Dell has been selling some of the best Linux laptops for over a decade, and right after the HP Dev One, Dell is releasing an updated Linux variant of the premium XPS 13 Plus.
Dell was already selling an XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition, which is largely unchanged from the Windows-based XPS 13 Plus that arrived earlier this year, except that it comes with Ubuntu Linux 20.04 LTS instead of Windows. Starting in August, Dell will ship the XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition with a new Ubuntu 22.04 LTS software experience, and people who have already purchased the Developer Edition will receive the same streamlined upgrade.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus launched earlier this year as an ultra-premium competition for the best laptops, with 12th Gen Intel Core processors, a MacBook-like Touch Bar panel above the keyboard, and a trackpad that blends into the laptop frame. It’s certainly an attractive laptop, but it’s received mixed reviews for its limited selection of ports (there’s no headphone jack) and lackluster battery life.
Dell isn’t just changing the operating system though: the Developer Edition has received an official certification for Ubuntu from its developer, Canonical. That means everything should work smoothly out of the box, and because Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is installed by default, you’ll get updates for “up to 10 years.” You can also switch to the non-LTS version of Ubuntu, or even other Linux distributions, but you may have a less stable experience.
Dell also confirmed that the regular XPS 13 Plus received the same Ubuntu certification, so if you install Ubuntu 22.04 on an existing Windows model (once optimizations are finished in August), you should get a similar experience. Ubuntu 22.04 was released in April and includes the GNOME 42 desktop environment, updated multitasking, Linux kernel 5.15, and many other improvements.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition starts at $1,289.00 in the US, with the base configuration offering 8GB of RAM, a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1240P processor, a 13-inch touchscreen, 4 inches and 1080p and a 512 GB NVMe SSD. The Linux version is $100 cheaper than the same Windows 11 Home laptop and $160 cheaper than the Windows 11 Pro laptop. Presumably, Canonical isn’t charging the same license fees as Microsoft.