I'm about to get myself a new laptop to replace my desktop, I'm going mobile so you've been warned Anyway, I want to buy a machine with either Linux or no OS on it, I'm sick of Windows tax. I've been looking for a while and it's pretty hard to find a decent selection of laptops without some form of Windows, I'm sick of being offered Vista I just wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions of where I should look. I'm in the UK obviously so I need someone who will deliver here.
I've been checking out the Dell 6400's you can buy with Ubuntu and that's looking favourite but their is no real choice of models which is disappointing. I hoped they'd do something for their new years sales but they only seem to have reduced Winblows machines. I can get a better spec laptop off them with Vista and just delete it or try to get a refund but they don't seem keen to offer a Windows refund. Has anyone here tried it? Any advice?
I've priced up a nice 6400 from Dell:
1.8ghz Dual Core Pentium
2gb of RAM
Intel graphics and wireless
Price - £499 delivered
That's pretty good but I just feel maybe I should be supporting a smaller seller. I'd love a System76 machine but they don't ship outside the US sadly. I've also checked out Efficient PC and The Linux Emporium here in the UK but they don't really have much choice either and the prices are £300 more than the Dell for the same spec. My budget can't handle that. I need a decent spec as it's a desktop replacement.
I really want one of the Dell 1520's with the coloured cases but they're all Vista machines. They're actually cheaper than the Ubuntu models and I know I could just delete it and install Linux but that defeats the purpose. I will not be forced to buy an operating system I don't want. Call me extreme but I won't, Microsoft have to be told that we don't want them holding us to ransom :evil:
I'm going to contact Dell directly and ask them about refunds for Windows or the possibility of buying a machine with no OS from them. Has anyone done this and do you have any tips? If you have any experiences of dealing with Dell then please let me know. I've heard both good and bad stories from other people. I think it's really sad that there's hardly any choice of laptops without Windows out there, how can they charge more for a laptop with no OS than one with Windows? It's crazy. Anyway, I'm not buying Windows even if it's cheaper, I've decided. The only way I will do that is if I have some guarantee I can send the unused copy of Windows back with a nice note telling Steve Balmer to shove it firmly up his arse, the wow ends now!! hehe
Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated, thanks guys
I'm afraid I don't have any decisive advice for you, but I just like to say, that's an awesome stance your taking.
as for no OS machines costing more, I found something on iTWire (from a google search) about it:
Another and probably the most likely reason that Dell Ubuntu boxes are more expensive is that they cost more to build. Why? Probably because the cost of the Windows operating system to Dell is offset by the
available resources and skills within Dell to assemble the systems on order. How many Inspiron 1420 notebooks does Dell move compared to 1420N units? Probably orders of magnitude more. How much does it cost
Dell to assemble and configure a Windows box than the equivalent Ubuntu box? Probably measurably less.
As one poster pointed out, it many instances it would probably be cheaper for users to buy a Windows box and install Ubuntu on it themselves.
However, for most would-be pre-installed Ubuntu users the price of the hardware was never the issue. What they want is to be able to buy a Unbuntu Linux computer that they don't have to fiddle with to get working. In other words, they're prepared to pay not to have to use Windows and have a system with most or all of the applications they need installed and at their fingertips ready to run.
so, it might be simply overhead, after dell get used to distributing ubuntu machines, the cost might go down.
of course, that can only happen if more people buy ubuntu machines from dell.
I haven't really heard anything bad about dell, but then, I've never bought from dell so I can't be sure on that.
I had to get a pc with vista preinstalled myself, but it's no that big a deal for me as even though I like linux, I have a very soft spot for
games, so at least having a vista code on the box is a bit of a safety feature eg. if there's a must-have game that isn't supported on wine/cedega yet.
anyway, good luck, I hope you can find a laptop without supporting micro$oft.
if you do get an ubuntu dell, though, it would be interesting to see if they have the codecs preinstalled...
I've decided to up my budget a little bit as the machine I really want is the Dell m1330, it looks amazing and it's very powerful. They only offer it with Vista but I've heard you can get them to sell you one with just FreeDOS on it and not Windows if you're persistent, I'm gonna try contacting them next week and see what they have to say. I'm hoping they'll be reasonable about it but if not I know consumer law in the UK allows me to return the copy of Windows unused and claim a refund as long as I don't accept the license and get good documentation of myself refusing it. Apparently Dell's rather hefty deal with Microsoft only states they must ship machines with an operating system, it doesn't specify which one, they regularly ship machines with FreeDOS to business customers to get around the contract.
