Dell’s latest laptop models – to compete with Eee and Macbook Air

Dell is on track to deliver 2 new notebooks, one a 8.9″ dubbed the “E” (the Asus Eee challenger), and a 12.1″ super thin one called the “E slim” (the Macbook Air competitor). The E is between .8″ and 1.2″ thick, weighing only 2.2lbs, and will come with either Win XP or Linux, WiFi, Bluetooth, WiMax!, will run for potentially 5 hrs, but you’ll be limited in the hard drive department (up to 16GB Flash drive).

The E Slim on the other hand is a 12.1″ WXGA machine that doesn’t even break an inch in thickness, and weighs in at 2.6lbs. You can get this outfitted with an SSD drive (up to 8GB) or go with a traditional 40GB. There’s an option to get a 6-cell battery that may last up to 9 hrs (must see to believe).

Starting at $299, and available in quite a selection of colors, expect to see these showing up in the Aug-Sep timeframe, with a 2nd generation showing up in Q2 2009. I’m highly tempted to snag one of these when they arrive, particularly because they will run Linux as well, but I’m a bit wary of the 1GB memory on the E. We’ll see how they test out in the real world.

Engadget has the Dell slides posted for your perusal.