Dell Reveals “E” and “E Slim” Ultra-Portables

Apparently convinced that there just aren’t enough vowels in the current crop of netbooks, Dell [NASDAQ: DELL] has revealed its own group of ultra-portable laptops to compete with Asus’s Eee PC and Apple’s MacBook Air, and they’re calling the two models the “E” and the “E Slim.”

Consumer confusion aside, these netbooks will prove to be serious competition for the aforementioned niche leaders, judging by their specs. The Dell E will sport an 8.9-inch LCD and go head-to-head with the Eee PC 900, while the 12.1-inch E-Slim will give the Air a run for its money at a mere .8 inches thin.

More is known about the E model than its slim sibling. The E will apparently come in several configurations: the E Classic model will be an entry-level version, while the E Video and E Video+ models will boast more RAM, more storage (flash, of course), webcams and Bluetooth in the Video+ iteration. The “Classic” version will start at $299, and the other models will presumably go up from there. Availability is scheduled for end-of-summer for the E-Slim, and a few weeks earlier for the E. Both series will run some kind of proprietary Linux configuration, which will enable instant-on, as well as Windows XP.

Interestingly, Dell has revealed a bit of its roadmap for the E series, making public their plans to offer WWAN, and later WiMAX, mobile broadband functionality beginning in October.CD