Laptops that ship from the factory with Linux of any sort are rare, but they are available, and Dell is one of the prime providers. The company has offered Ubuntu variations of various laptops for several years, and the latest XPS 13 is the latest model to join the company’s stable. That’s great news for Linux fans who want an awesome laptop, as the XPS 13 won our editor’s choice award and is the best ultrabook currently available.
The system, labeled the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, is an upgraded version of the base Windows version. It offers eight gigabytes of RAM, rather than the usual 4GB, and jumps to a Core i5 processor from a Core i3. These upgrades also upgrade the price from $799 to $949. Other specifications include a 1080p display and a 128GB solid state drive.
Such a configuration is not available with the Windows model, as while it can be purchased with a Core i5 for $899, it cannot be upgraded to 8GB of RAM without also opting for a 256GB hard drive, which raises the price to $1,149.
The $949 Developer Edition is just the baseline. Upgraded models are available with bigger hard drives, the 3,200 x 1,800 touchscreen and a quicker Core i7 processor. Checking all the boxes will jack the price up to $1,849.
It’s nice to see Dell continue to support Ubuntu in this way, as it adds legitimacy to the Windows alternative. On the other hand, though, going with Linux doesn’t provide any discount, which is odd since the operating system is free to install. A real value-minded Ubuntu fan might instead opt to install the operating system on the $799 model. Doing so might require legwork to collect all the appropriate drivers, however.