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Size matters not: KDE Slimbooks measure 0.70 inches with sixth-gen Intel CPUs

Why it matters to you

A new slim notebook based on the popular open-source Linux-based KDE community software that should interest customers looking for an alternative to Windows.

The international free software community KDE announced the launch of a KDE-branded laptop on Thursday called the KDE Slimbook. Built for KDE fans across the globe, the new Slimbook promises a highly stable computing experience given that KDE developers are using an identical hardware and software configuration when testing their apps. That means apps and hardware issues are resolved before a new version of KDE’s software is distributed to end users.

The new Slimbook is based on the KDE Neon platform and the Plasma Desktop interface. Neon is a software repository based on Ubuntu LTS (which is based on Linux) that provides rapid updates of Qt and KDE software while the rest of the Ubuntu-based components installed on the notebook are updated at a normal pace. KDE Plasma is the visual desktop environment built to enhance the Linux computing experience.

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“Spanish laptop retailer Slimbook approached KDE with the idea to offer KDE-branded laptops that come pre-installed with Plasma and KDE Applications,” said KDE’s Thomas Pfeiffer in an update. “We were excited about the idea, and put our designers and developers to the task of creating a branding for such a device and making sure that KDE neon runs without any hardware-related issues on it.”

There are two versions of the KDE Slimbook: one with an Intel Core i5-6200U processor and one with an Intel Core i7-6500U, both of which are sixth-generation Skylake chips. Here is a brief rundown of each:

Core i5-6200U Core i7-6500U
Release date: Q3 of 2015 Q3 of 2015
Cores: 2 2
Threads: 4 4
Base speed: 2.30GHz 2.50GHz
Boost speed: 2.80GHz 3.10GHz
Cache: 3MB 4MB
Maximum power draw: 15 watts 15 watts
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 Intel HD Graphics 520
Graphics speed (base): 300MHz 300MHz
Graphics speed (max): 1,000MHz 1,050MHz

Outside the two processor differences, the KDE Slimbooks are identical in their hardware specifications and options. Here they are:

Screen size: 13.3 inches
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
System memory: 4GB DDR3 @ 1,600MHz
8GB DDR3 @ 1,600MHz
16GB DDR3 @ 1,600MHz
Storage (Samsung or Crucial): 120GB mSATA SSD
250GB mSATA SSD
500GB mSATA SSD
Connectivity: Wireless N
Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: 2x USB 3.0
1x Ethernet
1x Mini HDMI1x SD card reader
Keyboard: LED-backlit
Webcam: Yes
Battery: 6,800mAh
Size: 13 x 8.66 x 0.70 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
Outer material: Aluminum
Color: Silver

According to the specs, the operating system is marked as KDE Neon “for now.” Pfeiffer said that the KDE community is open other to distributions that can be pre-installed with Plasma, offering customers a choice of multiple operating systems. He also pointed out that the KDE Slimbook was created for those who love KDE software, and was not built primarily for those who are active contributors in the KDE community.

“We were not content with the quality of laptops available on the market,” explains KDE. “The majority shipped with proprietary and locked-in software solutions, filled with not-uninstallable bloat where the user was left at the mercy of whatever the company selling them a laptop saw fit for them to work with. As creators and makers we knew what it meant to be locked into a set of solutions defined by others.”

To purchase the KDE Slimbook, head here. The Intel Core i5 version has a starting price of $779 and the Core i7 model has a starting price of $908. Customers can only configure the amount of system memory, the amount of storage, the wireless connectivity component, and the keyboard layout.