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Dell's New Sputnik 3 Mates Touchscreen With Ubuntu

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the chromebook-has-cooler-leds-though dept.

Input Devices 166

ClaraBow writes "I find it interesting that Dell has started selling a thin and light touchscreen laptop called the XPS 13 Developer Edition, which will have Ubuntu Linux OS and Intel's fourth-generation Core processors, code-named Haswell. The laptop, code-named Sputnik, has a 13.3-inch touchscreen and will run on Ubuntu 12.04 OS. It is priced starting at $1,250 and is available in the U.S." One thing I wish was addressed in the blog post announcing this newest entry in the Sputnik line, or its listed specs (bad news beats not knowing, in this case), is battery life.

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Anonymous Coward mates frosty with piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445387)

fp motherfuckers!

Re:Anonymous Coward mates frosty with piss (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 10 months ago | (#45445529)

Sir,
I find your contribution here somewhat off-topic, and bid you --frosty
such as it may be-- warmest regards,
Mr.Liberty

Re:Anonymous Coward mates frosty with piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445569)

Dell's New Sputnik 3 Mates Touchscreen With Ubuntu

Mates? Can I watch them fuck so I can fap to it?

Which is the female anyway?

Why do you find it interesting? (1, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 10 months ago | (#45445395)

What's interesting about it? Usual summary qualities here on slashdot, the editors can't even copy and paste in a useful manner.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (2)

simonbp (412489) | about 10 months ago | (#45445411)

It doesn't come with Windows or OSX.

Not exactly hard to do, but still exceedingly rare for laptops in the US.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 10 months ago | (#45446417)

And at $1,250, overpriced. And of course they can then point to poor sales as to why they only sell Windows laptops / tablets at a reasonable price.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (3, Insightful)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | about 10 months ago | (#45446703)

And at $1,250, overpriced. And of course they can then point to poor sales as to why they only sell Windows laptops / tablets at a reasonable price.

It comes with one year support with the option of extending the support. Perhaps this is why Dell is trying out the market with Linux. It is billed as a developer device so one would think that the specs are for those who run and compile software not exactly your average joe consumer. If you notice the price is slightly lower than a comparable Mac Book PRO. The only difference is the screen res as Mac Books have a Retina Display, whatever the hell that is LOL. So this is not designed to be sold in the box stores. If it takes off then perhaps a cheaper line of consumer Linux option laptops might show up. Somehow I don't think Dell is going to dabble in the Chromebook market the way Samsung does.

There is another thought, perhaps Dell is doing this to piss off Microsoft again, every time they have offered a Linux or no os option in the past all of a sudden they get a quick visit from the men in black from Redmond and POOF the line gets axed. The other thought is the reason why they have chosen Ubuntu this time around is because a stock Ubuntu need to be tweeked to do certain file formats and in selling Ubuntu in a stock format the goons from the MPEGLA cannot come after them, even if Microshaft comes knocking about fat and ntfs patents perhaps they will just turn around and sick them on Shuttleworth this time around instead of just dumping the Linux line like they did with their RedHat option laptops and desktops in the past.

Considering that Dell already got cash from Redmond, perhaps they are trying to squeeze a little more cheese out of MS. Either way I do not expect them to actually aggressively market an alternative OS, they like all the other manufactures just kowtow to the almighty Windows, always have and I doubt they actually have the balls as a corporation to break the free from the OS monopoly.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 10 months ago | (#45447137)

Why the hate for Windows?

Linux has its place, but Windows isn't evil...

Unless you know something I don't of course. :) Maybe Windows turns into SkyNet or something...

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (2)

Teun (17872) | about 10 months ago | (#45447163)

I don't read any hate for Windows but I do read the usual,based on facts, warnings against Microsoft.

Windows has it's place but it's not because MS has such a clean rap sheet forcing it upon us.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445459)

We love Linux, that's why.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445471)

It ships with Ubuntu, which is not GNU/Linux.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445545)

Nobody said "gunoo".

GNU/Linux as opposed to Android (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45446383)

Ubuntu is far closer to GNU/Linux than Android is. For one thing, Ubuntu uses GNU libc, GNU Coreutils, and GCC. And historically, GNU/Linux has been associated with X11-based GUIs, unlike Android that sprang from embedded Linux.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445509)

If you love Linux, you don't love Ununtu.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445589)

If you love Linux, you don't love Ununtu.

You think with all the repeated examples of this same theme, people would get it by now. But it keeps getting overlooked!

It's really simple folks. You can't keep trying to make something designed for lazy idiots who hate learning even the most basic new things, call it "easy to use", and then act surprised when bad decisions keep being made. Make something so that an intellectually lazy idiot can use it and soon only intellectually lazy idiots will WANT to use it. Base an organization around that catering to their needs, and you have the bullshit decisions we keep seeing from Ubuntu.

