back to article Dell turns to Linux, Atom for budget biz boxes

Dell still hasn't formally announced its Eee PC rival but it did at least unveil some cheap Linux machines today based on Intel's Atom processor - the forecast revamp to its Vostro budget business box line-up. Dell Vostro A860 Dell's Vostro A860 Centre-stage were two new notebooks: the 15.6in A860 and the 14.1in A840, both …

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Linux

Interesting

"buyers can choose to have either Ubuntu or Windows Vista pre-installed"

And the price difference is..?

(And how long before Redmond send the heavies in to 're-educate' Dell's marketing dept?)

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Silver badge
Linux

Linux version cheaper than Vista!

I almost gave up searching for the A860 and A180, but determination paid off, and I found technical specs, BIOS download and related bumpf. No price though.

As I was there, I went through the A200 and A200n pages. As is normal for Dell, you have to look carefully to find the n-series. The javascript screwed up (for both A200 and A200n), but after finding a workaround, I was able to compare prices with some mildly irritating animations. (Off topic rant: Why do people use pointless javascript to drive potential customers away?)

After going through all the options, only one option was cheaper for the A200 than for the A200n. I think is was a typo. There are more options for A200. Some were pointless (second optical drive) some could have been related to drivers but none stood out as something I would actually want with a Linux box.

You can buy a wide variety of Windows software with your Linux box. I liked the option to not have Adobe Acrobat Viewer for no extra charge. (There is an Adobe Acrobat viewer for Linux, but there are better alternatives like kghostview and xpdf).

The A200n always came out $30 cheaper than the same configuration with Vista. (Upgrading Vista to XP costs and extra $99.)

I am shocked. Normally Dell machines with Windows come with sufficient crapware to more than counter the costs of the windows licence. Dell used to hide this by using fewer/crappier components in their Linux boxes. Have Dell found some crapware for Linux? Have Dell found some cheap Vista licenses? Is their a shortage of crapware for Vista?

Dell have finally removed two of the three barriers that meant I would not buy from them. Although their website is still horrible, it does now actually work - with a little help. At least one of their Linux machines is cheaper than the equivalent Vista machine, so buying Dell no longer means throwing a windows license in the bin and paying Sir Bill for the privilege. Now for the final barrier:

Do Dell still swap the power connections around to break power supplies and main boards if you connect a Dell main-board/power-supply to a non-Dell power-supply/main-board?

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Gates Horns

LOL

"Upgrading Vista to XP costs an extra $99"

I'd love to hear the official excuse for that...

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Boffin

The REAL Eee beater

Beating the Eee is easy:

Linux based

802.11 N

Bluetooth

screen resolution better than 800x600

£150 or less.

SSHD would be nice, but not essential.

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Boffin

Three more things

Battery life

Battery life

and Battery life.

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Silver badge
Stop

@Thee more things

You forgot Battery Life

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@ Flocke Kroes

Not sure about the Vostros but the Optiplex machines will run from a standard ATX CPU, some of them don't fit so well though (I've had a real job finding an ATX CPU that would fit in an Optiplex GX270, in the end I butchered another GX270 for the PSU).

Rob

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Bronze badge

Re: XP costing $99 more than Vista

I suspect that might be due to the licensing requiring Vista Business (or Ultimate, that would be silly) rather than Home to do that upgrade to XP.

I find it appalling that a Linux version would cost only $30 less than a Windows one really. Who are the big spenders for the crapware? I thought Google was the big one, and their stuff is mostly all available for Linux now anyway.

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Thumb Down

Oh no they dont!

Not if you are in europe.

An extensive search of the dell uk web site uncovers on rather unispired desktop box which you can buy with linux preinstalled.

The Belgian site has no unix options whatsoever.

Dell should either offer boxes whith Linux pre-installed ( or at least without a compulsary Vista install ) or stop claiming they do.

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@James Anderson

I might have missed something, but typing in "ubuntu" on the dell uk page leads to

http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/emea/segments/gen/client/en/ubuntu_landing?c=uk&l=en&s=dhs

which has 2 laptops, though there's nothing for belgium, for sure

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