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Dell is a company we don't often cover here, however we're now on their press lists and they sent over something quite interesting today with their new XPS 13 laptop models which come with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors.

This is the model that since 2012, Canonical the maker of Ubuntu has teamed up with Dell for their "Developer Edition" that was originally known as "Project Sputnik". With this latest generation, Dell take the crown for being the first to officially do Linux + Intel Tiger Lake.

Not only does this mean some will come with Intel's surprisingly powerful Xe graphics, you're also getting access to Thunderbolt 4, a RAM boost from 3733MHz (older models) to 4267MHz LPDDR4x and something else a little special. Dell have said, that based on "input from our developer community" they will offer "added functionality" to allow Windows users to switch over to Ubuntu 20.04 even if their original XPS 13 model was not one ordered with Ubuntu (or dual-boot).

So even if you go for a Windows-model initially for some reason (different specs perhaps across the models), Dell won't mind at all if you end up with Ubuntu on it. We're waiting to hear back on some specifics of how this operating system moving will work. Either through a Dell-provided app that sets it all up for you, or just not getting in your way support / warranty wise if you do it manually. Once they clear that up we will update the article.

Update 29/09/20: the press team got back to me about the above, sharing a message from Canonical:

Users who buy a Dell XPS 13, are now able to install a certified Dell/Ubuntu image even if they didn't buy the pre-installed version. During the installation phase, the hardware will be recognised as an XPS 13 and optimized bits will be installed where applicable. This allows end users to get the best possible experience on the XPS 13 without having to track down a platform specific factory image. (or without using the matching factory image, or while using a generic image).  

It's good to see more vendors be supportive of Ubuntu on more models. We need more like this and hopefully in future Dell will go even further.

Interested? Here's some specs for you of what will be on offer with the different choices:

Processor
11th Generation
Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor (6MB cache, up to 4.1GHz)
Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor (8MB cache, up to 4.2GHz, 4 cores)
Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor (12MB cache, up to 4.7GHz, 4 cores)
Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor (12MB cache, up to 4.8GHz, 4 cores) (post launch)
Display 13.4-inch 4K Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400)
InfinityEdge touch display, HDR 400, 500-nit,
100% sRGB + DCI-P3 90% color gamut, 1500:1
contrast ratio, 0.65% anti-reflective, anti-smudge

13.4-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge touch
display, 500-nit, 100% sRGB color gamut, 1800:1
contrast ratio, 0.65% anti-reflective, anti-smudge

13.4-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge
display, 500-nit, 100% sRGB color gamut, 1800:1
contrast ratio, anti-glare
RAM 8GB LPDDR4x Dual Channel SDRAM at 4267MHz
16GB LPDDR4x Dual Channel SDRAM at 4267MHz
32GB LPDDR4x Dual Channel SDRAM at 4267MHz
Note: memory on-board
Storage 256GB PCIe 3 x4 SSD, 512GB PCIe 3 x4 SSD,
1TB PCIe 3 x4 SSD, 2TB PCIe 3 x4 SSD
Graphics
Depends on processor
Intel UHD Graphics
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Wireless KillerTM Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2x2) built on Intel chipset +
Bluetooth 5.1
KillerTM Wi-Fi 6 AX500-DBS (2x2) built on
Qualcomm ® 6390 chipset + Bluetooth 5 (available post launch)
Ports 2 ThunderboltTM 4 (USB Type-CTM) with DisplayPort
and Power Delivery
1 microSD card reader
1 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack
1 TypeC to USB-A v3.0 adapter ships standard
Size / Weight Height: 14.8mm (0.58”) x Width: 295.7mm (11.64”) x Depth: 198.7mm (7.82”)
Starting weight: 1.2kg (2.64lbs.)

This is going to be an Intel "Evo" certified laptop too, which is Intel's way of showing a verified top-tier model that offers up fast response times, like waking when you open the lid to a long battery life of no less than 9 hours.

Here's where it gets real interesting though, as Dell said in their facts sheet that with the integrated 52WHr battery they're targeting "up to 18 hours and 49 minutes of battery life on FHD+" which is an insane amount of work and play time. That will obviously vary greatly depending on what you're doing though. If you get one with Xe graphics, that's going to be a great little unit for some gaming while waiting on those emails coming through.

