exposing the internals.
  • Dell labels a lot more parts than Apple does. This definitely makes our job easier, even though it’s not quite as photogenic.
  • The 11.1 V battery is rated at 40 Watt hours, an improvement over the MacBook Air’s 7.2 V, 37 Watt hour battery. The Adamo’s advertised operating time is 5 hours, outliving Apple’s claims for the MacBook Air by 30 minutes.
  • According to the manual, the battery weighs in at 489 grams. That’s 27% of the Adamo’s weight. In comparison, the MacBook Air’s battery weighs in at 287 grams, only 21% of the Air’s total weight.
  • The Adamo is not a ‘value’ computer. Apple has demonstrated that people are willing to pay Steve Jobs more for their luxury products, but are people willing to grant Michael Dell that same premium?
  • The standard SSD (although you’re paying for it) is a nice touch compared to the Air.
  • Dell managed to eschew the standard Windows and Intel stickers for elegant integrated logos on the bottom plate. This is a first in the PC marketplace, and we’re told it took quite a bit of convincing on Dell’s part.
  • The hinge on the Adamo feels solid, but time will tell how well the hinge design will hold up. Hinge problems have plagued a number of MacBook Air owners.
  • The Adamo is not nearly as light as the MacBook Air, but a quick glance at our photos shows the reason. Adamo packs in a lot more technology than the Air into a thinner package.
  • An amusing aside: Dell’s manual says the Adamo has 803.11n wireless. Is Dell employing technical writers from the future? What else can they teach us?

View Adamo First Look

Miro Djuric is an industrial engineer with extensive automotive and electronic tinkering experience.

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