Asus Eee PC but done by Dell and better

We got a nice helping of slides dropped on our virtual doorstep this evening, fleshing out Dell’s upcoming netbook — which they seem to be calling the “Dell E.” Um, Eeenteresting name choice, but that doesn’t seem set in stone, and there’s plenty else going on here to ponder over. Dell’s breaking the Dell E into two device types, a 8.9-inch model clearly meant to take on the Eee 900, and the 12.1-inch “E Slim” which actually looks positioned to take on the MacBook Air and X300, at a mere 0.8-inches thick, though perhaps in a lower-end capacity. Even the 8.9-inch model will have some distinctions, with E Classic model for super low-end use, and E Video and E Video+ for more RAM, larger flash storage, webcams and Bluetooth in the + model. Rollout looks to be slated for August for the E, August / September-ish for the E Slim, and a followup for both of those in October of WWAN, with WiMAX after that. Dell even has a second version of both devices slated for Q2 2009, but that’s all we know about those so far. Perhaps most interesting is that all of these run Linux and Windows XP, and while it’s not clear if there’s a full-featured Linux OS onboard, there does seem to be an instant-on, Foleo-esque Linux included on all of them called BlackTop. We’re not sure if there’s any relation to Splashtop, but the janky-ass interface and email / calendar / contacts apps seem to be telling us no. BlackTop will support WWAN and WiFi, and Dell plans to move the 2.0 version to the Latitude and Vostro lines in a year or two. Peep the slides below for all the gory details. Oh, and the price? Dell E starts at $299. (link)

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