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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

By Gabriel Madway


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)—Dell Inc unveiled its "luxury" Adamo laptop on Tuesday, calling it the world's thinnest notebook as it seeks to compete in the high-end ultraportable market defined by Apple Inc's MacBook Air.


The sleek, aluminum-encased notebook is 0.65-inches thick and comes with a 13.4-inch screen and a 128-gigabyte solid-state drive. Shipping begins on Tuesday.

Starting at $1,999, the Adamo is positioned as Dell's new high-end brand. Another configuration will sell for $2,699.


The device comes packed in a clear case along with an optional branded sleeve or tote bag from designer luggage and handbag label Tumi. The Adamo is meant "to make a design statement, to surprise people that this is a Dell," said marketing executive John New. "This is for the customer that has that discerning taste, and is willing to pay a little more for that."


Dell has been working to generate buzz for Adamo, Latin for "to fall in love with." Word of the PC began to leak late last year, and the company hosted an event in January in Las Vegas where it provided a fleeting glimpse of the laptop as it was held aloft by a model.


Apple helped launch the so-called ultraportable category last year with MacBook Air which, at 0.76 inches, previously laid claim to the title of world's thinnest.

The Adamo at 4 pounds is heavier than the Air, which weighs 3 pounds and is priced from $1,799. Most PC makers, including Lenovo Group, Hewlett Packard Co and Sony Corp also sell ultraportables. Dell has been trying to reinvigorate its consumer brand amid efforts to diversify its revenue base. Business customers make up around 80 percent of Dell's revenue, while PCs account for roughly 60 percent.


Last week, Dell launched the $799 Studio One 19, a touchscreen all-in-one PC meant for family use in the kitchen or the living room. The Studio One 19 will be available first in Japan and then in other countries later in the spring. Dell shares have slid 13 percent since the start of 2009, while Apple's have jumped 12 percent. Dell, however, has outperformed Hewlett-Packard, whose stock has dropped 20 percent since the year began.


(Editing by Edwin Chan; editing by Richard Chang)


(c) Reuters 2009. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.




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