The scraps of news Dell parceled out on its mysterious Adamo laptop at CES left reviewers disappointed, but the company did announce several new laptops and one desktop, the XPS 625, at the show.
The new laptops meld together two Dell brands, the mid-range Studio and the high-end XPS (Inspiron is budget brand). Dell already sells a 13-inch XPS M1330--a popular model that is available both direct and in stores such as Best Buy--but the Studio XPS 13 is a new design. And the Studio XPS 16 is Dell's first model with a 16-inch widescreen display, not counting the low-end Vostro A860 with a 15.6-inch display.
Both Studio XPS models are part of Dell's effort to revamp its image with flashier products. The case is glossy black with aluminum and leather accents. Like many laptops I've seen lately, it has an edge-to-edge 16:9 widescreen display, which hides the bezel and gives it a clean look. And both models use slot-loading DVD drives. Overall the new design looks great, but all of that metal and leather apparently adds a bit to the system weight. At 4.9 pounds, the Studio XPS 13 weighs nearly a pound more than the Studio M1330 and more than competitors such as the HP Pavilion dv3 and Lenovo IdeaPad U330.
The Studio XPS 13 starts at $1,199 with a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400, 4GB of DDR3 memory, Nvidia GeForce 9400M G graphics and a 320GB hard drive. The optional GeForce 9500M GE with 256MB supports Hybrid SLI ($100 extra) and an LED-backlit display at the same resolution adds $125 to price. The Studio XPS 16 starts at the same $1,199 with the same processor, memory and hard drive capacity, but it uses AMD's ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670 graphics with 512MB of memory. But the better display with Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080) and a broader color gamut adds $250 to the price. Both systems are now available.
At its press conference at CES earlier today, Dell also announced that it will round out its netbook line with a new Mini 10, which as the name implies will have a 10-inch display and sits right between the current 9- and 12-inch models. Later this quarter, Dell will also start selling a $50 USB TV tuner for all three netbooks (it works with Windows XP, Vista and Ubuntu Linux 8.04). This could be the start of a trend--during a booth tour Asus told me it is working on an Eee PC with a TV tuner and Sony's P series
netbook Lifestyle PC comes with one as well. No details on the Mini 10 price or availability yet.
There were even fewer details on Adamo, which started as an internal code-name but is now the official name for a full-fledged laptop with "better capabilities than you'd expect" from the quick glimpses of its thin case, according to CNET's coverage of the event. Dell's Adamo site still says simply "Coming Soon." By my count that gives Dell a grand total of seven different laptop brands: Mini, Inspiron, Studio, Studio XPS, XPS, Vostro and Latitude.