Ubuntu now available on Dell’s Alienware X51 gaming rig, starts at $600

Alienware X51 Ubuntu OSCheck out our review of the Dell Alienware X51 gaming PC.

Not everyone is a fan of using Windows on their devices, so it’s no wonder the console-like Alienware X51 is now giving U.S. consumers the option of using Ubuntu or Windows 7 as the operating system on their gaming PC for the living room. The extra savings you can get for choosing an open source OS doesn’t hurt, either.

According to a blog post announcing this news, Dell actually got the idea to use Ubuntu as an operating system on its Alienware gaming machines from a participant on its Idea Storm forum back in 2008.Alienware X51_Steam-on-Ubuntu

The device itself is still largely the same as last year’s X51 (see our review here), but you can now choose which OS the gaming PC runs.

You still get to customize every aspect of this machine with familiar PC parts like its third-generation Intel processor and discrete graphics. The base configuration starts at $600 and comes with a dual-core 3.3GHz Core i3 chip, 6GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 645 graphics as well as 1GB of GDDR5 video RAM, and 1TB hard drive. It would cost you $100 more to have the exact same parts as this base model, if you choose Windows 7 instead of Ubuntu.

At the top end, you can opt for the quad-core 3.4GHz Core i7 processor, 8GB of dual-channel RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 graphics with 1.5GB of video RAM, and 1TB of storage. Of course, such a powerful gaming PC that fits into a box the size of an Xbox will cost you: expect to drop $1,050 for this configuration.

Ubuntu can be a bit alienating for those who are not used to tweaking their operating system, but it is easy to pick up for newbies and it can be argued that it has a better app storefront than what Windows 8 offers, as our own Matt Smith discovered. While gaming with Ubuntu is not as robust as on a Windows machine, the experience is improving if you install Steam for Linux onto the X51 (see ZDNet‘s guide for help). You can already play some AAA titles like Team Fortress 2 through Steam on the Ubuntu-based X51, and you can see all the compatible titles here. One big advantage of using Steam on your X51 is that you’ll be able to enjoy your games on your HDTV, thanks to the online platform’s “Big Picture” mode.

Dell has yet to announce availability for its Ubuntu-running X51 but you can start configuring your dream gaming PC-console hybrid on its website.


Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.

Here are the best laptop deals for December 2018

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some holiday shopping for a special someone, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.

Microsoft’s Windows 95 throwback was just an ugly sweater giveaway

Microsoft's "softwear" announcement wasn't what we had hoped for. Thursday's announcement was not the new line of wearable tech or SkiFree monster sweater we wished for. But it did deliver the 90s nostalgia we wanted.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.