Dell just pulled out the big guns and is aiming then straight at Asus, MSI, and other UMPC segment contenders. The new Dell E, and E slim, two new laptops designs, where just announced to Engadget. The E takes on the super-budget laptop segment, while the E slim takes on the Apple Macbook Air, the IBM X300, and other ultraslim laptops.
To be honest, I don't a flying crap about the E slim, I like my stuff normal-sized and not overpriced, but the standard E looks like the perfect UMPC to me. First off, it's just as compact as it's competitors, like the EEE901 and the MSI Wind, it sports the fancy new super efficient Intel Atom (no way I'm buying an underpowered M), but has features that the others don't have. Unlike the Wind, the E has more interesting flash based storage options, not the totally useless 80 gig standard issue platter drive. If you need more storage on such a little laptop, don't get anal about it and get yourself an 8 gig SDHC card, but nowadays, everybody should be considering network attached storage for storing their files.
Battery life is also most likely to be better, since the E ships with a 4 cell 35 Whr bat rated for about 5 hours of use. 3-cell batteries on the Wind? With a platter drive? I mean come on MSI.
Also, the E has the lowest planned MSRP yet, at a buck under 300$USD, which is just slightly more expensive than an iPod touch, but with a crapload more horsepower. Personally, I think it's the hottest of them all too.
Since we're dealing with Dell, I'm thinking there might be a few customization options available too. Choice of color is confirmed, but a 2 gig memory kit would make a little web-browsing bomb out of this thing. OS is also to your choice with either Dell's very own modified Ubuntu or Windows XP.
For somebody like me who has a more powerful rig to do all the fun stuff, video and photo editing, gaming and all, this is perfect. It seems that both the MSI Wind and EEEPc are trying to make a UMPC into a functional everyday machine.. when all most consumers want (at least the geeky ones) is a stripped down machine that can surf the web, run Pidgin and hax0r teh noobs on the go. I don't want 80 gigs of slow disk space when I have 1 terabyte of NAS and a gigabit network, but I do want a super-light notebook so I can blog live from the shitter.
The only thing I would like to see is 802.11n connectivity replacing the pretty useless 0.3 Mpixel webcam. Besides that, I'm in love: I'm grabbing one for sure on the release date set to August.