Dell is updating its “Project Sputnik” line of laptops which ship with Ubuntu Linux rather than Microsoft Windows software.

The new Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is an Ubuntu-powered version of the new XPS 13 laptop with Intel Skylake processor options, and Dell is also now offering Ubuntu versions of its Precision line of high-performance laptops.

dell xps 13 developer edition

If you were hoping to save money by purchasing a laptop that doesn’t come with a Windows license, you should note that none of these options are cheap: The cheapest XPS 13 Developer Edition at the moment sells for $1550.

What you get for that price is a thin and light 13 inch laptop with a Core i7 Skylake processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of solid state storage, and a 3200 x 1800 pixel touchscreen display. Dell also offers models with up top 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage.

Dell says somewhat more affordable models with Core i5 processors are on the way, but Dell is positioning these as premium laptops for folks who prefer a Linux-based operating system, not as budget models for users who just don’t want to pay for Windows.

The Precision laptops cover a slightly wider price range: you can pick up a Precision 15 3000 series notebook with a 15 inch display, Core i5 Skylake processor, AMD graphics, 4GB of RAM, and 500GB of storage for as little as $876 and up (if you don’t mind a lousy display).

All of Dell’s Linux notebooks currently ship with Ubuntu 14.04, which is the latest long-term-service release of the operating system. Eventually Dell plans to update to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which will be released in April. But Dell doesn’t have an exact date for when factory images based on the newer version of Ubuntu will be available. Users should be able to update the software on their own, though.

via Barton George



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