There's some stuff on the Dell IdeaStorm website about offering Ubuntu on the m1330 but they won't be doing it anytime soon by the looks of things. I've found out that everything on the m1330 works under Ubuntu, right down to the biometric fingerprint scanner so that's good. http://www.nervous.it/2007/11/linux-dell-xps-m1330/
I'll have to see how reasonable Dell are about it, hopefully they'll see sense, I don't expect them to support my Linux software in any way but I do expect them to honor the hardware warranty. Fingers crossed.
P.S - I'm not a gamer but I can totally see why you would want Windows if you are a committed gamer, Wine/Cedega are great but they have a long way to go I think
I hope it works out for you, from my perspective I think Dell would have any reason to refuse putting FreeDOS on instead, it's not
that big an ask.
and, I wouldn't exactly say that I want windows as much as I need it, but that might not be true for very long, I have
just gotten oblivion to work tonight on linux (unfortunately cedega can only run the original oblivion, securom (DRM crap) prevented me from
installing my copy, the GOTY [Game of the Year] edition - but that's when wine kicked in with a handy FAQ ), so I'll be doing a little
bit of distro hopping between the linux distro's I have accumulated so far, then I'll be able to settle in with a full linux pc and clean
out vista from my pc, no matter how pretty it is.
although I wouldn't mind trying out ReactOS sometime, it would be interesting to have a go at it, even if it still is in a very early stage.
anyway, good luck, hopefully you'll have a shiny new laptop, even better if it's a virgin [microsoft free]
ok....that virgin joke may have been a little silly....
Hehe cool thanks. I would say definitely look at Linux Mint 4.0 before you decide on your Linux desktop, I wasn't a fan of Mint before trying it but I was really impressed. I'm thinking I'll put that on my new laptop hopefully. My heart says Debian for the ethics but my head says it won't work on the laptop so easily. I'll try it, we'll see
Mandriva 2008 also impressed me a lot but the community isn't quite as large as the Debian-based distros. Might be worth a try though. Good luck, if you need anything just shout.
I have already tried mandriva 2008, actually, that was how I found your blog, I was so amazed at mandriva 2008 I had to find out
what other people thought about it, so I looked up reviews
I have tried to get linux mint a few times, but I found it that the direct downloads have terrible bandwidth, or they just close
up on me, bittorrent isn't exactly an option for me either, I either don't find any other peers or it's that part of the month where
I have to stop downloading and start conserving bandwidth. I find the internet is terrible in australia, we have one of the best plans
possible, 1.5mbps for $70 AU a month, but with a 12gb download limit before our internet is slowed to 64 kbps, it really limits what you
can download, I've had to restrict myself to single CD distro's at the moment, a 4.7gb dvd distro really punches a hole through the limit.
luckily, APC magazine (australia pc) has really gotten interested in linux, and now almost has a new linux distro every month, sometimes,
even has two!
personally though, I like to get into the grit of things, and so I'm planning on installing gentoo soon (maybe in an hour or two), and
using a guide to compile a kernel from scratch so I can access my internet. (my ethernet thingy-ma-jig doesn't seem to work on kernels below
one final thing: I just took a look at the reactOS downloads...the livecd is only 23.3mb, yet from the screenshots I see there's a full GUI going
on there, I'll have to check it out, maybe windows was far more bloated that we ever realised...lol
Wow that's some serious bloat I have some friends in Aus and I heard the Internet situation there is just crazy, they seem to have a terrible time with bandwidth and download limits. The government need to spend some serious cash on infrastructure I think or maybe stop letting the ISPs hold everyone to ransom. Hope it improves soon. I remember you email about ReactOS but I haven't looked at it yet, I do mean to.
Good luck with Gentoo I've heard it's not too bad if you have a decent guide. I'll try that out when I've got a free week I think... if that ever happens Hopefully if I get a new laptop I'll have a spare machine to use for testing. Thats the plan anyway
well, the labor government is in now, and they are planning to do something to improve the internet, I just hope they keep their word.
anyway, after backing up a couple of files I'll be off to have a hack at gentoo, hopefully the next time I post it'll be
P.S: I wasn't the one who emailed you about ReactOS.
EDIT: is it just me or are bots prowling the forums? just a second ago I saw a registered user named: Google [bot], and now
I'm seeing a registered user: Yahoo [bot].
I had my first breakthrough with gentoo.