There's going to be a few different models including 2-in-1 and some colour variations including platinum silver with black carbon fiber and a frost machined aluminium with arctic white woven glass palm rest.

When will they be available? They're rolling out in the USA and Canada starting October 1 for both the platinum silver model and the  frost aluminium with arctic white woven glass palm rest. Certain European countries will be getting it across the next few weeks.

No price confirmed yet. Once more details come in about pricing and a wider launch, we will aim to let you know. Keep an eye on their XPS 13 Developer Edition page for when the new one lands.

Update 01/10/20: it's live now at an initial price of $1,049.00. As expected, some of the specifications they announced are only for the non-Ubuntu models. However, that's less of an issue since (as highlighted above) both Dell and Canonical are supporting moving the other models to Ubuntu as well which will not affect warranty or support conditions - something Canonical has also confirmed on their blog.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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18 comments
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3zekiel 29 Sep
Quoting: Comandante ÑoñardoThey must include good pre-installed Linux games.

They actually do have a series of gaming laptops using Linux I saw (https://certification.ubuntu.com/hardware/201902-26843), on those would make sense yes. On XPS which is really developer oriented, not so much maybe :)
adomas 29 Sep
Like half a year ago I got DELL XPS 13 in my workplace. Running Arch on it, works very well. Nice laptops :) Would be cool to see some DELL XPS with Ryzen processors and Linux. Maybe I would buy one such for my wife!
Liam Dawe 29 Sep
Article updated with info on the windows => ubuntu move support. Also they made us aware the date changed to October 1 for USA/Canada.
How do I get my refund for the Windows license?
slaapliedje 30 Sep
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I think this is the PERCECT time for Dell to step up their game, and Lenovo to jump and maybe we will see HP and a few others of the big name ones. Acer and Asus are less likely. Here is why I think this...
With Apple announcing their move to ARM, I think more and more corporatio s who would by macbooms for their developers because it is Unix-like enough and has some good tools for developing in a Unix-like environments, a lot of devs would prefer Linux laptops. But historically, getting an IT team to support Linux in a corporate environment has been far more of a pain than getting macs set up.
But the unknown of the ARM performance, the previous lack of support channels for Linux on corporate laptops, and Apple's tendency to try to 'innovate' with bad ideas (that is right Apple, NO ONE wanted the touch bar! When devs are excited they are getting back the escape key, you know you screwed up!)..
I think this is a great time for some corporate push from the big guns to sell Linux laptops. I figure Asus isn't generally the ones that companies buy, and so they probably won't directly sell any laptops pre-installed with Linux. They may even still be bummed the Netbooks didn't kick off as well as they wanted.
On the bright side for System76 and Librem, there are still individuals paranoid enough and smart enough to buy them based on the privacy/security based mods they do!
Anyhow, if for my personal laptop, I would go with one of those two. Work orders Dells and Macs, would be awesome if I could convince them to give me a Linux one (though at this loint I would prefer something other than Ubuntu, give me RHEL 8.x or something!)
scaine 30 Sep
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Just a note to the above comment, HP have recently announced that their Z-series laptops, workstations, etc, will support Ubuntu and there will be options on selected models to pre-load 20.04. Feels like the whole industry has a little bit of momentum around this. Hopefully it continues to build.

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2020/09/buy-hp-zbook-fury-with-ubuntu
Boldos 30 Sep
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Quoting: Liam DaweArticle updated with info on the windows => ubuntu move support. Also they made us aware the date changed to October 1 for USA/Canada.
Great news. But more important question is: will this win=>Lin change affect device's support and/or warranty in any way?
Liam Dawe 1 Oct
Post updated, it's now live with a price.

Quoting: Boldos
Quoting: Liam DaweArticle updated with info on the windows => ubuntu move support. Also they made us aware the date changed to October 1 for USA/Canada.
Great news. But more important question is: will this win=>Lin change affect device's support and/or warranty in any way?
Fully supported :)
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