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Is this the sexiest Linux laptop yet?

Dell releases Ubuntu version of its stunning XPS 13 laptop

Dell has released a version of its highly desirable XPS 13 laptop that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux. The release is part of Dell’s Project Sputnik programme, designed to deliver Ubuntu-based machines to developers. 

The ultraportable XPS 13 comes with Dell’s “infinity screen”, a 13.3in touchscreen display that has vanishingly small bezels around the edges, measuring only 5mm, virtually giving the appearance of edge-to-edge display. That helps keep the size and weight of the laptop to a bare minimum, although our reviewer wasn’t totally won over by Dell’s engineering, with an automatic screen brightness function giving particular cause for concern.

Click here to read our full review of the Dell XPS 13

Nevertheless, the XPS 13 remains one of the most desirable Windows laptops on the market, and now it’s coming pre-installed with Ubuntu 14.04, too. There will be two configurations available in the UK: a Core i5 version with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 3,200 x 1,800 touchscreen display. Alternatively, there’s a version that cranks the processor up to a Core i7 and boosts storage to 512GB.

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In a blog post, Dell said the configurations will be available in “both the consumer and business channels”, although we can’t currently find the Ubuntu edition of the XPS 13 listed in either on the Dell UK site. However, the same base spec for Core i5 version pre-loaded with Windows comes in at £799, so you can expect the Ubuntu version to retail at a similar price. 

Dell says it recognises that users may wish to use other Linux distributions with the XPS 13, but warns there may be problems with support for devices such as the touchpad and sound, unless users update to the latest version of the BIOS. Full details of the expected issues are listed on Dell’s blog

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