As I sometime am inclined to do, I'm going to head a bit off-topic (the topic being educational technology) and take a stab at Dell's Adamo laptop. Fellow blogger, Larry Dignan, gave a fairly measured assessment of the "MacBook Air Killer" this morning, ultimately asking if the market was really ready for this product.
My answer? NO! Are you kidding me? A $2000 laptop so fashion-conscious executives and yuppies can sit in first class or at Starbucks comfortably typing on their uber-sleek laptops? They can probably buy them with their ill-gotten bonuses derived from federal bailout funds.
Have you seen the Adamo website? It's the most ridiculous piece of branding I've encountered in a long time. There I go with that branding word; you can tell I've been hanging out on Twitter with too many marketing and PR types. But the word fits here. Let's make Dell glamorous, shall we? The Adamo will look right at home on the catwalk with the new Japanese robot supermodel.
Who cares? For the price of a base Adamo, I can put at least 6 netbooks onto kids' desks (OK, there's the Ed Tech tie in - this can't just be a rant), or, for that matter, outfit 4 or 5 employees in a business with a functional mobile computer that they can use to telecommute as needed and save a few hundred pounds of carbon.
Obviously, people should be able to buy whatever they want. Money talks, right? But in an economic climate that is only expected to get worse for the next year, value talks. How are people going to be using the Adamo? Surfing the net? Checking their email? Writing a document? Watching a movie? HP's Mini 1000 will do all of those things quite happily for a quarter of the base price (give them a month or two and the Mini will probably also handle HD content).
Anyone who needs more probably won't care that their laptop is only .65" thick or that they can get "elegantly matched external peripherals" or their choice of "silver aluminum with unique edging and a pearl finish" or "only aluminum with a brushed finish."
And here I was, seriously considering whether the netbook I snag would be an Inspiron Mini or an HP Mini. I'm afraid Dell's little "branding" exercise made the decision for me.