DELL HAS UNVEILED a mobile workstation aimed at developers, designed to be the "beast" to the already available XPS 13 ultra-mobile system "beauty".
The Precision M3800 was previously available only with Microsoft Windows 8.1, but the new Precision M3800 Developer Edition will ship with the Ubuntu 14.04 Long Term Support Linux distro.
The developer version was unveiled by Barton George, Dell's director of developer programmes, who talked about the company's "beauty and the beast" strategy for Linux-powered PCs to produce an ultra-portable laptop as the XPS 13 and then a more capable machine.
Work on making the Precision M3800 a more Ubuntu-friendly machine started soon after the XPS 13 release thanks to developer Jared Dominguez, who improved the code in his personal time and put together instructions on how to run the OS on the machine.
After listening to "tremendously positive" feedback, George said that Dell has now officially added a Ubuntu 14.04 LTS customisation option to the company's official online shop.
The Precision M3800 Developer Edition weighs 1.88kg, and is less than 18mm thick. It runs a 4th-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU coupled with an Nvidia Quadro K1100M GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 4K Ultra HD screen option.
Dominguez explained that there are still problems with Ubuntu support for the Precision M3800 hardware as the distro shipped with the first M3800 units doesn't include support for Thunderbolt ports.
The updated kernel of Ubuntu 14.04.2 will add "some" Thunderbolt support, however, thanks to the hardware-enablement stack in Ubuntu, the developer said. µ
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