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It just works: Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Linux Ultrabook review

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I've been terribly curious about the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition since we first covered it back in November. This is a different beast from the flippy-touchscreen-equipped XPS 12—this Ultrabook contains zero touchscreens. However, it comes preloaded with Ubuntu Linux, and Dell has spent a substantial amount of time and effort in ensuring that it works—and works well.

In an effort originally known as Project Sputnik, Dell dedicated resources into doing Linux on an Ultrabook "right"—writing code where necessary (and contributing that code back upstream like a good FOSS citizen) and paying attention to the entire user experience rather than merely working on components in a vacuum. The result is a perfectly functional Ultrabook with a few extra tools—that "Developer Edition" moniker isn't just for show, and Dell has added some devops spices into the mix with this laptop that should quicken any developer's heartbeat.

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It Just Works...

Dell did this about 5yrs ago with the Studio 15 laptop. I was relatively new to the linux world at the time and all I read in forums was a bunch of whining about "if we only had a big name manufacturer that would sell linux pre-installed, we'd take over the world!"

So, Dell listened and did just that, but apparently the whiners really meant to say that they wanted an OS that was free to be able to run on the obsolete hardware they bought at a yard sale for $5. So the sales weren't there and Dell stopped making pre-installed linux laptops.

I, however, did put my money where the whiners' mouth's were, and bought one of those Studio 15s. It is a fantastic machine that just works and 5 years later is still just working.

Thanks for trying Dell!!

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