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Sputnik – Dell’s Ubuntu-based developer laptop is here (canonical.com)
80 points by macco on Nov 29, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 28 comments

Despite being a mac user now, I am so happy to see a high-end product optimized for a linux distribution. During the 7 years I used linux as my daily driver, I would have killed for a well integrated, high-end mobile machine.

I don't plan to move away from macs anytime soon, but I still rejoice when the platform makes progress. I'm already hearing whispers from developers that plan to support Steam's linux client which seems unbelievable to me- this was unthinkable just a couple years ago. I hope this window of opportunity stays open long enough for a viable pc/windows alternative to take foot.

It's rather funny, rather sad to see the comments about how overpriced this is. Especially the implications that the overpricing is because the laptop runs linux by default.

The XPS-13 line is a standard ultrabook line from Dell. The closest comparable windows version is the same price. But it has half the ram (4GB) and a generation older chipset (Sandy Bridge).

So this price is completely in line with, and even a bit cheaper than Dell's other offerings.

See current HN discussion on this here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4847720

I'm never going back to a sub-1920x1080 laptop screen for development. Screen real estate is just too precious to waste by having a sub-optimal resolution. Maybe in 10 years, or whenever I need reading glasses, I'll feel differently.

I have terrible eyesight, I still prefer this. I compensate by wisely choosing fonts.

Developers have been complaining about the 1366x768 screen resolution in the Ars comments. Shouldn't developers be designing for (and on) the resolution the user is most likely be using?[1]

1: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/11/statcounter-finds-1366-x-...

Not everyone is a frontend web developer, or any sort of frontent developer. I develop software to manage network attached storage, making my resolution pretty much irrelevant for testing my software. In fact, for the small amount of UI work that I do, I run it in a VM at 1024x768; the tiny resolution on this thing means that that would take up pretty much my whole display.

Furthermore, I like to be able to see my code and and the final product at the same time. In fact, I prefer to be able to have several columns of code, a terminal, a web browser, and my VM that I'm deploying my work to all visible at once. The more I can see, the better. I usually work with 3 1920x1080 monitors plus my laptop display, but sometimes need to use my laptop when I'm not at my desk. Being able to fit multiple columns of code and/or terminals on my screen at once is important to me.

Heck, these days, phones are coming with greater resolutions than that; you can't even fit your phone emulator on that display without scaling, if you develop mobile software. The Nexus 10 has 2560x1600 display on a 10 inch screen; why does a $400 tablet have such a better screen (its smaller dimension has more pixels than the XPS 13's larger!) than a $1500 laptop?

Aside from the poor resolution I also don't understand the price. I purchased a gaming laptop (ASUS G75VW) w/ 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, 750GB HDD, GTX 660m & 3610QM, which runs 1920x1080 for under $1400. This dell laptop has the specifications of my $400 Chromebook. It seems like it has been massively overpriced because it's one of the few machines that runs linux out of the box.

Tell me more about this $400 Chromebook with a 3GHz i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD.

If you only look at screen resolution, then his argument held (some) water.

I've got to admit, 768 vertical is a bit poor for developing.

I work on backend Linux systems, as do a huge percentage of Linux devs. Other people's screen resolution is irrelevant to me.

What does the resolution of an end user have to do with the desired resolution of a developer's machine? Each is accomplishing different tasks. Should you also program in an uncomfortable chair because many of your users will not be able to afford a quality one?

Shameless PSA: the Markus is the most comfortable chair I've ever owned.


Its easy to make your browser resolution smaller. You can't make it bigger though.

There's a difference between developer and user. The developer is likely a multi-tasker looking at the design and code and images.

Part of my concern about a "720p" screen is remembering how some unresizable windows wouldn't even fit on the screen of my netbook and I would have to alt + drag them to get to the OK/Cancel buttons.

In 2012 most UIs are html driven and not native apps anymore that have been designed to fit some mostly used resolutions.

Most UI's or most web-based UIs?

Kind of odd that they have a Microsoft Office ad on the 2nd screen of the customization wizard... :/

Why? People still think in the mindset of Linux vs. Windows when in reality, each party makes use of the other's software; frequently. I promise the "competition" is purely in your head.

"Productivity Software" page in the customization dialog. A large banner displays "MS Office - Get tools to express ideas and solve problems with full functionality". However (obviously) there is no possibility to actually select MS Office! Just odd/bemusing oversight.

This should have been released 6-8 years ago.

And at $999. But looks like Dell doesn't like our money.

Will the cloud-to-cloud integration this laptop ships with be an option for those who haven't got the money to buy this developer beast of a laptop perhaps as something you can buy separately or is it tailored only to the laptop that ships with it?

My System76 has that resolution and I hate it. I thought it was going to be okay, but it's not. I won't make that mistake again. A tiling window manager helped, but I still cry from time to time when I think about it.

/me goes and cries.

It's resolution is really lolz! Im a developer and seriously even 1400x900 doesn't feel right (dell e6410).

Yeah, I bought a new Thinkpad (great keyboard) to replace my broken laptop. But at 1366x768 resolution, I just couldn't be productive. 1600x900 on my new Samsung Series 9 does the trick. Keyboard isn't as awesome, but chuffed with the rest of it.

Ubuntu laptop with Windows logo on keyboard. Great.

too expensive

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