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Dell offers high-end Ubuntu laptop

Dell offers high-end Ubuntu laptop

The XPS M1330 with Bluetooth, webcam, DVD±RW, and now Ubuntu 7.10.

Increasingly-less-direct box shifter Dell has quietly started to offer Ubuntu Linux on its high-end XPS laptops as an option for those who don't want to pay for Windows Vista.

The XPS M1330 comes with Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) pre-loaded if you decide not to line Uncle Bill's pockets, and interestingly has support for DVD video playback right out of the box – something that a homebrew install of Ubuntu would be lacking until additional software is apt-getted.

The XPS M1330 with Ubuntu is currently only available in the UK, France, and Spain, with US customers being asked to wait for a couple of weeks before they'll be allowed to slake their Linux thirst.

Although Dell has offered Ubuntu as an option on certain laptops for quite some time, it's mostly been at the low end with the Vostro and Inspiron series of laptops. This new offering marks the first time Dell has put Ubuntu forward as a serious option for power users (i.e. The people likely to shell out top dollar for the desktop-replacement XPS series), which shows that Linux on the desktop is rapidly becoming a viable – if not popular – option for consumers.

That said, the company is still doing its best not to irritate Microsoft too much: although the M1330 is by far the most powerful laptop Dell has ever sold with Linux preloaded, it's the bottom of the XPS range. Currently Ubuntu isn't available on the M1530 and M2010 models, although this could well change if consumer take-up of the open-source OS on the M1330 is brisk.

As a Ubuntu user myself – and yes, I know I should “learn a proper Linux” before anyone says it – I'm pleased to see that Dell, always a staunch Microsoft support, believes in the desktop-oriented distribution enough to offer it to the mainstream.

Anyone in the market for a high-end laptop and thinking this would make a nice way to skim money off the full cost, or is Ubuntu a bit too scary for you? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

31 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
frontline 25th January 2008, 10:42 Quote
Having used Ubuntu on my laptop previously, i would switch to it as my main os of choice if it had the same games support as Windows.
naokaji 25th January 2008, 10:56 Quote
about time they offered it... now if more follow linux can gain enough marketshare to get games to support it.
DXR_13KE 25th January 2008, 11:04 Quote
proxess will be pleased :D
UncertainGod 25th January 2008, 11:20 Quote
I wonder how many warnings you have to click through of "this is not windows, windows stuff will not work" before it will actually let you buy it this time?
phat-ant 25th January 2008, 11:46 Quote
Anyone got a link for this, cant seem to see it on there site yet :(
was eyeing up one of these machines for some time now. ideal for work on the move :)
phuzz 25th January 2008, 11:59 Quote
I was running Gutsy on one of these for a week or so and it was really nice, I don't need the games compatibility (that's what my desktop is for), but for web browsing and light media use it was great, even the play/pause buttons worked with no faffing about. Now dell are doing pre-installed versions I'm guessing the driver support is even better (and definitely better than the XP driver support these had when they first came out...)
Jamie 25th January 2008, 12:08 Quote
Going by the state of the pre-installs of Windows on Dell equipment I would hate to see what *******ised concoction of Ubuntu they come up with.
naokaji 25th January 2008, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
Going by the state of the pre-installs of Windows on Dell equipment I would hate to see what *******ised concoction of Ubuntu they come up with.

well, there is still hope that dell bloatware isnt linux compatible yet
proxess 25th January 2008, 13:50 Quote
I am pleased.
Amon 25th January 2008, 15:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
A sign that the company is taking desktop Linux seriously? [/I]
Oxymoron of the day.
Cupboard 25th January 2008, 18:22 Quote
Doesn't seem to be on their site yet unless I am being particularly retarded. Those do look pretty sweet though - reasonably high specs with Vista from only £600, and Ubuntu should save a bit so ~£550? I know I'd like one (though obviously not as my main machine), much more so that the Macbook Airy fairy
Glider 25th January 2008, 18:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
Going by the state of the pre-installs of Windows on Dell equipment I would hate to see what *******ised concoction of Ubuntu they come up with.

It's Ubuntu, bloated by default ;)
pumpman 25th January 2008, 19:29 Quote
well proof conclusive you can't please everyone, not even a Linux guy:D

even if its for commercial reasons I applaud Dell taking this approach
Glider 25th January 2008, 19:36 Quote
I'm quite open about my opinion on Ubuntu, everybody knows it's not my cookie... I'm a power user ;)

But don't get me wrong, I like the initiative. I just don't like the distro, but luckily it's easily wiped and replaced by my favourite distro ;)
proxess 25th January 2008, 23:11 Quote
Thats simply for being a power user. I on the other hand am different. I can't be bothered to become a power user. I'm just the regular guy that likes computers. I'm a bit conscious (tho not very) about software, so something free for my "superficial" use (as you'd probably think of it) with the easiness of Ubuntu is by far the best option. You can think of me as an enthusiast and not a power user. I've gotten other enthusiasts to come to the bright side, I won't stop. <3 Ubuntu
Glider 25th January 2008, 23:24 Quote
That is the great thing about OSS, everyone has their preference. I fully agree that Ubuntu is great for a solution that 'just works'. I often recommend it to others for just that reason.

