Dell will introduce a sleek new laptop in the coming weeks--the first in a line designed in the spirit of the company's erstwhile Adamo brand, according to sources close to Dell.

The new line will debut at 15.6 inches and be the thinnest in this class of laptops, according to the sources. Dell's initial model will pack the latest Intel "Sandy Bridge" Core i5 and Core i7 processors, have a high-resolution display, and be crafted from special materials--all for less than $1,000.

Though branding was not specified, the line will be positioned as a "prosumer" product that has plenty of performance for business users but also "style and beauty" for consumers, according to the sources.

The elegantly designed Dell Adamo, an ultrathin laptop that was discontinued earlier in the year, was criticized in some quarters for underwhelming performance--criticism that Apple's original MacBook Air also received.

Dell's new line, however, will be both thin and fast. "This is the first in a series of products where [Dell is] going to focus on ultra-performance and ultrathin," one source said. And more will follow. "This is not a one-time product. This is a full commitment to a product category that is focused on thin and powerful," according to the source.

Future models will come in different sizes, the source said.

Market positioning will place the first model in a size slot above the MacBook Air, the gold standard for ultrathin laptops. The Air is offered in 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch designs.

Dell is no stranger to designing large-screen ultrathin laptops. The Dell Latitude Z600, introduced in 2009, is about 0.8 inches thick and sports a 16-inch 1,600x900 display.

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