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Dell PCs with Ubuntu Are A Little Less Expensive 388

Posted by Zonk
from the penguin-pass dept.
Chandon Seldon writes "Contrary to many earlier reports, it turns out that Dell's prices for its Ubuntu PCs are cheaper than similar Windows Vista PCs for all three Models. Ars Technica reports: 'So it turns out that not including Windows saves the consumer $50 from the regular list price. This amount is not too far off from what a large OEM like Dell would pay for a volume discount for Windows Vista Home Basic (the regular OEM price is about $95). Many value PC sellers try to make up for the cost of a Windows license by bundling demo and trial versions of software such as AOL (affectionately known as "crapware"), for which they receive money from software companies looking to increase their distribution levels. Dell is no exception to this practice, although on their web site it allows customers to select the option of not including various applications.' For direct comparisons, Nat Tuck of Umass-Lowell has put together a simple page showing prices for Ubuntu and Windows-based PCs."
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Dell PCs with Ubuntu Are A Little Less Expensive

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  • Re:No 3D in laptops. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Friday May 25, 2007 @01:06PM (#19272145)
    If you want a state of the art games machine, Ubuntu is the wrong base anyway. Sure, the latest NVidia and ATI graphics cards are far more powerful, but the Intel cards have quite enough oomph for anything you will want to run on Linux desktop in practice, even Beryl.

    I am personally delighted that Dell is offering good practical machines that should just work. People who buy these should end up as happy customers. In the long term, that is good for both Dell and Linux.

  • by Poppler (822173) on Friday May 25, 2007 @01:09PM (#19272199) Journal
    I was about to post a rant about how it was obscured as well, but right now, Dell has a promotion for Ubuntu PCs on their front page. OK, so it's one of four images shown seemingly at random, but having a promotion shown to 25% of people who visit dell.com isn't bad.
  • by mpapet (761907) on Friday May 25, 2007 @01:19PM (#19272379) Homepage
    I tried to find it this morning too.

    1. There was a page on Dell's site saying displaying photoshopped pc's with a brown ubuntu splash screen, but the link took you to freedos systems. (?)

    2. Search the phrase Dell linux and one of the links will take you to PC's with Red Hat.

    3. Going through Dell's front door www.dell.com gets you absolutely zero indication they have Linux, much less ubuntu as an option.

    I found the link to buy a ubuntu/dell pc in an article. This suggests some combination of typical corporate inertia and maybe, just maybe a Microsoft distribution agreement that discourages alternatives.

  • by umStefa (583709) on Friday May 25, 2007 @01:25PM (#19272491) Homepage
    Well I know for fact that Dell's with Linux are NOT available in Canada.
  • by C_Kode (102755) on Friday May 25, 2007 @01:41PM (#19272777) Journal
    This is kind of weak excuse. Obviously, Dell would make some notice of this upon purchasing Ubuntu. It's like when buying a car, the usually make it known if you are buying a car that uses diesel instead of gasoline.
  • by kernelpanicked (882802) on Friday May 25, 2007 @01:44PM (#19272833)
    Guess you were too busy to read this. From DELL's site on the Ubuntu page.

    "Not sure Open Source is for You?

    The main thing to note is that when you choose open source you don't get a Windows® operating system. If you're here by mistake and you are looking for a Dell PC with Windows, please use the following link."
  • Re:Piracy (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mikachu (972457) <jjburke&hunter,cuny,edu> on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:10PM (#19273255) Homepage
    Search any torrent site. I bet you will be able to find a copy of Windows XP that has updates to May 2007, passes WGA, AND doesn't even require a key. I've seen them, and in the past, used them.
  • What you get. (Score:3, Informative)

    by ChardWreck (1107173) on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:18PM (#19273397)
    PROCESSOR Intel® Core(TM)2 Duo Processor E4300 (1.8GHz, 800 FSB)
    OPERATING SYSTEM Ubuntu Desktop Edition version 7.04
    MONITORS No Monitor
    MEMORY 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 2DIMMs
    HARD DRIVE 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache
    OPTICAL DRIVE 48X CD-RW/ DVD Combo Drive
    VIDEO CARD 256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
    SOUND CARD Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
    KEYBOARD & MOUSE Dell USB Keyboard
    WARRANTY AND SERVICE 1Yr In-Home Service, Parts + Labor - Next Business Day
    Mouse Dell® 2-button USB mouse
    Network Interface Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet

    $459.00 Not Including Shipping

    Not all that bad really. And there is a 3d card. Not the best but its something.
  • They don't offer a Linux model configured comparably to the $369 Vista model, but by customixing donwn you can get the Linux version to $409. So for $40 more than the Vista model you get:

    CPU: Celeron D => Core Duo
    GPU: GMA X3000 => GMA950
    RAM: 512M single channel at 533 => 1GB dual channel at 667
    Disk: 160GB => 250GB
    Net: 10/100 => 10/100/1000

    Apart from the GPU, the Linux version is better in every way... but if you're looking for an entry level computer you're really looking for the unavailable $329 E520 with Ubuntu.

