A little more about the Dell Latitude E4200 and E4300

We got some more info on those new ultra portable Dell laptops, the E4200 and the E4300. I got some hands on time with the little guys at today’s press conference in San Francisco.

Both are small, just 12.1” for the E4200 and 13.3” for the E4300. Lightweight for sure, weighing in at 2.2 lbs and 3.3 lbs, respectively. While the size difference may not seem like much, I found that actually holding the two made all the difference in the world. The E4200 may be just over an inch smaller, but for those looking for ultra compactness, it should really make a difference.

Both of these notebooks will ship with Dell’s new Latitude On hardware enabled. By using a secondary processor with its own Linux based OS, the primary CPU is bypassed for instant access to a variety of functions. Think BlackBerry style. Contacts, calendar, email – that kind of stuff – opened up directly on your laptop without firing up the whole system. The dedicated sub-system should also preserve battery life by avoiding the power drain of larger applications.

Speaking of battery life, Dell has created a long lasting battery and more energy efficient algorithms to help stretch out your time away from the plug. While that may be true, to get the full benefit from this extended battery life, you’ll have to shell out for an extra. They’re calling it “high-capacity battery slice options”. So if you want that 19 hrs of battery life, you’ll have to pay for the double battery pack option.

These mini-notebooks may be small, but they aren’t going to be cheap. I swear I heard a starting price of $1300. We’ll just have to wait and see if I’m right on that. No firm release date was given, but expect them in the coming weeks.