Mini Laptop – Dell Adamo XPS
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A 13.4-inch thin and light laptop launched by Dell back in 2010 is the Adamo XPS it adopts an interesting design with a 9.99mm body. At the time when it came out it was a pricey system considering that it cost no less than $1,999, which was just about the same as the Sony Vaio Z116 and the original HP Envy.
At the heart of the Dell Adamo XPS (model 2010) is an Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 processor clocked at 1.40 GHz which works together with 4GB of DDR2 memory rated at 800 MHz. For storage it has been fitted with a 128GB SSD while in the graphics area it has an integrated Mobile Intel GS45 with shared system memory. The laptop is running on Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, the 64-bit edition of the OS.
It measures 13.4 x 10.8 x 0.4 inches (W x D x H) and tips the scales at just 2.8 pounds (3.4 pounds if we take into account the AC adapter. When this came out it was one of the thinnest laptops on the market, but it feels heavier than it really is, despite the fact that it has been equipped with a solid state drive. Even though it is thin, the Adamo XPS from Dell has a footprint larger than expected and if you look at it when it is closed, you’ll probably have the tendency to say that this is a 14- or a 15-inch laptop.
We have to mention that the laptop opens in a rather unusual way. The lid remains shut tight right until you swipe a finger on a strip centered on the front edge which is heat-sensitive. After you do this the lid will lift up and after that it will tilt the display back and it will also lift the keyboard on the odd inset hinge. When it is fully opened, the keyboard of the Dell Adamo XPS sits at an approximate 20-degree angle which manages to provide a better typing experience in comparison to a laptop that has a flat keyboard. These keys have a great solid-feeling metal while the touch pad has a decent size.
We have to say that the Shift key on the right is a little bit smaller than the one on the left, while the row of Function keys is set flush with the tray surface of the keyboard and the buttons are small so hitting them can be a bit tricky.
It has been fitted with a 13.4-inch widescreen LED display that has a maximum resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels (720p) which shows clear and bright images, but keep in mind that due to the very glossy coating of the screen, it catches a significant amount of glare. On the bottom surface of the Adamo XPS you will notice the stereo speakers which are not only tinny but also underpowered so we highly recommend that you opt for a decent pair of headphones.
Moving on to ports and connectivity features, the Dell Adamo XPS has been equipped with DisplayPort and DVI via dongle, along with a headphone jack, two USB 2.0 ports, Bluetooth, an Ethernet port and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. There are two dongles included with this laptop as one is for turning the DisplayPort into a DVI port, while the other connects a USB 2.0 port to an Ethernet jack. We notice the absence of an SD card reader which is a major turn off for some laptop users. In addition, this model doesn’t come with an optical drive which for some users is very important.
The Intel ULV processor hiding under the hood of this one started to show its age back when the Adamo XPS came out because Intel already launched the Core i-series of processors. Even though it is not as fast as the Core i3-powered laptops of the day, it should be powerful enough to handle everyday multitasking without showing any signs of sluggishness.
Probably the weakest components of the Dell Adamo XPS is its battery which most likely isn’t a surprise for a lot of people since we are dealing with a very thin body which did not left a lot of room for a beefier battery. In a battery drain test that consists of video playback, this 13-inch model from Dell is capable of lasting for about an hour and a half which is a number that you could find among desktop replacements of the day.
If we take into account that the Adamo XPS has an ULV processor and a solid state drive for storage, the performance of the battery is extremely disappointing. However, in day-to-day use you should be able to squeeze about two and a half hours of battery from this model while working on office documents, surfing the Internet and doing other light activities. We have to mention that at the time of its launch Dell offered a secondary battery which was larger and for this reason it ruined the design of the system, breaking up the clean lines of the Adamo XPS. As a matter of fact, this additional battery is twice as thick as the laptop itself which is why probably not a lot of people bought it since the main attraction of the laptop is its thinness.
Other models that came out during the same period and were considered as competitors for the Dell Adamo XPS were the Sony Vaio VPCS111 FM/S, the Sony Vaio VPCF115 FM/B and the Asus G73jx. All these three models came with more powerful Intel core i-series processors and DDR3 memory, while the Asus model has a faster 500GB hard drive from Seagate that spins at 7,200 rpm. In addition, this laptop comes with a far more potent ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 dedicated graphics GPU which is considerably better for gaming. However, only very few people that opt for a thin and light laptop (aka ultrabook) are interested in playing games. They just want a premium-looking laptop that has a decent amount of hardware specification to handle day-to-day tasks.