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Dell's Sputnik 3 touchscreen laptop has Ubuntu Linux, Intel's Haswell

Dell's Sputnik 3 touchscreen laptop has Ubuntu Linux, Intel's Haswell

The XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu OS starts at $1,249.99

Dell has started selling a thin and light touchscreen laptop called the XPS 13 Developer Edition, which will have Ubuntu Linux OS and Intel's fourth-generation Core processors, code-named Haswell.

The laptop, code-named Sputnik, has a 13.3-inch touchscreen and will run on Ubuntu 12.04 OS. It is priced starting at US$1,249.99 and is available in the U.S.

With the Linux OS, the laptop is different from other Haswell-based laptops that largely come with the Windows OS. Dell introduced its first Sputnik laptop a year ago as part of an experiment to bring Linux to ultrabook-style laptops.

While the price may be high for a Linux laptop, it has a full high-definition touchscreen and components typically found in high-priced laptops. The cheapest configuration has a Core i5 dual-core processor and 128GB of solid-state drive storage, while a $1,549.99 configuration has 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. Other features include the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

The Linux drivers have been optimized for components in the laptops.

The laptop will be available in Canada next week, and in European countries in December.

Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the "big brother" to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry.

The Precision M3800 still has Linux driver issues that need to be worked out, George said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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