Dell Linux laptop debuts

Mandriva-based laptop is only available in France, but other countries may follow

Dell has launched a laptop pre-installed with Mandriva Linux with a price tag of €759 (£510).

The laptop is "one of the most affordable notebooks available in developed countries", Mandriva claimed in a statement. Gaël Duval, the co-founder of Mandriva, said on Monday that he hopes the laptop will be available in other countries at a later date.

The Dell laptop is a Latitude 110L model with a 15-inch screen, DVD drive, Wi-Fi capabilities and between 256MB and 1,280MB RAM. The laptop is installed with Mandriva Linux Limited Edition 2005, which includes various open source applications such as the productivity suite, image manipulation application GIMP and the Firefox browser.

The laptop is targeted at French students, who can take advantage of a low rate loan if they decide to purchase the product. Non-students can also purchase the laptop, although they are not offered any financial deals.

Dell is not the first PC vendor to offer laptops pre-installed with Linux. Last year, HP started offering its HP Compaq Business Notebook pre-installed with SuSE or Mandrake Linux — the forerunner of the current Mandriva product.

More information on the Mandriva laptop can be found on the Dell Web site.