Dell’s Ubuntu-powered XPS 13, codenamed Project Sputnik, started life as an internal R&D project. Now it has grown up and is available to buy online in North America — but why does it cost more than a Windows equivalent?
The computer now takes the name XPS 13 Developer Edition, and comes with a Precise Pangolin Ubuntu build pre-installed along with a special raft of drivers to make sure it works with as many peripherals as possible. The hardware is similar to other XPS 13 models: either an Intel i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SATA III SSD, so it should run super-quick with that Ubuntu install.
But then there’s the issue of price. All this comes in at $US1550 — $US50 more than the Windows equivalent. In other words, Dell is asking you to pay more for an open-source computer than for one running a proprietary OS. And that doesn’t make much sense.