"Our research showed consumers wanted mobility, connectivity, mobile broadband, basic connections, and the ability to change the battery," said Boyd. "And with ultra-form factors, it's not just the right technology but its very important that the design be durable and withstand travel. The level of finish is important.

Dell developed a new design process for Adamo that machines the notebook out of a solid bullet of aluminum, which Boyd said yields a product with a very refined finish and builds-in inherent rigidity and strength so when you're holding it, it feels substantial and solid.

It's a departure from the assembly-line manufacture process on which Dell has differentiated itself, and built its global success.

"It's definitely a different manufacturing process," said Boyd. "Injection molds, pieces assembled around it, parts screwed together. When you get down to this thinness you need materials that can be inherently thinner, and this manufacturing approach enabled us to deliver a product with a quality feel without compromises."

Dell is also innovating in its other product lines, and Boyd said they're sharing learnings amongst them. Some of the design learnings have been applied to the new Studio laptops with its leather aluminum finish, and speed and performance learnings from the Alienware line have also made it into the new Studios.

"There's innovation happening all across the board. Sometimes you may start with innovation in a high-end product like Adamo, and the benefit of that trickles down," said Boyd. "We learned how to make the keyboard feel really good with Adamo, and those learnings will translate into all of our brands."

That includes in Dell's recently-refreshed value line of 10- inch netbooks, the Dell Mini.

"I love designing value products as much as the high-end stuff," said Boyd. "It's more challenging to do, but when you het it right more people can have access to it."