The following passage is how Dellâ€™s new â€śAdamo,â€ť>Adamo laptop is positioned.
"It's for an affluent crowd and somebody who's fashion forward, style conscious who wants to project an image of success and style. They probably have a fine watch and nice, name-brand accessories and we want this to be one of them," says Dell senior product marketing manager John New. It would seem Adamo tucked under your arm makes a statement just like your Rolex, tailored suit, Italian shoes and BMW 7-Series.
The video at the Adamo site carries angular models posed in artful but unnatural positions caressing their new toy as if it were a Picasso. They do not look remotely like business people. The headings on the site are â€śEncounter, Discover, Admire and Commit.â€ť The IDG News Service story on Adamo even says itâ€™s not for â€śnormal people.â€ť
What if I just want to buy a `bleepinâ€™ notebook?
The timing of Adamo - from the Latin â€śto fall in love withâ€ť says Dell - could not be worse. The marketing campaign is the height of pretension when Americans and people the world over are yearning for the unembellished and a return to prosperity. Deliver me from perfumed financiers who trade credit default swaps and ride on corporate jets. Thatâ€™s the image here, but maybe this for those CEOs who shunned using computers. Not only is that an ultra thin market: those CEOs should be fired, too.
Compare this to the top line messages for the MacBook Air: â€śBetter Graphics. More Storage. Yet still the Worldâ€™s Thinnest Notebook.â€ť And Air starts at $200 below the entry price of the Adamo. Thatâ€™s hype I can understand.
Technically, the Adamo looks like a fine Windows Vista-based notebook computer. Itâ€™s comes in Onyx and Pearl, costs $2,600 or $2,000 and is powered by a Core 2 Duo CPU, 5-hour battery. But at the end of the day, Adamo is still a Windows XP notebook crammed into a thin four-pound box.
More appropriate are efficient, inexpensive and powerful notebooks with perhaps a hole in the bottom to symbolize depression era shoes. The notebooks Iâ€™d am interested in (if I didnâ€™t have three already) would be a used MacBook, ThinkPad or Dell XPS. Those models have to be piling in corporate IT storerooms from all layoffs. In fact, I am using a post Soviet era IBM ThinkPad T-43 which is terrific.
To its credit, Dell has many inexpensive models such as the $399 Inspiron and thatâ€™s where it has always been strong. I have covered Dell for 25 years and Michael always told me that he would not get into any market until their was sufficient volume to turn a profit and drive down prices. The philosophy has worked brilliantly for years with only a few recent bumps in the road.
Adamo seems to go off script for Dell. It may be the right product at the wrong time, but the message is wildly off-target.