Well, after all the excitement and anticipation Dell has launched 3 machines pre-loaded with Ubuntu Linux but only in the US. As a UK resident I’m a little disappointed, I’ve been waiting and saving my money patiently for a shiny new Dell laptop with Ubuntu to no avail. I could just buy a standard laptop off them now for a decent price (Windows tax included) and install Ubuntu but I don’t want to do that. It’s about principle I suppose, I want to support this initiative and show Dell that it’s worthwhile and people will buy machines with Linux on them. Given the chance.
They have made 3 machines from their range available so far. The models are a basic Inspiron E1505n laptop ($539), a Dell dimension E520n desktop ($599) and a top of the range XPS 410n desktop ($849). Not a startling array of choice but I suppose it’s early days. It’s still good news.
If you live in the US and want to check out whats available try this link
The problem I have with the launch is this, it’s not really a launch. If you didn’t already know about it you would have a hard job finding out from Dell’s website. It’s the most low key product launch I’ve seen since Microsoft’s Zune last year. Why isn’t there at least a small advert on the front page? When you go to either the notebook or desktop sections there is still no mention of it. Are they trying to sell these machines or not? All you get in each product line is the standard “Customize with XP” or “Customize with Vista” options. Would it be too much to ask for a “Customize with Ubuntu” option on the few machines that support it? I don’t think so. The only way I could find the Ubuntu machines was by doing a search of the site. I actively wanted to buy one and I couldn’t even find them so no chance of anyone stumbling across them while browsing then. WTF??!!
Arrghh I’m pissed off as you can tell. Dell are saying they have problems training enough people to support Ubuntu so they aren’t promoting it. I can understand that but I thought they had a support contract with Canonical for this? What’s going on? Maybe I’m jumping the gun and I should be more patient, it hasn’t even been a week since these machines were launched. I hope Dell will get their act together but at the moment my end of term report card reads “Could do better”.
If you live in the US and you want an Ubuntu machine, I urge you to checkout System 76 they make amazing machines at great prices but they don’t ship outside the US unfortunately. Otherwise I’d have bought one long ago 🙁