It's a really very simple formula. It's just not pleasing to hear, and in this society we sweep under the rug every truth that doesn't please us.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (2)

dov_0 (1438253) | about 10 months ago | (#45446499)

Well said! Unfortunately, catering for idiots is the mark of the late 20th century and early 21st and it isn't going to get better. People are busy and lazy. They don't want to have to learn new things. Learning for the joy of learning is going out the door and has become 'vocational learning' only. Universities even back in the 70's were dropping art and history courses as well as classical languages and history etc. The industries that have run the American economy that has influenced the world in these things so much just want consumers. People who know what the specials are at the dept store, but don't really think much. They know how to use facebook, are not savvy enough to avoid the ads and know how to use youtube enough to view cat videos. Mostly, they know how to buy, buy, buy and consume what they are told to consume. Stupidity is the desired outcome. Stupid consumers who just buy whatever crap is dished out to them.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45447165)

Riiight, because if it was hard to make it should be hard to use...

That mentality is exactly what has held Linux back for so long.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#45445475)

It's from a major OEM, it runs Linux which hopefully means it has Linux-friendly hardware and good Linux drivers. That's enough to be newsworthy on slashdot, which still hopes Linux will overtake the market share of such gems as Windows Vista and Windows 8 ;)

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445513)

Probably true, just a bit worried since it ships with 12.04 which is almost two years old. 13.10 would be a better choice to get a more useful version of Unity.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445543)

I don't know about Unity updates, but you can install the kernel from 13.10 and xorg from 13.04 w/o voiding the LTS-ness.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (5, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | about 10 months ago | (#45445643)

I don't care what version of Ubuntu it has, it is Linux compatible hardware, that's what counts.

Within no time I'll have a nice KDE desktop installed.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (4, Informative)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 10 months ago | (#45445693)

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop ?

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (4, Informative)

Teun (17872) | about 10 months ago | (#45445749)

This being a touch screen I might go for one of the more suited KDE offerings like plasma-active or even the netbook layout.

But hey, I can install more than one and at the login prompt I select the specific desktop that suits me best :)

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 10 months ago | (#45445853)

Remember people complaining about Ubuntu because it was "brown" and claiming Mint was better because it was "green"?

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 10 months ago | (#45445773)

Linux-compatible does not mean anything more than "it works".

And, as far as I've been able to tell over the latest 10 years or so, Linux "works" on basically 99% of machines I've ever touched without having to do anything special (yes, I have jumped through hoops, but that's not the point - here someone else has jumped through those hoops for you).

Whether it works TO ITS FULL CAPACITY is another question entirely. For example, chances are that it's graphics chipset is "supported" but very, very slim that it enjoys full acceleration unless we're talking about an Intel chipset or a binary driver somewhere. And we can already do *that* anywhere we like.

The fuss about Linux drivers is no longer "does it work" (and hasn't been, for a long time) so much as "does it work as fully as possible?". And almost certainly, in a consumer laptop, the answer is no.

All this says is that their laptop happens to work in Linux with a certain configuration. There's no guarantee that it won't include a binary driver and/or only a certain Linux image being "supported" (i.e. working at all). And that leaves you off no better than a Windows machine that only comes with a recovery disk.

(For hoops that I've jumped through, try setting up your Linux partitions to mirror those of a Zip-disk on even boot/install USB disks, having to manually load soundfonts with a script to make soundcards work, or having to compile for some mini-ITX boards that can barely support the 486 instruction set to get an idea of the sorts of things that can crop up with old / embedded / poorly supported hardware).

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#45445881)

(yes, I have jumped through hoops, but that's not the point - here someone else has jumped through those hoops for you). (...) And we can already do *that* anywhere we like.

Actually that's exactly what you can't do with a laptop, maybe this bit and that bit works great with Linux while others don't work well or at all. Been there, tried that and it had nothing to do with price or quality but simply that some companies cared to support Linux and other's didn't. Same with accessories, one printer worked brilliantly while an almost similar competitor was a paperweight but at least those you can research. And if it doesn't quite work well you've got nobody to blame but yourself, they didn't sell it with Linux and never claimed it would work.

If you value your time then the fact that they have "jumped through those hoops" for you has value. That you have a company you can actually go back to and say "You sold me a Linux laptop but such and such isn't working!" has value. They're a big OEM, that puts pressure on the manufacturers to have Linux drivers. Perhaps during their testing and validation they've found bugs that have been fixed for this exact reason. Trust me, they do care a bit more if Dell says they'd like to sell a model but their drivers are buggy than if Joe Nobody says it doesn't work for him. But please use the Ubuntu install CD and take your chances on some random hardware, as somebody must figure out how to jump those hoops.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 10 months ago | (#45446009)

And the answer "The drivers are as supplied on the recovery disk" is not familiar to you?

They are a big OEM. They don't care about supporting these drivers in anything but an OS they have supplied. Like my last 15 years of putting Linux machines into schools, I would bet that any Linux driver is tied to only a particular kernel, and that without proper source, and that they never update it. They won't support other distros and unless you want to run Ubuntu 12.04 (specifically) for ever, you won't see much action above and beyond telling you to put the machine back into it's factory state (i.e with Ubuntu 12.04 and their driver how it's always been installed).

