The Dell Adamo was the closest thing the PC world had to a Macbook Air competitor, but after almost two years of lackluster sales, the company has finally announced it is officially retiring the Adamo brand in favor of a not yet announced replacement. Two years ago when the Adamo first hit the market, the ultra-portable landscape was very different place. Netbooks were only just starting to catch on, and the original Macbook Air was way more under-powered and over-priced than it is today. Hit the jump to learn more.
Most netbooks and other ultra-mobile PCs currently run on Intel’s Atom x86 chips, but according to Analytics firm ABI, they shouldn’t get too used to being on top. In a new report, ABI is claiming that ARM-based chips will overtake Intel by 2013. ARM has been pushing for the opportunity to power non-smartphone devices for some time now. In October they introduced the Cortex A5 MP architecture, which they claim can efficiently power a netbook style device.
Intel is not currently sweating bullets, but they may be gearing up for a fight. Intel has established an Atom developer program to push the platform further. The chip maker has also unveiled plans to sell a version of the Atom intended for smartphones called the Moorestown. This is a direct challenge to ARM on their home turf.
The dominance of ARM is far from a sure thing, though. Rival analytics firm IDC has stated that ARM-based netbooks are unlikely to capture more than 10-20% of the market. They cited manufacturers’ tight relationships with Intel. Also, Windows does not currently support ARM chips. Since Windows is the dominant platform even on netbooks, the future for ARM netbooks is still hazy. If Linux netbooks took off, as Robert Castellano of The Information Network predicted last year, ARM would definitely have an in. Linux just needs to have its year. Hey, it could happen.
Microsoft created a ton of fuss with the launch of a version of Windows tuned for palmtops and other keyboardless PCs. But the devices that utilized it—code-named Origami—couldn’t live up to the prelaunch hype. The initial Windows XP–powered Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPCs) suffered from a tacked-on user interface, goofy or unusable input mechanisms, poor performance, and an absurdly high price. Although Samsung’s second-gen Q1 Ultra fixes some of these problems, many others remain.