Hear that? That's the sound of pitter-pattering little hearts bursting within the executive board rooms of FIC, ASUS, Acer, and HP among others. This after a Compal Electronics official said that Dell plans to launch an 8.9-inch wide-screen laptop for under $499. Taiwan's Compal would of course assemble the goods. The new ultra-portable is expected "as early as June" -- the same time that Intel's Atom processors will launch, coincidentally. Hmm.

Update: The whole thing is now seemingly confirmed by Michael Dell himself. When asked yesterday about the new HP Mini-Note, Dell responded, "We will introduce a similar laptop." He then teased with, "Stay tuned, we will have some interesting products coming in that space over the next two quarters."

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Compal: 8.9-inch Dell laptop coming in June for less than $499