Linux is about choice ;)
pumpman 25th January 2008, 23:50 Quote
you get choice with windows, you can have basic ,premium,ultimate....... lol
HourBeforeDawn 26th January 2008, 00:52 Quote
I doubt they are taking it seriously they are just trying to regain themselves and offer something to make them more unique due to the mass amount of Dell haters with good reason that are out there, I mean really now that they are offering their systems on a retail level kinda shows that they are struggling.
phat-ant 26th January 2008, 02:10 Quote
this is all well and good but has anyone found a proper link yet?
Gareth Halfacree 26th January 2008, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by phat-ant
this is all well and good but has anyone found a proper link yet?

Sorry, I meant to include a link in the original article. It's http://www.dell.co.uk/ubuntu.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
A sign that the company is taking desktop Linux seriously?
Oxymoron of the day.

Actually, 'twas I who wrote that, not Joe. Plus I'm curious as to why you think it's an oxymoron?
8igdave 26th January 2008, 16:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
I doubt they are taking it seriously they are just trying to regain themselves and offer something to make them more unique due to the mass amount of Dell haters with good reason that are out there, I mean really now that they are offering their systems on a retail level kinda shows that they are struggling.

the vostros have been selling very well i think.
TheVoice 27th January 2008, 00:36 Quote
www.dmxdimension.com is good for Dell stuff.
LoneArchon 27th January 2008, 01:30 Quote
I like the idea but you are not saving money by buying it with Linux. To make the Linux model match the same specs as the windows it will cost you £54 more than windows model. Also dell has not started selling the high end equipment with Linux in the us yet. They only have 2 model they offer with linux and both are entry level
C-Sniper 27th January 2008, 04:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
Going by the state of the pre-installs of Windows on Dell equipment I would hate to see what *******ised concoction of Ubuntu they come up with.

It's Ubuntu, bloated by default ;)
hehe... they should put Gentoo on the systems and see how long it takes people to brick their new laptop :D
Glider 27th January 2008, 11:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Sniper
hehe... they should put Gentoo on the systems and see how long it takes people to brick their new laptop :D

Once installed, Gentoo isn't that much harder to maintain then Ubuntu...
phat-ant 28th January 2008, 09:44 Quote
thanks for the link Gareth Halfacree, shame that its more expensive than the winblows version, i guess it would make more sense to buy the windows version and wipe it clean stick linux on after.
naokaji 28th January 2008, 10:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by phat-ant
thanks for the link Gareth Halfacree, shame that its more expensive than the winblows version, i guess it would make more sense to buy the windows version and wipe it clean stick linux on after.

well, linux is harder to use for average joe than windows... so they will get more support requests for it which explains why they charge more for it.
DXR_13KE 28th January 2008, 12:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
well, linux is harder to use for average joe than windows... so they will get more support requests for it which explains why they charge more for it.

the average joe wont buy this laptop..... you say "linux" and they either run away, thing there is a new version of windows or they heard you wrong.
naokaji 28th January 2008, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
the average joe wont buy this laptop..... you say "linux" and they either run away, thing there is a new version of windows or they heard you wrong.

but only average joe buys from dell..

which makes it questionable if they actually intend to sell them or if its a marketing stunt.
tk421 28th January 2008, 15:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
but only average joe buys from dell..

that's not quite true.
now i might build my gaming pc's ... but i have 2 dells - a laptop and a desktop - in my house. 3 other dell laptops that i have gotten for family.
not all dell machines are crap.

granted - the dells that most tech-oriented people deal with are the family members that buy the cheapie dells thinking they are gonna run the world with it ...but the business-class machines are actually quite nice. my d810 rocks. first laptop that i have owned that was worth playing games on.


ok enuff of the dell ranting - i will have to try ubuntu (as much as i dislike the brown distro) on my gx280 ... i couldn't get either Sabayon 3.4 or Mandriva 2k8 to load properly on it.
come to think of it - i don't think they worked on my 810 or on the i1550 that i gave my father in law either - wierd sound recognition issues ...
Cthippo 28th January 2008, 22:28 Quote
And keep in mind Dell sells a LOT of server hardware, which is anything but cheap.

The reason these will sell is because you're pretty much gaurenteed that all the hardware will be compatible and work under linux. With a desktop that's not such a big deal because you can replace a non-compatible component, but not many of us are going to start hacking a laptop.

I see one of these in my future.
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