But more likely, it will have some cheap base hardware that's already "supported" by chance and they do nothing special to sell it as a Linux machine. And you won't get anything beyond the standard binaries.

I will happily still to my "chances" on some random hardware, like I've been doing for over a decade. The examples I cite are few and far between and usually because support for a certain type of machine / hardware was DROPPED from Linux distros rather than anything to do with it not actually being present at all.

I think you've just fallen for the advertising - it says Linux so it must mean ALL Linux forever with open-source code, right? My hardware from pre-1999 that says the same will happily prove you wrong. Sure, if you're lucky it had a 2.0/2.2 driver for it at some point, but you don't stand a chance of getting it working nowadays - and some of those drivers refused to install on anything but the "supported" distro.

The fact that this comes with Ubuntu tells you one of two things:

- They support ONLY Ubuntu
- or -
- Ubuntu does well enough supporting this with no help required.

P.S. I have sent computers back to companies that claimed Linux support, and I made a major UK distributor fight with their suppliers to get me a custom BIOS made for a laptop because they sold it to me as "supporting" Windows XP and then found out it wouldn't boot XP if you had encryption software (required by law in my field) because of a crappy BIOS bug. Literally, I had an AMI BIOS written, just for that laptop, just for me, because of how much money it was going to cost them if I had sent the laptops we'd bought on the basis of XP support back.

Trust me, doing the same for Linux is a LOT harder, especially when they can demonstrate that on ***A*** Linux with ***A*** driver that it works.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45445993)

The fuss about Linux drivers is no longer "does it work" (and hasn't been, for a long time) so much as "does it work as fully as possible?". And almost certainly, in a consumer laptop, the answer is no.

Actually, I don't find NO to the answer at all any more. As long as you avoid Nvidia or commit to running their proprietary drivers. The last several laptops I loaded Linux on everything worked, right down to the fingerprint reader. And they could be said to work MORE fully than when they were shipped with window.

All this says is that their laptop happens to work in Linux with a certain configuration. There's no guarantee that it won't include a binary driver and/or only a certain Linux image being "supported" (i.e. working at all). And that leaves you off no better than a Windows machine that only comes with a recovery disk.

Wait, there is no real problem with binary drivers. They may not be fit to ship with any linux distro, but when you are buying a whole machine you aren't getting or expecting a virgin 100% untainted Linux. You have a manufacturer standing behind the laptop and any binary drivers that it requires. End users who buy machines pre-packaged with linux could care less what RMS thinks.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (5, Insightful)

AdamWill (604569) | about 10 months ago | (#45446311)

"For example, chances are that it's graphics chipset is "supported" but very, very slim that it enjoys full acceleration unless we're talking about an Intel chipset or a binary driver somewhere."

It has an Intel chipset, which has full 2D and 3D acceleration.

I have the second-gen XPS 13 developer edition. Every function on the system works. It does not include any binary drivers. Yes, only the supplied Ubuntu install is 'supported', but then, if you buy a Windows 7 laptop and then self-install Windows 8 on it (for instance), your manufacturer isn't going to support that either. I run Fedora 19 on my second-gen XPS 13 and all its functions work fully and correctly.

"try setting up your Linux partitions to mirror those of a Zip-disk on even boot/install USB disks"

What? That fragment does not even make syntactical sense, so far as I can work out.

"having to manually load soundfonts with a script to make soundcards work"

Along with the reference to 'Zip-disks' - 1996 called and it wants its problems back.

"or having to compile for some mini-ITX boards that can barely support the 486 instruction set to get an idea of the sorts of things that can crop up with old / embedded / poorly supported hardware"

So, buying CPUs that 'can barely support the 486 instruction set' is a bad idea in 2013, huh? Thanks for the tip, I never would've guessed.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445991)

Well, that's a big IF. It may depend on Dell proprietary drivers to make this install of Ubuntu work, and so may not be compatible with distros in general.

Take a look through Ubuntu's "Certified Hardware" collection. Note there's two types: stuff that works with the regular download Ubuntu, and stuff that only works with the OEM pre-installed Ubuntu.

Link code not working in preview. He're the raw link
http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/desktop/ [ubuntu.com]

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45446021)

"Useful version of unity" is an oxymoron. Unity is the Metro of Linux.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about 10 months ago | (#45446379)

Probably true, just a bit worried since it ships with 12.04 which is almost two years old. 13.10 would be a better choice to get a more useful version of Unity.

12.04 is the current LTS, and will be supprted and patched until 2017. Alternatively, almost any hardware that is supported on 12.04 will run just fine on 13.x, with maybe certain AMD cards as an exception, but that has nothing to do with ubuntu

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

giarcgood (857371) | about 10 months ago | (#45447193)

12.04 is the current LTS, and will be supprted and patched until 2017.

Also 12.04.3 is from August this year. So it isn't some old OS left out to dry. I dunno if this is the version used but would be surprised if it isn't.

I dont use Ubuntu so I am not sure what is included in these increments. Bug fixes and backports?

