Dell's Ubuntu-based XPS 13 goes on sale for $1,449

By on November 30, 2012, 2:00 PM

Dell is graduating its internal "Project Sputnik" program this week with the release of a thin and light XPS 13 laptop powered by Ubuntu Linux. Branded as the XPS 13 Developer Edition, the machine features an Intel Core i7 3517U processor with integrated HD 4000 graphics along with 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, 1366 x 768 display resolution, a 256GB solid state drive, Ubuntu 12.04LTS "Precise Pangolin" and 1 year of ProSupport.

That's nothing to sneeze at but the price for this open-source based laptop is likely to disappoint folks expecting to see big savings. The XPS 13 Developer Edition actualy starts at $1,449. That's still $50 less than a Windows 7 variant with half the RAM and an older processor, but cheaper options are available on the Windows camp, including a Windows 8 version with a 128GB SSD for $1,200. The Ubuntu model comes in one sole flavor.

The developer edition laptop doesn’t include any so-called “bloatware” pre-installed or even those annoying plamrest brand stickers. What Dell does include is a couple of software tools aimed at automating setting up development environments and making deployment easier: the Profile Tool and the Cloud Launcher.

The first facilitates the installation of preconfigured development tools for Ruby, Android, and more -- referred to as "profiles" -- while the second helps web developers simulate a cloud environment for testing apps, before deploying them to a production location at a cloud service provider like Amazon EC2 in a few clicks.




User Comments: 16

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madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Apple fans and half the "power users" on the internet: "Wah the Surface is too expensive!"

Dell: "Heh that's nothing, check out our new XPS 13!"

Joking aside, wow that's expensive, but I guess not having all that bloatware doesn't help with offsetting costs.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

So its more expensive since it comes with a free OS.

and 1500 dollars for a laptop with a 1366 x 768 resolution? rofl.

Bad move.

1 person liked this | lipe123 said:

Wow.. lets review

Low resolution, Slowest video card ever, Free OS, Tiny 256Mb storage = 1500$?!

Also since Linux has such low system requirements why does it even ship with an i7?

Between the surface and this it makes me wonder if I'm the only person that doesn't have 2000$ to spend on toys every so often.

SCJake said:

Im not saying the price is justified, but the price offset is due to not getting kickbacks from all the bloatware.

Lets keep this in mind before judging what their doing. Plus anyone who runs Ubuntu knows that no matter what requirements are stated, they are significantly less in real world environments than anything ive ever run into on windows

vis12345 said:

This is a very bad news. Dell must not do such thing to make money. Just adding up 4-5 tools with Ubuntu/any open-source OS and selling it at high price is surely Damn...Ridiculous! Nowadays people buy DOS laptops for much cheaper price and use any open-source OS. Making this move by Dell will surely betray all Open-source OS. Ubuntu must ban Dell/any other brand from making it. If Dell wants to sell products with Linux, then it should go for paid ones and not open-source. We hate Dell for this Move!

Camikazi said:

This is a very bad news. Dell must not do such thing to make money. Just adding up 4-5 tools with Ubuntu/any open-source OS and selling it at high price is surely Damn...Ridiculous! Nowadays people buy DOS laptops for much cheaper price and use any open-source OS. Making this move by Dell will surely betray all Open-source OS. Ubuntu must ban Dell/any other brand from making it. If Dell wants to sell products with Linux, then it should go for paid ones and not open-source. We hate Dell for this Move!

Ubuntu is FOSS they can't stop Dell from using it, that is kind of the whole point behind it. Once Ubuntu starts dictating who can and can't use their OS they will just be a Linux version of Windows without the compatibility which is not a good thing.

2 people like this | distantreality said:

Umm why not just get the windows version cheaper and install ubuntu on it heh

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

...[ ]...Tiny 256Mb storage = 1500$?!
Um, don't you mean "256 GB"?

Also since Linux has such low system requirements why does it even ship with an i7?
I'm not sure why you're comparing minimum system requirements with computational speed. They're separate issues, and aren't interdependent. With that said, the system requirements have been creeping up for all the most popular Linux distros. I think most are are about 768MB memory min./ 1GB suggested.

