Sleek 13.3-inch Dell Latitude E4300 starts at $1,749

After popping up on Dell's Australian website yesterday, the new Latitude E4300 and E4200 business notebooks have officially debuted in the U.S. Since we've already discussed the two notebooks' main perks (namely their sleek, ThinkPad-like enclosures with magnesium covers and metallic hinges), let's have a look at pricing.

The 13.3" Latitude E4300 starts at $1,749 in its cheapest configuration, which includes a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, an 80GB mechanical hard drive, 802.11g Wi-Fi, and Windows Vista Home Basic. You'll have to cough up at least $1,946 to get a beefier config with 2GB of RAM, Vista Business, 802.11n, and a six-cell battery. And if you want a solid-state drive instead of the 80GB hard drive, be prepared to shell out another $500.

Interestingly, those prices are right in the same league as Lenovo's ThinkPad X300 and X301. The ThinkPads are thinner, weigh less, have higher-resolution displays, and come with 64GB SSDs as standard, but they have slower CPUs and 1GB of RAM by default.

Moving up the line (and down the form factor scale), the 12.1" Latitude E4200 costs a heftier $2,048. Dell outfits the smaller machine similarly to its big brother, but the base E4200 config comes with a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo, a four-cell battery, and a 64GB SSD. Here again, picking a more full-featured variant of Vista and perks like 802.11n will inflate the overall price.

You can order both the Latitude E4300 and the E4200 right now, and Dell quotes three- to five-day lead times for both systems.

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