In 2009, computer makers will continue to introduce more laptops and netbooks with the Ubuntu operating system pre-installed. One of the largest computer makers in the world, Dell, has been offering Ubuntu on a line of netbooks and laptops, as well as a larger desktops over the past year. They recently dropped the price, and made some additions to their Ubuntu line of computers.
On of Dell’s more interesting netbook offerings is the Inspiron Mini 9 that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu 8.04.1 One of these little netbooks can be had for just $299. The Inspiron Mini 9 offers an energy saving Intel Atom Processor running at 1.6 Ghz. This may seem like a slow processor, but you will get speedy performance out of Ubuntu at with this CPU.
At the $299 price, the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is lacking in storage capacity. You will want to get a netbook with more than the puny 4 GB offered with the base model. You can upgrade up to 64 GB, or opt to get a much larger external drive that plug into a USB port. This will set you back another couple hundred bucks depending how much of an upgrade you opt for.
The $299 Inspiron Mini 9 also does not have a built in CD or DVD drive. If you are running Ubuntu, this is not really a drawback, since most software built for Linux can easily be installed over the Internet. An external drive should also be purchased if you have a need for your netbook to read CDs. For example, if you want to add a music library from your favorite CD collection.
If you have a little extra cash to spend, you can also take a peak at the Dell Inspiron Mini 12. This Dell Mini offers larger disk capacity than the Mini 9. The processor is slightly slower. You will need to select an upgrade option to bring it up to the same speed as the Mini 9.
The one distinct disadvantage the Mini 12 has when compared to other laptop and netbooks is the lack of upgradeable memory. The Dell Inspiron Mini 12 only offers 1 GB memory. There are no options to increase over the 1 GB limit.
If want a larger laptop, then Dell is now offering a 15.4 inch model that also has Ubuntu 8.04.1 installed. The Dell Inspiron 1525N offers Intel Pentium Dual Core Processors, or for a few extra bucks you can upgrade to Intel Core 2 Duo processors.
For an even bigger processing punch you can get an XPS M1530n. This model sports a fast processor along with an Nvidia 256 MB graphics card. This is a larger size laptop, sporting a 15.4 inch display. This is the priciest Dell laptop that offers Ubuntu with a current base price at $1074.
There are two other Dell laptops with Ubuntu that price wise, fall in between the Inspiron 1535N and the XPS M1530n. They are the XPS 1330n and the the Studio 15n. The XPS 1330N has a 13 inch display and offers similar capability as the XPS 1530N, while the Studio 15n has a few mor display options, with similiar capabilities.
By offering a competitive line of netbooks and laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed, Dell is making statement that clearly support open source computing.