Dell preps new Latitude ultra-portables

With both Apple and Lenovo fighting it out over who has the best ultra-thin, ultra-portable notebook, Dell probably feels a little left out. However, Engadget says the Texan PC vendor is prepping two new Latitude laptops that may very well end up competing with the MacBook Air and ThinkPad X300.

Engadget says Dell’s upcoming notebooks will both be based on the Centrino 2 (a.k.a. Montevina) platform, and they’ll both feature 45nm Core 2 processors, DDR3-800 RAM, and integrated graphics with DisplayPort output. The Latitude E4200 will reportedly have a 12.1″ led-backlit 1280 x 800 display and start at just 2.2 lbs (1 kg) with a thickness of only 0.6-0.8″ (15-20 mm), while the bulkier Latitude E4300 will be outfitted with a 13.3″ led-backlit 1280 x 800 display and weigh in at three pounds (1.36 kg) with a thickness of 1-1.1″ (25-28 mm).

On the E4200, Dell will offer only a choice of 32GB and 64GB solid-state drives, but folks who opt for the E4300 will also be able to go with a proper 250GB, 2.5″ hard drive. The E4300 will let users throw in an internal DVD burner or Blu-ray drive, whereas the E4200 will mimic the MacBook Air by lacking any internal media bays. Both systems will nonetheless have FireWire, External Serial ATA, Bluetooth 2.0, and Ethernet connectivity as well as one ExpressCard/34 slot for expansion.

For more information and photos of the two notebooks, check out Engadget’s image gallery. Don’t get your credit card out yet, though: a roadmap in one of the images suggests the E4200 and E4300 are scheduled for September.

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