Dell Cancels Thin Notebook Flagship: Adamo XPS We Hardly Knew Ye

Not every high-end, haute couture product turns out to be a bestseller—even Steve Jobs had the Cube—but it's rather odd for a manufacturer to design, advertise, tease, and launch a product only to pull it off the market barely four months later. Nevertheless, that's the news from Dell on the Adamo XPS. The Adamo product line will continue but its 0.4" thick headline XPS system with a 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM as standard has been discontinued.

If it's odd for a company to launch a high-end product in November, make it readily available in December, and kill it in March, it's even stranger for company reps and retail partners like Best Buy to identify the Adamo XPS as discontinued while the PR division first argues that the system is available, only to switch gears and claim that the XPS version was actually a limited edition model meant as proof that Dell could build shiny, pretty computers. As Dell told CrunchGear: "It [Adamo XPS] has not been “discontinued” as such, but was meant to be a proof point to Dell’s design and engineer capabilities. Because of this, it was similar to a “limited edition”, and most of the original supply has since been accounted for."

Claiming that the Adamo XPS was a retrospective psuedo-'limited edition' is disingenuous. If a company intends to build an LE it'll always announce it first. A limited edition product is, by definition, scarce, and thereby commands a higher price. An expensive laptop is just an expensive laptop; an LE laptop with gold-plated keys, a mirror finish, and attached popcorn machine is something only a few people can own. The phrase is a marketing gimmick designed to sell you on the idea that because a product is harder to come by, it must be worth more money.

We don't have any inside information, but it's likely that the Adamo XPS was either on shaky ground before it launched or was killed before products even shipped out the door. Three months simply isn't enough time to evaluate consumer demand for a notebook design, particularly when said notebook is very late to the Christmas party and the economy is just beginning to recover from its biggest downturn in several decades.

No word yet on whether or not we'll see aspects of the Adamo XPS' design in future laptops or revived for a 32nm Core i3/i5.