    On the other hand, trying to configure a Vista box to match the Linux box, the best I can do is not $459, but $549... the following things are included in the price and can't be removed:

    * Microsoft Works 8. DOES NOT INCLUDE MS WORD
    * Starter pack - Yahoo! Music, Corel Photo and Dell Games
    * 56K PCI Data Fax Modem
    * 6 Months of America Online Membership Included

    The difference between the Intel X3000 and the older Intel GMA950 in the Linux box is presumably balanced by the 10/100 ethernet versus the 10/100/1000 in the Linux version.
  • Re:No 3D in laptops. (Score:5, Informative)

    by wile_e_wonka (934864) on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:28PM (#19273577)
    I personally have a 3 and a half year old Dell D400 laptop with the Intell 855GM integrated graphics card. It runs Beryl just fine. I've switched to Compiz for the latest rendition of Ubuntu and that works fine too.

    I'm sure the card can't handly anywhere near whatmost nVidia cards can, but the Intel card definitely handles the basic eyecandy without problems.
  • Re:Multiple reasons. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:45PM (#19273881) Homepage

    Intel graphics cards have historically been bad options for OpenGL and 3D apps in Linux.

    That is most definitely not the case now. Intel cards are certainly not speed demons, but they work quite well as they have good open source drivers written by Intel themselves. Intel employs several of the main X.org hackers, including Keith Packard. Also see this announcement [freedesktop.org].

    I would recommend an Intel graphics card over an Nvidia or ATI for a Linux machine unless you plan on playing demanding games like Quake 4 or Doom 3 (for which I'd suggest an Nvidia). I would never recommend an ATI card that requires the use of fgrlx (that's any X1000 or X2000 series card at the moment).

  • by buggi22 (1060024) on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:47PM (#19273921)
    Here's what I've found:

    1. There's an "Ubuntu Has Arrived" image that cycles through with the other advertisements on Dell's front page. This takes you to a page where you have the choice to shop for Ubuntu PC's and FreeDOS PC's.

    2. The Ubuntu/FreeDOS PC's are not available through the obvious route (ie, by navigating through "Notebooks for Home and Office" -> "Inspiron" -> "Inspiron E1505", for example). There's an entirely separate navigation tree for Ubuntu orders.

    3. Fortunately the navigation tree for ordering non-Windows PC's has an easy-to-remember URL:

    http://www.dell.com/open [dell.com]

    Which is good for spreading the word the old-fashioned way.

  • by edwdig (47888) on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:55PM (#19274047)
    Also, it bugs me that none of the Ubuntu systems have AMD processors! Most of us who run Linux want 64-bit these days, since 64-bit "just works" under Linux, and gives a pretty good performance boost.

    I think the issue is Intel offers open source drivers for their integrated video cards. Less legal complications and less software complications that way. Also, the Windows variants of these machines seem to offer ATI graphics cards, which are the most likely to have problems under Linux.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by cyphercell (843398) on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:58PM (#19274083) Homepage Journal
  • by jomas1 (696853) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:22PM (#19274411) Homepage

    ... But you can get even better deals on Dells by hunting around at Edealinfo or Fatwallet. I just ordered a Dell laptop yesterday that ended up being significantly cheaper than the e1505n, and yet it comes with Vista Home Premium (it was some kind of educational/affiliate/whatever discount that I found on Fatwallet).

    Also, it bugs me that none of the Ubuntu systems have AMD processors! Most of us who run Linux want 64-bit these days, since 64-bit "just works" under Linux, and gives a pretty good performance boost. And among Intel Desktop processors, only the Core 2 Duo support 64-bit, while *ALL* the AMD processors now support 64-bit, from the lowly Sempron on up.

    Anyone know if Dell will offer an AMD system with Ubuntu?
    I spoke with a Dell rep yesterday and he told me that all of the Ubuntu Dell options are 64 bit. I don't think you can fault Dell here. They do have to make an investment to make Linux a viable option and I don't see why they should have to offer more than a few base systems right now. If people are buying Ubuntu Dells, we'll see what happens.
  • Wine OS? (Score:2, Informative)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:06PM (#19275067) Homepage Journal

    Aww, I wanted to buy an ungenuine version of Windows. :-(
    You mean like Wine? What about an entire operating system built around Wine [reactos.org]?
  • by HUADPE (903765) on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:35PM (#19275451) Homepage
    From shopping around a bit, this is because dell only lists options where you have options. There is probably only one Ethernet card available on the system you're configuring, so they don't show it as an option. Besides, the main reason to always know the model number of the card is irrelevant. The card will work with Linux, Dell has seen to that.
  • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Friday May 25, 2007 @06:07PM (#19276567) Homepage

    Every one of the systems includes an integrated NIC. It should show up in the "additional items" section at the bottom.

  • You can make a 'clean' install CD that uses the OEM license key that comes with the machine. First off, snag a copy of nlite(http://www.nliteos.com) and a 'normal' copy of of the CD - any version works. Look for a file called setupp.ini on the dell (or whatever) machine and put that in place of what you copied off the other CD. Make it bootable, add drivers, fixpacks, and create an iso. (You cannot turn an OEM into a retail version, but retail to OEM works just fine). The Win32 install will then activate and pass whatever other validation things Microsoft does. As a bonus, nlite also allows you to remove much of the Win32 crapware that normally gets put on a base windows install.

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