Canonical's Ubuntu 20.04 Linux now available on Dell XPS 13

The first laptop with Canonical's latest long-support version of Ubuntu is Dell's Linux specific XPS 13 Developer Edition.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

2020's Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is a great Linux laptop. Now it's better than ever. On June 23, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, announced the latest Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is now available in North America and selected EMEA countries with Ubuntu 20.04 Long Term Support (LTS) pre-installed. 

This makes the Dell XPS 13, with its speedy Ice Lake Intel Core i7-1065G7 and up to 32GBs of RAM and Hynix 512GB NVMe Solid State Drive (SSD), the first shipping Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system. This is a great combination. I've upgraded my Dell XPS 13 to Ubuntu 20.04 from 18.04 and it runs like a top. 

To refresh your memory, Ubuntu 20.04 features:

  • GNOME 3.36 adding improved user workflow and performance enhancements
  • New and updated applications including LibreOffice 6.4, Thunderbird 68.7.0 
  • Over 6,000 snaps from the Snap Store including Visual Studio Code, Slack, Spotify, Plex and the JetBrains portfolio
  • New desktop Yaru default theme with light and dark modes
  • Improved settings for WiFi, wallpaper and application groups in the 'Activities' overview

The latest Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is a well-crafted piece of computing art. It's made from CNC machined aluminum, aerospace-inspired carbon fiber or woven glass fiber in a durable, compact and lightweight design. It also comes with:

  • Larger 16:10 display, edge-to-edge keyboard, with larger keycaps and a larger touchpad
  • Eyesafe display technology reduces harmful blue light and maintains vivid color
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Wi-Fi 6 ability (Killer AX1650 built on Intel Wi-Fi 6 Chipset)
  • Up to 18 hours and 49 minutes of battery life on FHD+.

In a statement, Canonical's Martin Wimpress, Director of Desktop Engineering, said 

We're delighted to see the first Dell systems ship with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Enterprises are increasingly equipping their developers and engineers with the operating system of their choice ensuring high end-user productivity. [This combination] offers the performance developers demand with the assurance of security and long term support that IT management needs.

Barton George, Founder of Project Sputnik and Dell's XPS Developer Edition, observed, "Ubuntu 20.04 LTS continues our long-standing partnership with the Linux developer community to provide Ubuntu certified hardware that works out-of-the-box, enabling the highest levels of productivity."

Pricing starts at $1,199.99 for an i5-based Developer Edition with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, an FHD display, and Ubuntu 18.04.04 LTS preloaded. The maxed-out unit I reviewed would cost $2,049.99 -- and it was worth every penny. It's the fastest Linux system I've ever used.

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