We told you about Dell's attempt to get in on the mini-notebook market a little while ago
. Just a glimpse of the lipstick red competitor for the wildly successful Asus Eee PC sent us all into a tizzy. After all, we keep telling manufacturers over and over again we want a smaller, cheaper, sturdier unit to lug around with us that can perform the few functions we need on the go, but handier than your average smartphone. The more details that leak out about the Dell E series of minis, the more it looks like something the average person might buy and use. The 8.9-inch E line, divided into three configs, is designed for what Dell says is "emerging markets" and children as well as "youth social networking/entertainment;" it features a 1024x600 WSVGA screen, a 1.6GHz Intel Atom "Diamondville" processor, and 3-5 color options. The MID will offer three USB ports, mic/headphone IO, VGA output and SD card input. It is only 2.2lbs, 0.82-inches thick, and includes a four-cell 35WHr battery for about five hours of battery life. Dell says the E classic, first expected to ship in August, will have both Linux and WinXP options, starting at $299. The "Classic" will offer 512MB RAM and 4GB flash HDD, while the Dell E Video-branded MID, for education, will include either 1GB RAM/8GB flash HDD or 1GB RAM/12GB HDD/Bluetooth on the E Video+.
You can knock the things around because they have a solid state flash drives, some instant on functions and WiFi access to get you out and about and browsing in a jiffy. Dell has a sort of MacBook Air 12.1" unit based on the Intel Silverthorne processor that has a SSD drive as well. But we can talk about that later. I want my Dell E Etch-A Sketch first!