Dell might be preparing to offer its XPS 13 with Ubuntu 12.04 this Fall, but Linux boutique ZaReason has beaten them to the punch by putting the UltraLap 430 up for sale. It’s the first Ultrabook on the market that’s shipping with Linux.
The $899 base price gets you a decently-specced unit. A 1.8GHz 3rd generation Intel Core i3 processor starts things off, and it’s teamed up with 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 32GB mSATA SSD. The Intel base hardware adds 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HD 4000 graphics to the mix — as well as a pair of USB 3.0 ports. The UltraLap’s 14.1-inch display offers a native resolution of 1366 x 768, and there’s an HDMI port in case you want to output video to a secondary display.
Plenty of upgrade options are available, and max out with an i5 3317U chip, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Secondary hard drives are available, too, and range from a 128 SSD to 500GB HDD.
You’ll also have your choice of several popular Linux distributions. In addition to Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Edubuntu 12.04, the current stable versions of Linux Mint, Debian, and Fedora are offered. You could probably get Windows 7 running on the UltraLap, too, but you’re on your own as far as drivers are concerned — ZaReason doesn’t provide them.
You could, of course, pick up a comparable Windows Ultrabook for around $200 less and install Linux on your own, but you won’t get a Tux/Ubuntu key on your keyboard or ZaReason’s top-notch tech support. And you might even have to fight with the manufacturer or store if you ever have a problem with the hardware itself — Linux has been used as a way around a warranty on more than one occasion.
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