Most of the machines Dell sells with Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution pre-installed instead of Windows are of the budget variety. The Inspiron 530 N desktop starts at just $509, and the Inspiron 1420 N notebook is a still-affordable $729. However, the PC giant has added a more upscale system to its Ubuntu-powered lineup: the XPS M1330 notebook.
The M1330 has already secured a reputation on the Windows side, with its 13.3" wide-screen display, slender profile, four-pound (1.8-kg) weight, and $999 starting price tag. The Ubuntu version of the machine has the same model number and the same hardware, but it starts at a slightly more affordable $954. Folks will find version 7.10 of Ubuntu Linux pre-installed along with additional software Dell has bundled to allow DVD playback out of the box. As with Dell's other Ubuntu systems, Linux newbies can pony up some extra cash for Ubuntu technical support, as well.
On the hardware front, the Linux XPS M1330 is available with Core 2 Duo processors clocked at 1.66GHz to 2.2GHz, standard and LED-backlit displays, 1GB to 4GB of memory, 120GB to 200GB hard drive capacities, 4-9 cell batteries, and Bluetooth. There's no 802.11n Wi-Fi support, though, nor can users opt for an Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS graphics processor like on the Windows model.