Dell's renaissance

If you’ve ever owned a Dell PC or laptop, you’ll know that they are sturdy machines with a focus on utilitarianism, but Dell seems to be undergoing somewhat of a design renaissance lately

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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  March 24, 2009

If you’ve ever owned a Dell PC or laptop, you’ll know that they are sturdy machines. They’ve never been known for being great in the looks department as their focus on utilitarianism has outshone everything else, but Dell seems to be undergoing somewhat of a design renaissance lately.

The company’s traditional no-nonsense approach to design has not stood in the way of it achieving second spot (after HP) in terms of computer sales for 2008, and Dell has been successful in other departments as well. In 2006, Fortune magazine ranked Dell the 25th-largest company in the Fortune 500 list and 8th on its annual Top 20 list for the most-admired companies in the United States. In 2007, Dell was ranked 34th and 8th respectively on these lists.

Looking at recognitions such as these, one would say that Dell has hit the spot with its conservative approach to design, but the company is now doing something different by releasing the thinnest laptop in the world - the Adamo.

The Adamo is uncannily similar in design to Apple’s Macbook Air but with the Adamo being touted as the Macbook Air’s rival, the Adamo is one up in the ‘slim department’.

The Adamo is 0.65 inches thick and it comes in two colours: ‘Pearl’ and ‘Onyx’. It features a 13.4-inch screen, runs on Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor, has 2 gigabytes DDR memory, a 128 GB solid state drive and it weighs less than four pounds. The MacBook Air is similar in specifications coming in two versions, starting at $1,799 and $2,499. The Adamo’s starting price is $1,999.

But it’s not only Apple’s Macbook Air that Dell seems to be aiming to be in competition with. There are also rumours that Dell is taking a swipe at the mobile market with a smartphone that will rival the likes of the iPhone.

According to technology blog Mobile Crunch, rumours have been rife since the beginning of this year that Dell are looking to enter the smartphone market. The rumours are that the prototypes which Dell are developing are set to work with the Google Android platform and Windows Mobile, but there has been a reported lack of interest in the prototypes from carriers. This has forced them to head back to the drawing board apparently.

Setbacks aside, the apparent renaissance in Dell’s design philosophy could result in an interesting smartphone product, and, who knows, one day when we talk about Dell, the word ‘cool’ might even appear in the same sentence.

3708 days ago

Dell has successfully focused on what the customer wants and then delivered. All the other vendors studied and then copied Dells Supply Chain efficiencies and went back to standardizing their products instead of making them too costly and complicated for both home users and corporate customers. Dell has reinvented themselves time and time again. I look forward to their next giant leap forward and will enjoy the others following once again.

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