Absolutely Adorbs. But Will You Need It?

No, really not. But it’s so cool, really. And it’s Linus Torvald’s daily rider. Just look at it. LOOK AT IT!!!

This little laptop runs Linux exceptionally well.

Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition, the company’s flagship “just works” Ubuntu-based machine, was recently refreshed. These days Dell’s XPS line is not the cheapest Linux option, nor is it the most configurable or user-upgradable. And if any of those factors are a big part of your criteria, this is likely not the laptop for you.

On top of that, many Linux users still have a strong DIY streak and will turn up their noses at the XPS 13. After all, in a day and age when just about every laptop I test seems to run Linux fairly well right out of the box, do you need official support? If you know what you’re doing and don’t mind troubleshooting your own problems, the answer is probably not.

Yet after spending a few weeks with the latest XPS 13 (the fourth refresh I’ve tested), it’s hard to shake the feeling that this is the closest any company has come to Linux-computing nirvana. The XPS 13 Developer Edition makes an excellent choice for anyone who prefers Linux but wants hardware support from the manufacturer. All these years into its Linux odyssey, Dell continues to stand behind the operating system on these machines in a way that, in my experience, few other computer makers do.

So if you want a computer that runs smoothly and for which you can pick up the phone and get help should you need it, the Dell XPS 13 remains one of the best options out there (maybe regardless of your OS preference). It doesn’t hurt, either, that the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is also a great-looking, solidly built piece of hardware. If you dream of a Linux rig that “just works” and comes in a powerful, minimalist package that weighs a mere 2.7lbs, the XPS 13 Developer Edition fits the bill.

Dell's 2020 CES lineup: two of the new XPS 13 laptops next to the new XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop (in black).
On the far right is “our” XPS13 Developer Edition model 🙂

This little snippet of the much longer ars technica article tells us already all we need to make a wise decision, doesn’t it? Yes, the Dell XPS13 DE is small and lightweight and impeccably built, still powerful and “optimised” for running GNU/Linux distributions – of all sorts – not just Ubuntu. Still is that a reason to pay a premium price for this surely stunning machine?

Yes, if you really want the tough as nails cuteness of then machine itself, spare then trubbel of installing Ubu yourself and the knowledge that your new lappy will run Linux without any problems.

No, if you have a modicum of knowledge about Linux systems, don’t need a shiny show-off machine but just a humble workhorse. As the article states every laptop “will run Linux fairly well right out of the box”. And the support thing? Tell you what, after a couple weeks you know where and how you get help … or most probably won’t need any help at all,

Tell you what, Orca would take 2 or 3 slightly older, used and refurbished Lenovo ThinkPads, instead of having one Dell XPS. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind having one in my collection. Particularly now that I find my own lame netbook doesn’t really cut it anymore I wouldn’t sneeze at a brandnew 2020 Dell XPS13.

Yeah, it’s such an adorbs little Machine … for ~ 1,000 US Woolongs minimum for its weakest rendition. 😮

Hmmm, less adorable now, isn’t it?




    • The XPS13 has proven its worth since years and years, Renard. Last I heard was that the man himself, good ole Linus, is using it as his daily rider. Dell. Not Lenovo. Of course have the Lennies the longstanding tradition and quality of IBM. In fact is it the same company, the same machines building the ThinkPads nowadays, they just changed the name when Lenovo bought the whole PC branch from IBM.
      But let’s face it, Lenovo still uses plastic where other manufacturers went to Magnesium for their more expensive, professional laptops.
      And Dell’s XPS line is very professional in that regard. And Dell, contrary to Lenovo has a dedicated Linux division, headed by Linux guru Barton George.

      Yes, my money is on Lenny as well, but other dads have beautiful daughters too.

      Liked by 1 person

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