Actually there is quite a lot I don't know.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 10 months ago | (#45445527)

It's a high-end, slick laptop with Linux preinstalled. In the past, Dell has focused on low-end Linux offerings. So it is very interesting -- this could be the beginning of a new trend if Dell can sell enough of them.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445641)

8GB RAM, i5 and 128 GB storage are low end for a developer laptop. The screen resolution is good. 13" is a matter of tastes. Small for me but ok for some other people.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

neonleonb (723406) | about 10 months ago | (#45445699)

There's a higher-CPU higher-disk version for a couple hundred more. I agree about the lack of RAM, though.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (3, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | about 10 months ago | (#45445931)

What the hell are you people running on your machines?

I run 2-3 copies of Eclipse, DB/2 LUW, PostgreSQL, and MySQL with a JEE debug server on a 4GB box. I run Oracle, Sybase ASE, and SQL Server on a Windows 7 laptop with a JEE debug server and a couple of other things with 4GB RAM, usually including a couple of java programs that are sucking back 768MB each.

Neither box comes anywhere near thrashing. In fact, they hardly use their swap at all.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#45445957)

8GB RAM, i5 and 128 GB storage are low end for a developer laptop

Amazing, isn't it, what people managed to achieve with those paltry 4 GB of RAM ten years ago or so? Oh, wait, I didn't have 4 GB of memory ten years ago...

Also, I believe that large memory on mobile devices eats power. Those extra GBs will cost you. True, this is a particularly pressing matter in cell phones in particular, but with low-power states on modern CPUs and low-power SSDs, according to Amdahl's law, memory becomes a proportionally greater power hog on any laptop.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

AdamWill (604569) | about 10 months ago | (#45446315)

" In the past, Dell has focused on low-end Linux offerings"

Well, not really, because they've been selling this system for like two years now. This is just the Haswell bump for it.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45445609)

I find it interesting that BUY THIS PRODUCT NOW ** Awesome features!! ** Relevant to your audience!!! **

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445949)

As a gay man, I take positive representations where I can get them. Any time a same-gender relationship is portrayed in a positive but very real light benefits us all. The same can be said of Linux, which, much like being gay, will likely remain a minority OS in a world that seems married to proprietary software, and never really "come out of the closet" and be truly ready for acceptance on the desktop. But anytime we can get some good press, it helps us all. I'm a big fan of Ubuntu (even over Mac!) and I'm proud that Dell has taken a stand and acknowledged that some of us are different, and thats ok.

Re:Why do you find it interesting? (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | about 10 months ago | (#45446475)

What's useful about it? I mean the laptop itself this time. You have a keyboard and a touchpad. Why reach further and touch the screen? Touch screens are great on tablets, but somewhat limiting. Why the hell would they be useful on a laptop or a desktop? Just seems like more work for the same results to me.

Relevant because Dell went private (4, Insightful)

assemblerex (1275164) | about 10 months ago | (#45445405)

It's interesting that a company that pretty much vowed to only be wintel is branching out.
I am guessing microsoft upsetting people with surface has thawed large companies to alternatives.

Re:Relevant because Dell went private (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445425)

This isn't their first Linux offering, they previosly sold desktops with Ubuntu preinstalled under the moniker "N Series".

Re:Relevant because Dell went private (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445753)

This isn't their first Linux offering, they previosly sold desktops with Ubuntu preinstalled under the moniker "N Series".

I bought a Dell Vostro 15" laptop with Ubuntu on it earlier this year for about $450. Nothing super fast, but I needed a laptop to code & test on when I travel.

I think it's great that Dell is offering a top of the line hardware product with Linux, but starting at $1,250 is ridiculous. Not as ridiculous as Google Pixel for that price, but still.

Re:Relevant because Dell went private (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 10 months ago | (#45446049)

The Pixel has a _really_ nice screen. The resolution of this one is what I'd consider a bare minimum for a developers machine.

Re:Relevant because Dell went private (2)

AdamWill (604569) | about 10 months ago | (#45446319)

And they've already been selling this system for like two years. This is just a spec bump.

OR System76 (4, Interesting)

jmd (14060) | about 10 months ago | (#45445409)

https://www.system76.com/laptops/model/daru4

a bit cheaper

Re:OR System76 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445447)

Looks cheaper too.

Re:OR System76 (3, Informative)

boorack (1345877) | about 10 months ago | (#45445567)

Expandable at least. You can plug in two standard SO-DIMM chips, one m-SATA drive and one 2.5" 7mm drive. It also has 14.4" full-HD screen, big enough to use its full resolution (not retina-like ultra-high pixel density where image has to be enlarged 2x, so you get half the resolution). I'm curious about its reliability.

