Dell began selling its sleekest ultrabook today with a version of Ubuntu Linux.
The XPS 13 ultrabook comes with Ubuntu 12.04 preloaded and is the fruits of a project at Dell to create an Ubuntu-based developer laptop.
"Our first project officially launches today for customers in the United States...We loaded a super sleek Dell machine with Ubuntu to give developers the essentials they want," Dell said in a statement.
And, at $1,549, it is loaded indeed with lots of fast silicon including an Intel Core i7-3517U Ivy Bridge processor, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz, and a 256GB solid state drive. It also sports a 1,366x768 13.3-inch display.
For price-conscious DIYers, Best Buy has been selling a Windows version of the XPS 13 with an Intel Sandy Bridge chip (the generation prior to Ivy Bridge), 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive for $799 but that appears to have limited availability now.
The XPS 13 is one of the better ultrabook designs to emerge from a top-tier PC vendor. It squeezes a 13.3-inch screen into a footprint more typical of 12-inch laptops, boasts Gorilla Glass, and is constructed from aluminum and carbon fiber, allowing Dell to keep the weight to just under three pounds.