Smoothwall Firewall project

Thursday 3 April 2008

Ubuntu Dell laptops selling like hotcakes

Laptops I have decided are very strange beasts. No sooner do you buy one, than someone else walks into the office with something just that little bit better. This happened the other day when one of my friends breezed into the office with a new IBM thinkpad X61s, an extemely nice, but expensive laptop. He installed Ubuntu Linux onto the laptop, to rid himself of the annoyance that is Vista.

I recently bought a new Asus eeepc, the diminutive laptop that weighs less than two pounds, comes with Xandros Linux pre-installed, and has all the functionality you could want from a device on the move at airports. train stations etc. The one minor problem that I have found using it over the last month, is that when I'm sitting in my lounge checking the football/rugby scores, is that the size of the screen can become a little annoying. Thus my visit to the Dell website to buy one of the much acclaimed new Ubuntu XPS1330n laptops. This has a bigger screen, is a little heavier but will be a very good comprimise between the eeepc and a larger 15" screen laptop.

I know Asus are bringing out a new unit with a larger screen in the autumn, but that doesn't help me today. So I thought I would look at the new Dell XPS1330n which comes with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed on their UK website. The unit was nowhere to be seen on the site.

I picked up the phone to check that the unit was still for sale and I could order one. The answer was quiet surprising. "Yes you can order one today via the phone sir , as we have a batch that is available to the phone sales team, the reason it is not on the website at the moment is due to the extreme demand for the Linux build of the laptop. Dell will often take a machine off the site when demand can't be met"

Well, I have just had notification that the unit is on its way and will be delivered tomorrow, so we will see if these little laptops are as hot as the sales teams tell me they are. You could argue that this was all a sales pitch to get me to buy one, but what advantage is this to Dell, as I was going to buy one anyway from the website, so I'm inclined to think it was genuine. I was also able to get it with a higher specification, and £100 off a similar unit with windows installed, I checked. So a good transaction so far.

I have already bought one of the older model Dell laptops with Ubuntu on it for my daughter, and that has been a resounding success. No midnight support calls, or wasting my life patching anti-virus software. The unit does what it says on the can, it offers everything a University student needs, without all the rubbish that can drag a machine to a standstill. I can heartily recommend them.

To have a look for yourself visit the Dell website and search on Ubuntu.