I'm using Asus UX-32VD which has similiar characteristics (notably it has one standard SO-DIMM slot and one standard 7mm 2.5" drive, despite its slim ultrabook-like look). Sometimes I need a bit more power and bigger screen (being "in the field", not at my desk), so standard PC does not count. I would like to see expandable 15"-16" ultrabook with 2576x1600 resolution (three columns of code plus sidebar!) and quad core processor. Ideally with one or two mSATA slots and one 2.5" bay and at least two SO-DIMM slots. Pixel density would be the same as in UX-31, so with good quality IPS display one would use every last bit of it. Something like Asus UX-51 but with better resolution and expandable. This would be terribly setup for techies, programmers in particular. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of such product - unlike desktop PCs where one can built one's own system from scratch, everyone is on vendors mercy when it comes to notebooks or ultrabooks.

Re:OR System76 (1)

fnj (64210) | about 10 months ago | (#45446335)

I didn't happen to see anything under 14.1", 0.9" thick, and 4.6 lb there. That is a completely different class from 13.3", 0.7", and 3.0 lb. I own two systems (13.3 and 14.1) that differ in physical dimensions by approximately the same amount, and believe me, it is like night and day.

The 14.1" is GIGANTIC and weighs as much as a LOCOMOTIVE. That would be your reaction after coming from a 13.3" lightweight.

For real portability, the 13.3" is the sweet spot - if you can read the screen - which, sadly, I can't really do without tremendous strain any more. But let's assume the tpical user is not 66 years old with a history since early childhood of severe myopia, extreme astigmatism, and gross differential between the two eyes - and exponentially more horrific "floaters" and cloudiness the last couple of decades.

Re:OR System76 (1)

kervin (64171) | about 10 months ago | (#45446367)

I agree. I didn't see the point of an ultrathin for a workstation so I got a System76 "Gazelle", Ubuntu 13.x, 15 inch, i7 Haswell, 16GB Ram, 500GB dual SSD that cost me $1.6K shipped.

Re:OR System76 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45446639)

You've got to be fucking kidding me.

Trackpad, only two buttons, retarded keyboard layout.

How the fuck are you supposed to use Linux with a two button mouse?!

This is neat and all (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 10 months ago | (#45445479)

but at $1250 I'm not sure who it's for. I can almost buy a Mac book for that. Maybe developers in need of a linux laptop? Are there that many of them? A lot of my nerd friends could be talking into buying this, but they wouldn't do much with it...

Re:This is neat and all (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 10 months ago | (#45445493)

Not almost, you can. The cheapest MacBook costs just $999, so you even get a little over.

Re:This is neat and all (1)

AdamWill (604569) | about 10 months ago | (#45446327)

...but this is somewhat more powerful, and a better form factor. The XPS 13 is significantly smaller than the MBA 13"; I know, I've made a stack out of an MBA 11", an XPS 13, and an MBA 13". The XPS 13 is barely larger than the MBA 11", and a lot smaller than the MBA 13".

And I mean, yeah, obviously this is aimed at people who want a Linux laptop. If you want a Linux laptop you probably don't want to buy a Macbook. You can make it work, but it's a giant PITA. I'd much rather buy one of these.

Re:This is neat and all (3, Insightful)

Ami Ganguli (921) | about 10 months ago | (#45445519)

I just bought similar hardware from Sony in order to run Linux. I would have considered this one if it had been available three weeks ago.

Some of us really don't want a Mac. Obviously we're a niche market, but presumably Dell thinks there might be enough of us to justify one or two models.

Re:This is neat and all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445663)

Sony!!??!??!? WTF????

Re:This is neat and all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445787)

I just bought similar hardware from Sony

To quote the late great Bill Hicks: "suckin' Satan's pecker..."

Re:This is neat and all (2)

AdamWill (604569) | about 10 months ago | (#45446331)

"I would have considered this one if it had been available three weeks ago."

It was available three weeks ago, albeit in its previous Ivy Bridge form. I don't know why Slashdot is reporting this as if it were a new model rather than just a spec bump.

Mac Book Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445625)

I can buy a Mac Book Air (with 12 hour battery life!) for less than this Dell turd!

This "offering" will naturally fail miserably because of the price. But, Dell will chalk up the failure to a lack of interest in Ubuntu. Well, I suppose, they'll be 25% correct.

Re:Mac Book Air (1)

neonleonb (723406) | about 10 months ago | (#45445709)

It has a nicer screen than a Macbook Air, at least.

Re:Mac Book Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45446083)

It has a nicer screen than a Macbook Air, at least.

And I've got an aftermarket windshield for my Chevy Malibu that's much nicer than what you get from a BMW M5...

Re:Mac Book Air (1)

AdamWill (604569) | about 10 months ago | (#45446341)

The two are very similar in hardware and form factor, so I don't know why you'd call this a 'turd'. I'd expect them to post very similar battery life figures, given that they're based on very similar hardware. There's nothing magical about the new Macbooks' battery life; it's just thanks to Haswell's significant improvements in power efficiency. Every laptop that's got a Haswell bump has posted similarly impressive improvements in battery life, and this one will likely be the same.

The XPS 13 has a better screen and a smaller form factor than the MBA. And, of course, it comes pre-loaded with Linux. You can argue in theoretical terms about whether the better screen and the smaller chassis are 'worth' the extra money, but let's face it, if you want OS X you'd be better off buying the MBA, and if you want Linux you'd be better off buying the XPS 13.

