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Dell Adamo XPS — How Thin is Too Thin?

I am as big a sucker for cool, thin laptops as anyone, but I have to admit I’m having a hard time getting my head around the über-thin Dell Adamo XPS. The Adamo XPS is billed as the thinnest notebook on the planet, but we have to take Dell’s word on it since they won’t let anyone play with it yet. They have been content to drive a near viral campaign consisting of brief glimpses of the XPS so far.

Dell put up a web site that shows how thin the profile of the notebook is, but the whole site exists to collect email addresses for future notifications about the XPS. Then Dell held the XPS up at a press event for other stuff, but quickly put it out of sight. Now they have released a couple of pics that shows how thin (I see a pattern here) the XPS is, along with a unique hinge system that lets the screen sit down flush with the unit when closed.

I’m getting a feeling that the XPS is too thin (9.99 mm) to be practical. I can see breaking this thing without even trying hard. I can image TSA tossing something in the bin at some airport and hearing a sickening crunch. I am very easy on gear, but I think I’d break the XPS.

11 Responses to “Dell Adamo XPS — How Thin is Too Thin?”

  1. I actually got a chance to check out one of these prototypes and it feels more solid than it looks. It’ll probably be a little uncomfortable if you try to use it on your lap though as there are only two points of contact.
    My biggest concern about ultra-ultra-thin devices is poor battery life.

  2. The problem with thin notebooks is that you still need a decent sized bag to fit it in. With a netbook you may not even need a special case for it, because it’s size lets you stuff it into anything. I can also easily tuck my netbook under my arm if I need to keep both hands free – something I wouldn’t try with a larger, thin notebook.

    The other problem with thin devices is poor performance, because they lack the thermal budget for cooling mainstream processors. Thin and light is great to show off, but it won’t impress you after you power it on and try to get serious work done on a mediocre CPU.

    I’m still waiting for that ad when the [email protected] mails his macbook air home, to prove that it can travel in a manilla envelope, only to find that the mailman folded it in half to fit in his mailbox… :)

  3. I remember reading a hands-on preview of the new Sony Vaio X and the reviewer noted that despite it being pretty sturdy typing wasn’t that comfortable because the whole laptop would move with the motion of your hands typing.

    For me small footprint and low travel weight trumps thin any day of the week. Or maybe that’s just because I’m jealous that my new Thinkpad won’t ever be a cake knife or a frisbee :)

  4. Ah, but I bet you’re still dying to get hold of one though! ;-)

    Aluminium has a very high tensile strength, hence why it’s used in some cars, and even at this thinness this will be stronger than many plastic laptops.