updated 08:15 am EDT, Thu May 24, 2007
Dell Linux PCs Official
Fulfilling a promise made in March, Dell today at last took the wraps off of its first three systems built for everyday users with preinstalled Ubuntu Linux. The Texas PC maker has expanded on earlier details and confirms that the two deskops and one notebook seeing the new option will be less expensive overall than their Windows counterparts thanks to the lack of Windows licensing; the company also promises full hardware support from any service outlet alongside software help from Ubuntu's developer Canonical.
The 15.4-inch Inspiron E1505n notebook illustrates Dell's case by costing a full $100 less than its Windows equivalent. Prices start for the system start at $599 with a 1.73GHz Pentium T2080 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a DVD/CD-RW combo drive; the system drops only the relatively low-cost 256MB Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics chip in favor of Intel's onboard GMA 950 graphics.
The two desktops, the Dimension E520n and XPS 410n, increase speed with faster CPUs and dedicated graphics: both include a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo desktop processor and a 256MB GeForce 7300LE to help accelerate OpenGL video. Both also include 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive, Dell says. The E520n starts the desktop range at $599 with a DVD/CD-RW drive and the inclusion of a 17-inch LCD; the XPS 410 improves on the basic formula with a DVD-RW drive and a larger 19-inch screen.
All three systems will be available for order through Dell as of 4PM Central Time on Thursday and will be custom-configurable with Linux-tested hardware upgrades; Dell notes that hardware choices will be limited at first but should expand as more components are certified over time.