Re:This is neat and all (2)

Teun (17872) | about 10 months ago | (#45445775)

The price is no worse or better than a Thinkpad with HD screen and I don't feel like subsidising Apple or Sony so all together I find it a good offering.

But first we'll have to see the full specs.

Re:This is neat and all (1)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 10 months ago | (#45446103)

You can pour a beer through a 1200$ Thinkpad or drop it on a concrete floor without killing it, I know, mine stood up to both. With the quality of Dell hardware I would be afraid to use harsh language around it. Unless their build quality has jumped recently I wouldn't want to spend that much on a "disposable" product.

On quality, Dell, and IB-^W Lenovo (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 10 months ago | (#45446549)

To get anything redeeming out of Dell, you have to order from the business-oriented laptops - such as their Precision line. The biggest drawbacks are that you end up having to pay more to get the same feature set, have to go through a bureaucracy to transfer ownership for support, and have the same problems with support as regular Dell machines. The only upside is that some

On the other hand, Lenovo still has the service and support, but is bastardizing their Thinkpad line in every way possible. Buying the Thinkpad line meant that you could get away from all the things that Lenovo now wants to put in it - lower quality consumer-grade features. While the W540(about the closest thing to the flagship of the Thinkpad line) brings back Flexview, it takes away the Thinkpad black form factor that has been there since the beginning(replacing it with a "graphite black), and has the PCjr chiclet keyboard.

I just hope that Colorware isn't the only practical option for correcting Lenovo's wish to make the Thinkpad a not-Thinkpad.

Re:On quality, Dell, and IB-^W Lenovo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45446651)

Yea, fuck Lenovo.

I love my Thinkpad, but I won't be buying another, except second-hand unless they turn their business around and go back to making quality designs, with quality keyboards.

Thinkpad's, Fujitsu Lifebooks and HP WX Notebooks used to be the only notebooks for a hardworking unix user. Now there's nothing, Fujitsu have fucked up the Lifebook, HP discontinued the WX, and Lenovo fucked the Thinkpad.

The best bit, is pretty much every Thinkpad owner complained, so they did a big public announcement calling all their customers idiots and telling them they are wrong, and that they'll come to love the rubbish direction Lenovo is moving in. That's a fucking awesome way to run a business...

Into the ground.

Re:On quality, Dell, and IB-^W Lenovo (1)

Astronomerguy (1541977) | about 10 months ago | (#45446803)

Dammit! If I had mod points I'd mod you up. I'm in the IT VAR biz, and I've seen the quality slowly degrade over time. The margins are tight in the hardware business, and there's no incentive for the manufacturers to dial it up. You have to go with niche players if you want hardware with the quality that meets your standards. Gaming portables are intersting, as a re mobile workstations, but $$, weight, and battery life are the trade-offs.

Re:On quality, Dell, and IB-^W Lenovo (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 10 months ago | (#45447097)

Given that this kind of stuff happens, I just order from the high end and then make it last. It's served me well for the four generations that I've dealt w/ Thinkpads (A31p/T42p/T60p/W520) such that they can do their job. The less friendly something is to service, the less likely it will be designed to last.

In addition, I've also seen an degradation in quality in the contractors that come by to do service. When I had my T42p repaired, there was a good chance of getting a full-badged employee (or someone competent enough) to fix it for NBD onsite service. Today, the same service level is more likely to get a bottom-dollar contractor that doesn't do it as a main line of their work (where my last W520 had a satellite TV contractor come in).

I've stayed *very* far away from the "gaming" portables given their unbalanced nature. They're made by ODM's that have little-to-no documentation or parts, making them unreliable and hard to service as time passes by. Those machines are why I've bought Thinkpads, since IBM/Lenovo made it a point to make a good design (where the battery is not simply a 50min UPS, but a 3-5h+ power source on a mobile workstation).

Re:On quality, Dell, and IB-^W Lenovo (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 10 months ago | (#45447119)

The best bit, is pretty much every Thinkpad owner complained, so they did a big public announcement calling all their customers idiots and telling them they are wrong, and that they'll come to love the rubbish direction Lenovo is moving in. That's a fucking awesome way to run a business...

Which one? Kohut has repeatedly done that (especially with Flexview - something that finally has returned in the W540) in his defense of Lenovo's design decisions. The only announcement I've seen is their "it's evolution" announcement about making their Thinkpads in "graphite black" gray - and it doesn't seem to imply that they're wrong.

About the only thing that Lenovo gets right may end up being their service department - see my parent post about it. It's part of what's kept my laptops working well out of warranty (in addition to part interchangeability).

Re:On quality, Dell, and IB-^W Lenovo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45447153)

The fucking keyboards.

Nobody likes the new chicklet PCjr keyboards. Everyone complained about it. Their response: blog about how the shitty keyboard is actually awesome and every single customer is wrong and an idiot. Underneath the blog post: hundreds, if not thousands, of Thinkpad users saying "no, fuck you, give us back the old keyboards".

