New Dell Laptop: Thinner Than Air?

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The Dell Adamo is definitely coming, as evidenced by Dell giving it its own Web site featuring only the Adamo name and the words "coming soon." But what the Adamo will be is the subject of a fair amount of speculation.

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The most popular rumor is that the Adamo will be an ultrathin laptop to compete with Apple's Macbook Air. According to multiple sources, the rumors seem to have started with fashion site UptownLife reporting that "Rumor has it that Dell is coming out with a computer called Adamo that will rival the MacBook Air." However, the article at UptownLife has since been removed, so it's unclear now how valid its claims were.

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A New York Times blog picked up on UptownLife's rumor, trying to score some more concrete confirmation for the ultrathin laptop. This piece referenced some nervous body language by Dell VP of consumer sales and marketing Michael Tatelman when asked about Dell making a laptop to compete with Air. Tatelman's verbal response to the question was just as telling as his body language, which is to say it was fairly ambiguous. "I think we need to get some iconic products out there, so people associate Dell's brand with other things," the cagey exec said.

Engadget picked up on the Adamo story independent of UptownLife, claiming with an anonymous source that Dell will be marketing the Adamo as "the world's thinnest laptop" and will be made available as early as February.

While The New York Times is happy to assume that the "other things" Dell wants to be associated with is a sleek, thin laptop, I'm not as certain. Checking over at Dell's own blog, I don't see any mention of making laptops thinner, but instead a discussion on making its computers and production greener and more energy efficient. The blog specifically attacks Apple, claiming that Apple advertises itself as a green company without taking all the necessary steps to actually be one (which is ironically very similar to Apple's ads against Microsoft and Vista). It seems like Dell is trying to compete with Apple's environmental image rather than its design image.

If an ultra-thin laptop is the most environmentally friendly option, then it could be the secret of the Adamo laptop, but I'd bet that we'll see the Adamo advertised as "the world's greenest laptop" before "the world's thinnest laptop."

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