I compiled a vanilla kernel from source with a gentoo FAQ, created an extra option in grub, with
a lot of changes in boot options and even a modification in fstab (the new kernel has support for my
SATA controller, to run gentoo on an earlier kernel I had to use all-generic-ide to 'trick' it into thinking
my hard drive was an ide drive.), that's the short version, realistically it took a lot of trial and error
before I worked it all out.
but now, I am posting through a gentoo system. interestingly, gentoo does not apply a theme to gnome,
rather gnome is very much clean, having the default gnome login, window borders, etc.
if you ever try out gentoo, make sure you have a lot of patience, you probably won't have to compile a new
kernel like I had to, but when installing, you have to manually select the installer to installer xorg and gnome
for you, otherwise you may find gentoo will boot text-mode only.
now onto my next challenge: installing nvidia drivers
Well I've ordered a Dell XPS m1330 and it looks great, I didn't have much luck inquiring about Linux with the text chat on their site but when I phoned them they were great. I just said I was a Linux user and I didn't want Windows and they said "no problem, is Ubuntu 7.10 ok?" excellent. The machine is yet to arrive but I'll blog about it as soon as it does. Apparently you have to ring them if you want to really customize your order, the options on the website don't go too far. I was on the phone a total of 10mins and the order was done, not bad really, they emailed me a detailed quote that I was able to check and amend, now the order is being processed and the machine should be here in the next 10 days I think.
Very cool, I have to give Dell major credit on this one they were top notch
That's absolutely fantastic, great to hear you got what you wanted.
next time I need to buy a new pc I might consider Dell myself, now that I can finally go
without a windows partition.
when you receive it, it will be interesting to know how well they have set it up,
whether they have setup proprietry drivers/codecs and the like.
Wow... Dan and I seem to have a telepathic link or something... :?
So I find some Internet connectivity here in Holland, check on the forum and what do I discover? He has somehow managed to do exactly the same thing over the holidays as me: Order a XPS m1330 and convince Dell to leave the Microsoft stuff out. Amazing!
Well, after getting a wad of cash for Xmas (as was the plan), I called up Dell Germany yesterday and ordered the XPS m1330 I've been joneseying for for months. I don't know Dan's config, but I chose the red case and went all out on the hardware (they have some amazing deals on the Dell.de site right now, which basically left me no choice...): 4 Gigs of RAM, 320 Gig HDD, nVidia graphics. In the end I chose the 13" system because I really wanted this new white LED display.
It is really weird that Dan and I did this nearly parallel without knowing anything about what the other was doing. Let's see which system arrives first... :mrgreen: I can't wait, this system is so sexy, it ain't funny!!! :geek:
Sounds like you got a better spec than me, I didn't have quite as much cash to spend on it but it's still a nice system. I ordered the Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 (2ghz) with 2gb of RAM, 160gb HDD and the red case. I didn't bother with the white LED display or many of the other options, I left the Intel graphics card in cos I want to use the open source Intel drivers, I like Nvidia and all but given the choice I prefer open drivers. Plus I'm not a gamer so all I really want is Compiz and that's it. The X3100 should be plenty good enough for that.
It is pretty scary that we ordered the same machines without knowing it, we're gonna look like we're sponsored by Dell or something hehe
Have fun in Holland
Hehe, yeah, indeed.....
Yeah, I mostly ordered the top of the line specs. I know, I know, I have too much money... Still, it's really cheap if you compare it to a Mac with the same specs! And it still looks better...
Katy will get my old machine till she buys a new one so I had some stuff I could sell off to some friends and also on eBay. The machine will cost me roughly 1100€ if you substract the discounts (free shipping and also 250€ off if you order until January 1) and the cost of Vista and the MS Works crap. Still cheaper than what my current system cost me 2 1/2 years ago.
Yeah they're good value I think and compare really well to the Macbook. I ordered the 9 cell battery which apparently sticks out of the case a bit but I wanted the extra power just in case, I've seen it and it still looks cool and portable even with the 9 cell battery in, we'll see what happens when it arrives
Nice, sounds like your shiny laptop is almost on your lap!
Sounds cool, no word on mine as yet. I haven't checked the site lately but I expect they will take their time. I suspect you will get yours first, I'm not worried though as long as it gets here
Hehe... Sorry, I am pretty excited whenever I get a new system....
Don't worry so am I, I just have a feeling yours is in the production queue ahead of mine, dammit!!! hehe