Re:This is neat and all (1)

Astronomerguy (1541977) | about 10 months ago | (#45446771)

Yup. Been there and done that. My Lenovo T510 with bumped up HD and 8Gb RAM is now a Hackintosh running Mavericks just sweet and fine, and it is my primary lappy. The ability to survive spills is its key selling point (I'm a klutz with 2 cats and 2 dogs). It was previously running Mint. A couple of spare 2.5" drives will shortly be configured for Mint again and Windows 8.1 for software testing.

$110 Windows tax (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445523)

The cost of the machine is $110 less than an otherwise identical XPS 13 with Windows 8.

Same price as for Windows (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 10 months ago | (#45445533)

It's the same price as the Windows 8 version. [dell.com] (That's listed at $1299, but scroll down for the "$50 off coupon".) This is progress for Dell; most of their previous Linux offerings cost more than the comparable Windows machine.

Microsoft helping NSA to hack your Windows (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445703)

Microsoft helping NSA to hack your Windows [techrights.org]

According to a new report from the corporate press (as corporate as it can get, being Bloomberg), Microsoft tells NSA staff about universal unpatched holes before they are being addressed:

        Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

        Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft (MSFT) and other software or Internet security companies have been aware that this type of early alert allowed the U.S. to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments, according to two U.S. officials. Microsoft doesn’t ask and can’t be told how the government uses such tip-offs, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

        Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Microsoft, said those releases occur in cooperation with multiple agencies and are designed to be give government “an early start” on risk assessment and mitigation.

Glyn Moody asked, “why would anyone ever trust Microsoft again?”

Frank Shaw is not a technical man. His job is to lie, e.g. about sales of Vista 8 (quite famously and most recently). He came from Waggener Edstrom, a lying and AstroTurfing company. The above should be read as follows: when new holes exist which permit remote hijacking the unaccountable, cracking-happy NSA is being notified. What can possibly go wrong now that we have proof that the NSA is cracking PCs abroad with impunity?

Some of the back and forth is innocuous, such as Microsoft revealing ahead of time the nature of its exposed bugs (ostensibly providing the government with a back door into any system using a Microsoft OS, but since it’s don’t ask, dont’ tell, nobody really knows). However the bulk of the interaction is steeped in secrecy: “Most of the arrangements are so sensitive that only a handful of people in a company know of them, and they are sometimes brokered directly between chief executive officers and the heads of the U.S.’s major spy agencies, the people familiar with those programs said.”

Captcha: exposed

Re:Microsoft helping NSA to hack your Windows (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445819)

Captcha: fuck you

Battery Life (2)

Chemisor (97276) | about 10 months ago | (#45445553)

Funny how the battery life, which just happens to be the single most important criteria for laptop buyers, is not listed... It's like they don't expect anyone to even consider buying it.

Re:Battery Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445653)

Anything more than two hours will do. Power sockets are everywhere. Battery is the last thing I care about.

Re:Battery Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445797)

Some of us care about battery life since not all airline seats have electric outlets available. "Compile" is Native American for "hot chip eats battery".

Re:Battery Life (4, Informative)

SeanBlader (1354199) | about 10 months ago | (#45445885)

The prior XPS13 with Linux would get 6 hours easy, this one with a haswell chip should get 8 at a minimum.

No. (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 10 months ago | (#45445599)

Unless the person genuinely needs the processing power, the right chromebook purchase can lead to a much cheaper upgrade path to the same [non-graphics/cpu] specs.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | about 10 months ago | (#45445661)

You are assuming the traveller buying an ultra portable has always perfect network access or is happy to share his data with the cloud.

Sorry, that's not the world I'm travelling in.

Re:No. (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 10 months ago | (#45446073)

Who said anything about ChromeOS? All new Chromebooks ship with SeaBIOS, & the older ones can be reflashed to have it. No signed kernels, no Google Anything. & we're talking the very same crowd that would buy a 'developer notebook'. Then again, something like this has modularity over, say a Chromebook Pixel (which has no modularity). Maybe something that could be purchased in bulk for dev-focused fleets ready to go out-of-the-box, but from what I understand there's bloatware....

How about the new backdoors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445647)

Any specs on the new backdoors from the NSA? Or do I have to wait for the next Snowden to find out?

Er... No. (1)

ledow (319597) | about 10 months ago | (#45445747)

13.3-inch touchscreen .... starting at $1,250

Er... No.

Quite what's the selling point here? A Linux-based touchscreen (can already get Linux-based tablets that size for much less)? Or a powerful laptop (can get much better laptops that don't cost that much even if you put a touchscreen onto them)?

Who's the customer here?

Re:Er... No. (1)

AdamWill (604569) | about 10 months ago | (#45446347)

"can get much better laptops that don't cost that much even if you put a touchscreen onto them"

Like what? in the 13" ultraportable (i.e. sub-3lbs) weight class, what is 'much better'?

