Dell is one of the few major PC makers that offers high-end laptops with GNU/Linux software as an alternative to Windows. 5 years after the company launched Project Sputnik to gauge interest in a version of the Dell XPS 13 with Ubuntu software, Dell now sells 7 different laptop models with Canonical’s popular Linux distribution.
There’s also a 27 inch all-in-one desktop option.
The Dell XP 13 Developer Edition continues to be the smallest, lightest model in Dell’s line of premium Linux laptops. The 6th-gen model features an Intel Kaby Lake processor, support for 1080p or 3200 x 1800 pixel display options, up to 16GBof RAM, and Thunderbolt 3 ports, among other things.
The rest of Dell’s Ubuntu machines include:
- Precision 5520 mobile workstation with up to a Xeon processor, up to a 15.6 inch 4K display, up to 32GB of storage, and NVIDIA Quadro graphics
- Precision 3520 mobile workstation with up 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 pixel display, up to 32GB of RAM, optional NVIDIA graphics, and up to a Xeon processor
- Precision 7520 15.6 inch mobile workstation with up to 64GB of RAm, up to a 4K display, NVIDIA Quadro and Radeon Pro graphics options, and up to a Xeon processor
- Precision 7720 17.3 inch mobile workstation with similar specs to the 7520, but support for up to 4TB of storage instead of 3TB
- Precision 7510 15.6″ model with Intel Skylake chips, up to 64GB of RAQM, 3K display
- Precision 7710 model with similar specs, but a 17.3 inch screen and 4TB of storage
All of the Kaby Lake models ship with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, while the Skylake models are currently shipping with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
While you can certainly buy your own Windows laptop and just replace the operating system with Ubuntu (or Fedora, Debian, OpenSUSE, Arch, or another distro of your choice), it’s nice to not have to worry about configuring your hardware and software to work together.
There are a few other niche computer vendors that sell computers that come with Linux pre-loaded, including ZaReason, System76, and ThinkPenguin. But Dell is one of the only major PC companies to offer Ubuntu versions of high-end laptops that it also sells with Windows.