“Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell.” Years after the TV commercials were dropped because the Dell hawker did drugs, Dell the Windows PC maker is coming out of the economy closet and gettin’ all chic and hip.
Who is Dell going after? You. Apple’s Mac customer. I can tell that’s true because Dell’s new Adamo ultra notebook is all chic and hip. How do I know? ‘Cause Dell said so.
Here’s the deal. Dell is having troubles, big troubles. Cheap PCs are all the rage for manufacturers that don’t like to make any profits, and that strategy caused PC econobox maker Dell to fall on hard times.
Profits are being squeeze more than Pamela Anderson at a celebrity roast. Founder Michael Dell is back in the saddle trying to get the big horse to move in a different direction. What direction? Profitable. And chic. And hip
Somebody at Dell probably said to Michael, “Hey, look at all the profits Apple makes just by being chic and hip and cool and all. Can we be like them?” So, Michael Dell swallowed his pride and said, “Why not?”
Apple makes a lot of money building and selling chic and hip and cool notebooks, so Dell is targeting that same market with an upscale ultra light notebook called Adamo (first of a new kind, or some kind of Battlestar Gallactica reference?)
If you’ve lusted after Apple’s luscious, underpowered, lightweight darling, the MacBook Air, but have a masochistic desire to torture your mental well being by using Windows Vista, the Adamo might be what you need.
Both are basically thin and light notebooks, bigger than a netbook, smaller than most anything else. Dell says the Adamo is the world’s thinnest, though not lightest—weighing in at nearly 50-percent more than a MacBook Air.
The Adamo, like the MB Air, is encased in aluminum and features a backlit keyboard, a glossy glass display, an external DVD or Blu-ray disk, a 250 gig or 500 gigabyte hard drive, and five hours of battery life. Sound familiar?
Wait. The MacBook Air doesn’t come with a 500 gig hard drive, right? That may account for the extra pound or so of weight. Adamo comes with a 1.4 GHz Intel CPU, and 4 gigabytes of RAM. It’s a little thinner on one end than the MB Air.
In other words, Dell has created a Lexus-like notebook PC to compete with the MacBook Air and sell to the crowd of customers with cash who want to be chic and hip and cool. How do we know? Dell’s John New said so.
Macworld reported, “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.”
Dell emphasizes people who are all chic and cool and hip and totally in love with their Adamo (which doesn’t look all that small, quite frankly). Apple emphasizes the MacBook Air, which is cool and all.
Note the Dell web site graphics, and the sections; Encounter, Discover, Admire, Commit. Whew! It’s layered on rather thick, no?
It remains to be seen whether a $2,000 small notebook will be a big seller, but I don’t think that’s what Dell is after. It’s about style. It’s about remaking Dell into something besides the PC econobox maker.
And, it’s about profits. There’s more profit in a chic and hip notebook for two grand than their is in a plastic netbook for $300. What’s interesting here is the potential for changing a massive computer company to produce a product that’s not just cheap, but one that people want for features beyond low price.
Can Dell become a Lexus of PC makers? Or, will the Kia badge stick around for a few generations?