The Macbook Air 13" is broadly comparable (slightly cheaper, slightly worse hardware). Whatever model number Asus is on right now, it'll be broadly similar in hardware terms but inferior in build quality while being a bit cheaper. The Thinkpad 13" model is lower-specced with a worse screen (though probably better build quality and a better keyboard). Those couple of laptops from Samsung and someone else with retina-class displays use 'U' class processors, which are much much slower than what the XPS 13 and MBA use, and come with less memory. The Pixel costs about the same and has less storage.

I've been through the whole 13" ultraportable class, and the XPS 13 is pretty competitive. Not obviously the best choice, not obviously the worst - there really isn't an obvious best choice, it's all a case of how much CPU power you need, how much screen resolution you need, what OS you want, and how much you can afford to spend.

So its an MS Surface... (1)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 10 months ago | (#45445889)

...but more expensive, with less features and running Ubuntu.
 
Its another step in the right direction but it is still a long way from bumping MS and Apple from the "full featured" consumer computer market. As much as I hate marketing, it needs to be marketed. Linux doesn't sell itself to the average person, it has to be made to look like the better alternative before any one other than techies will buy it.

Re:So its an MS Surface... (0)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 10 months ago | (#45447147)

Linux doesn't sell itself to the average person

Have you considered that there might be a reason for that?

Linux has its place, it is indeed a useful OS that we should all be grateful for, but to the consumer computer market, it might as well not exist, and that isn't going to change.

Way too many things aren't supported or don't work the first time without any fiddling.

Oh sure, you can cherry pick hardware and find stuff that works great, but frankly you can install Windows 7 on ANY PC that is less than 8 years old and it will work. You can buy almost ANY computer add-on in the past 8 years and Windows 7 supports it.

Printers, scanners, USB devices, video cards, network cards, add-in this, add-in that, all work.

Linux just isn't there with such broad support. Joe Consumer crap printer or other random device has to work 100% of the time, or they'll get cranky.

And that doesn't even bring up the whole, "none of your software runs on it, WINE isn't a solution for Joe Consumer, and the "free" alternatives are not real substitutes.

Designed for developers. How? (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 10 months ago | (#45445893)

"The XPS 13 laptop comes preloaded with Ubuntu® 12.04 LTS, a basic set of developer tools and utilities, as well as access to two beta projects: the cloud launcher and the profile tool."

Dell slaps an outdated version of Ubuntu onto a £1k+ laptop, markets it as "Designed for developers" and its news?

Any creditable Developer with experience, Would not:
1. Buy a Dell (which has a well known reputation for cheap parts/failures)
2. Use Ubuntu as their Linux distro (from experience, the slowest/bloated linux OS available)

Re:Designed for developers. How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45445999)

2. Use Ubuntu as their Linux distro (from experience, the slowest/bloated linux OS available)

From experience, some people who should know better still use Ubuntu because it requires a shorter initial investment of time.

Re:Designed for developers. How? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45446177)

I guess those schlubs at Google are not credible developers by your definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goobuntu

Also, Dell monitors and workstations are the bread and butter of large software companies. Their high end workstations are absolutely fantastic.

If you are talking about Dell consumer products, then yes. They also cost /thousands/ less than the professional equipment they offer.

If you don't consider this ( http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=cap3610w7p0078ps&model_id=precision-t3610-workstation&c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04 ) suitable for use by a "credible" developer, I have to say I am curious what you think is!

No ethernet (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 10 months ago | (#45446097)

It seems there is no ethernet port. Too bad, the machine looked quite good, but I like reliable networking, hence Wi-Fi only is not for me.

If it's anything like the last xps 13 (2)

p00kiethebear (569781) | about 10 months ago | (#45446437)

If it's anything like the last xps 13 then it will be fucking awesome. I love everything about this laptop. It's incredibly thin and light. The screen is vivid. It runs everything I want it too and never hesitates on me. Plus with the solid state Hard drive it wakes up from sleep in about 2 - 3 seconds.

Hope the keyboard is better (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45446523)

I had the previous gen XPS13 for a bit, including a long work trip. It got great battery life even then, but the keyboard was miserable. PgUp, PgDn, Home, and End required a function keypress. The tactile response was weak and it felt like a cheap model, despite the price. The 1 year warranty was lacking too. Ended up handing it off to a coworker and now running a Latitude E6430U for the same money - much better keyboard and tactile qualities, and no question it is more robust with a 3 year warranty. You pay for it with a slightly heavier chassis but I'll take it. 16x9 resolution is still weak though, just waiting for the higher res screens on the Dell mobiles.

Microsoft Tax (1)

Tetetrasaurus (1859006) | about 10 months ago | (#45446577)

1300 bucks seems like a LOT for an Ubuntu touch-tablet whatever. Is this because you have to pay the Microsoft tax, because anyone not purchasing a windows machine must be installing a pirated copy on the sly?

1080p? another vertically challanged laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45447087)

I rather get the Chromebook Pixel then.

SSD Capacity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45447105)

I have to say I've been looking forward to this release for quite a while but it's a max 256 SSD which is the same as the Macbook air I own from 2010. I'm pretty disappointed that there's no 512 or 1TB option.

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