Dell releases more high-end Ubuntu Linux laptops

Linux PCs are growing in popularity for professional programmers and Dell continues to back them.

What's holding the Linux desktop back? Linus Torvalds looks to Chromebooks and Android for the future of the Linux desktop, while Linux Mint developers aren't happy with each other.

Canonical and Ubuntu Linux founder Mark Shuttleworth recently said, "We have seen companies signing up for Linux desktop support, because they want to have fleets of Ubuntu desktop for their artificial intelligence engineers." 

Dell has noticed, too. 

Dell Senior Architect Barton George announced: "If mobile power is what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.  And if AI is your need, the Precision 7540 and 7740 might just be what you've been looking for."

Linux PCs may never catch up with Windows on consumer laptops, but they are starting to make a bigger impression on developer laptops. Even Microsoft is now building Linux into Windows with Windows Subsystem for Linux. Why? Because today's developers are working on projects such as Kubernetes, AI, cloud-native computing, and machine learning, which live and die on Linux.

To do this requires more than just an ordinary Linux PC. That's why Dell for years has been rolling out top-of-the-line XPS 13 laptops and Precision Mobile Workstations for programmers. This latest generation of hardware in its Project Sputnik line continues to meet the needs of high-end Linux developers.

The entire family comes with Ubuntu 18.04, the most recent long-term support (LTS) Ubuntu release. They also support Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Workstation 8.

The first of these, the Dell Precision 3540, is Dell's most affordable mobile workstation. This comes with the latest 4-core Intel Core 8th generation processors. The default CPU is an Intel Core i5-8365U Processor with 4 cores. It comes with 4GBs of DDR4 RAM. This can be upgraded to 32GB. With its 15.6-inch display, its price starts at just over $700.

The rest of the latest Precision laptops aren't available quite yet. You can expect to see them out in early July.


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First up is the Precision 5540 mobile workstation. The lightest of the family, it comes with a choice of Intel Xeon E or 9th Gen Intel Core  8-core processors along with 4TBs of storage and up to 64GB of memory. If you want high-end graphics, it can support up to an NVIDIA Quadro T2000 (4GB) on its 15.6-inch InfinityEdge OLED display and 14-inch chassis. Pricing starts at $1,100.

It's followed by Precision 7540 mobile workstation. The 5540's big brother, it boasts either an Intel Xeon E or 9th Gen Intel Core 8-core processors under the hood. For memory, it can hold up to up to 128GB of 2666MHz ECC memory. With its 15.6-inch display, which maxes out with a UHD HDR 400 display, customers developing or analyzing detailed content will love that it's up to 8K resolution and offers playback of HDR content via single Displayport 1.4. This beast's starting price is $1,300.

The best of the breed, Precision 7740, features the latest Intel Xeon E or 9th Gen Intel Core 8-core processors. The 7740 comes with up to 128GB of ECC memory and a large PCIe SSD storage capacity (up to 8TB). It also boasts the latest NVIDIA Quadro RTX graphics, up to the RTX5000, delivers real-time ray tracing and graphics-based AI acceleration for its 17.3-inch UltraSharp UHD IGZO display. It will also be available later with the next-generation AMD Radeon Pro processor. Its price starts at just over $1,400.

Clearly, these machines aren't for everyone. But, if you feel the need for speed for your programming projects, you'll need to check these out. You'll be sorry if you don't.

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