Linux arrives on loaded Dell ultrabook

Dell is selling a nicely configured version of its XPS 13 ultrabook with Ubuntu Linux.

The 13-inch Dell XPS 13 ultrabook with Ubuntu Linux is loaded with high-end hardware and priced at $1,549.
The 13-inch Dell XPS 13 ultrabook with Ubuntu Linux is loaded with high-end hardware and priced at $1,549 Dell

Dell began selling its sleekest ultrabook today with a version of Ubuntu Linux.

The XPS 13 ultrabook comes with Ubuntu 12.04 preloaded and is the fruits of a project at Dell to create an Ubuntu-based developer laptop.

"Our first project officially launches today for customers in the United States...We loaded a super sleek Dell machine with Ubuntu to give developers the essentials they want," Dell said in a statement.

And, at $1,549, it is loaded indeed with lots of fast silicon including an Intel Core i7-3517U Ivy Bridge processor, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz, and a 256GB solid state drive. It also sports a 1,366x768 13.3-inch display.

For price-conscious DIYers, Best Buy has been selling a Windows version of the XPS 13 with an Intel Sandy Bridge chip (the generation prior to Ivy Bridge), 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive for $799 but that appears to have limited availability now.

The XPS 13 is one of the better ultrabook designs to emerge from a top-tier PC vendor. It squeezes a 13.3-inch screen into a footprint more typical of 12-inch laptops, boasts Gorilla Glass, and is constructed from aluminum and carbon fiber, allowing Dell to keep the weight to just under three pounds.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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