Once upon a time, small Linux distros were recommended for weak hardware with very little RAM. This was because XP's min requirements were more than Linux at the time. Linux now, has a minimum above that of 32 bit XP. That doesn't preclude getting more actual computing done, with a bunch more horsepower under the hood, (so to speak).

Besides all the popular distros are available in 64 bit now, and we know that eats up hardware.

JC713 JC713 said:

Wow.. lets review

Low resolution, Slowest video card ever, Free OS, Tiny 256Mb storage = 1500$?!

Also since Linux has such low system requirements why does it even ship with an i7?

Between the surface and this it makes me wonder if I'm the only person that doesn't have 2000$ to spend on toys every so often.

No open source coding even requires a i7... Open GL 4.2 if anything would need a good video card and that is not evident...

dogphlap dogphlap said:

The article states "The XPS 13 Developer Edition actually starts at $1,449. That's still $50 less than a Windows 7 variant with half the RAM and an older processor". So the reason not to buy a Windows version and then install Ubuntu is it will cost more and have half the ram and an inferior CPU. How is that ambiguous ? Other cheaper laptops are available of course. Why would you need an i7 and all that ram: because it's for developers I.e. people that compile code (which takes a lot a time, particularly on a slower processor short on memory). I'm not a developer so I would not know why you would use a laptop for that rather than a desktop. It seems like a reasonable deal to me (but I have no use for another laptop so I won't be buying it). Best regards.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The article states "The XPS 13 Developer Edition actually starts at $1,449. That's still $50 less than a Windows 7 variant with half the RAM and an older processor". So the reason not to buy a Windows version and then install Ubuntu is it will cost more and have half the ram and an inferior CPU. How is that ambiguous ? Other cheaper laptops are available of course. Why would you need an i7 and all that ram: because it's for developers I.e. people that compile code (which takes a lot a time, particularly on a slower processor short on memory). I'm not a developer so I would not know why you would use a laptop for that rather than a desktop. It seems like a reasonable deal to me (but I have no use for another laptop so I won't be buying it). Best regards.
I too am Curiously Pondering the Unusual logic scripted thus far in this thread.

What difference could it make if an OS will run on a lesser CPU? Won't Windows act the same way? Wouldn't the average enthusiast opt for the more powerful CPU, if only for bragging rights?

(Note the clever acronym and massive overarching pun in the first sentence).

dogphlap dogphlap said:

Hi Jose Vilches (and everyone else),

I assume this article was based on a Dell press release (no implied criticism, it's nice to know about these Linux devices) so you may not be in a position to comment re: UEFI bios. The Windows version runs Windows 7 (I.e. pre UEFI) so I wonder does this Ubuntu variant use the last of the non UEFI motherboards or is it disabled or what ? Some people may be in the market for a powerful FOSS laptop but would rather avoid Unity. So if UEFI were not a factor, that could simplify changing the OS (to say Mint or a BSD or whatever). Best regards.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

I'm not gonna lie, that's way to expensive.

JC713 JC713 said:

The article states "The XPS 13 Developer Edition actually starts at $1,449. That's still $50 less than a Windows 7 variant with half the RAM and an older processor". So the reason not to buy a Windows version and then install Ubuntu is it will cost more and have half the ram and an inferior CPU. How is that ambiguous ? Other cheaper laptops are available of course. Why would you need an i7 and all that ram: because it's for developers I.e. people that compile code (which takes a lot a time, particularly on a slower processor short on memory). I'm not a developer so I would not know why you would use a laptop for that rather than a desktop. It seems like a reasonable deal to me (but I have no use for another laptop so I won't be buying it). Best regards.

compiling basic code for something like a browser (ie, chromium or firefox source code) doesnt take any time to compile, which has 100s of lines of code. While compiling a game (ie Battlefield 3) which has 1000s upon thousands of lines of code and has images, logos, and layers of graphics, requires DAYS to compile, even on a Tesla, Quadro and Xeons.

lipe123 said:

Um, don't you mean "256 GB"?.

No I meant 128Gb but failed.

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