[ubuntu-uk] Question about Ubuntu installed Dell Laptops....
matt at mattjones.me.uk
Wed Nov 5 16:36:38 GMT 2008
On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 4:20 PM, Rob Beard <rob at esdelle.co.uk> wrote:
> John wrote:
> > I am sorry if this has come up before, also about cross posting, but I
> > havent been able to find anything about it, so wanted to as about it.
> > I am a from the UK, and because of my laptop not being up to Ubuntu
> > specs, I have been looking into buying a laptop with ubuntu already
> > installed. I have a friend in the USA that has just bought what he says
> > is a really good Dell laptop with ubuntu in it for just over $400. I
> > have been looking at the UK Dell site to fimd that the very basic Ubuntu
> > Installed laptops by Dell, start at £300 plus Vat almost double the
> > pirce in the USA.
> Ahh it's the same with everything. The Playstation 3 is about $399 over
> there which works out about £250, whereas over here they're about £300.
> The exchange rate at the moment between US and UK is $1.61 to £1, so
> just over $400 isn't that much less than £300, I'd say with VAT and
> delivery charges on top you'd probably be looking at about £100
> difference between a UK spec laptop and a US spec laptop.
> You'd also have to consider that the US laptops have US layout
> keyboards. Not a major problem but can be a tad annoying.
> > How come there is such a huge difference in cost? I know Dell is
> > separate company to Ubuntu, but surely Ubuntu must have gone to
> > discussions about their software being installed on laptops in this
> > country.
> I don't think it's anything to do with Canonical. I mean Dell can
> download the software for free. Microsoft do special discount deals for
> companies such as Dell, and IIRC the crudware that is supplied with
> machines (McAfee Anti-Virus trials, Office 2007 Trials etc) helps
> subsidise the cost of the hardware.
> Technically it shouldn't really cost any more than Windows to stick
> Ubuntu on a machine as I'm sure Dell would create a standard build and
> then just stick on a disc image on each laptop (as they would do with a
> Windows machine).
> > Being a new user, I really like Ubuntu, but I'm finding it extremely
> > frustrating not being able to use it, admittedly mainly due to my lack
> > of experience with it, but if I could find a laptop with it already
> > installed at a cost like they are in the USA I would dump Windows
> > altogether, and be able to concentrate on learning Ubuntu without having
> > to get around the problems I'm finding using it in a dual boot
> Well looking through the Linux Format magazines, there are companies
> which do provide laptops with Linux pre-installed. The other option is
> to do a bit of research (search Ubuntu forums, ask on here, search on
> Google), see what laptops out on the market and how compatible they
> generally are. Some laptops you'd probably find would work out of the
> box with Ubuntu (my old Dell Latitude D610 was such a beast) whereas
> others would probably fall over when it comes to things like wireless
> I'm sure there would be someone local to you should could help install
> Ubuntu and provide support. That's one of the things I do in my area, I
> help with the installation and give tutorials on how to use it. (I run a
> business doing this, although I find that a lot of people just want
> Windows reinstalling because they've screwed it up and my suggestions of
> Ubuntu fall on deaf ears).
> > Right now, I lost the use of my laptop in the Ubuntu boot, after trying
> > to install the update from 8.04 to 8.10. I find it really frustrating
> > that to get my Ubuntu back, I have to tell ubuntu not to load compiz,
> > which takes up a lot of what Ubuntu is. Which means I'm missing out on a
> > lot of the functions of Ubuntu.
> I wouldn't say compiz is a lot of functions. If anything I kind of get
> fed up with compiz and turn it off. Sure it looks fancy at first but I
> can't say I'm really fussed about eye candy like that.
> Assuming you haven't got that much data on your laptop, if I were you,
> I'd boot from an Ubuntu 8.04.1 Desktop CD, copy your existing data off
> onto something like a USB pen drive (you'd need to mount the hard drive
> first) and then reinstall, copying the data back on afterwards.
> Another thing I'd also recommend is to have a separate partition for
> /home. It's not the default as far as I can remember but it's not too
> hard to do and it can be done through the graphical installer. That way
> if things screw up you can reinstall and just tell the installer to
> format / (the root partition) and leave /home intact and mount it as /home.
> > So why, if Ubuntu is trying to get more people to use their products are
> > they making it so difficult and costly for people like me who are on the
> > lower incomes, to be able to use their products? Is Dell the only
> > company selling laptops with Ubuntu already installed? Does anybody know
> > of any other company that sells them cheaper, or would I have to get one
> > from the USA. If I do have to buy from the USA, will it work in the UK?
> To be honest I don't think it's a fault of Canonical or the Ubuntu
> community. It might be that some of the hardware has slight
> incompatibilities, but hey, Windows XP doesn't come with every driver
> built in, I often find reinstalling Windows XP on my other half's PC is
> a chore as I have to find the network drivers BEFORE I can get the thing
> on the network to install anything else. For me, Ubuntu just picks up
> the network card straight away (and in most cases the wireless too).
> Don't even get me started on Vista. Let's just say, Lexmark X83
> printers and Vista don't mix.
> Pre-installed machines which come with Windows are usually installed
> from a master disk image. The drivers and updates are included so when
> you turn it on it's ready to go.
> Now if you went down the route of upgrading Windows and sticking
> something like Vista or whatever on then you'd either be on your own (if
> you bought an OEM copy) or would have to get support from Microsoft
> (IIRC you get so many incidents and then you have to pay £££'s for
> I'm sure as Ubuntu gains in popularity it will start to get
> pre-installed on some new machines. The problem at the moment is that
> most people know Windows and that's what they ask for. Some companies
> probably think it's just not cost effective to supply Windows and Linux
> (be it Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE etc).
> As I mentioned above, if you get a laptop from the US you will be able
> to use it but it can be a pain in the neck (off the top of my head for
> starters you'd probably have to get your friend to order it and send him
> the money, then you may have to pay customs duty and possibly VAT on the
> item, then you'll have to get either a replacement power supply OR step
> down power supply from 220/240 volts to 110 volts which are about £10 to
> £20, and then you'd be lucky if Dell UK actually honour the warranty!)
> > Its really frustrating.
> Yes it can be, your best bet to be honest is to probably join your local
> LUG (check out www.lug,org.uk) to find your local LUG. Chances are
> you'd have a local LUG nearby who could help you out with the
> installation either for free or the cost of a couple of beers at a LUG
> ubuntu-uk at lists.ubuntu.com
I think that the guide to import something from the US is to allow 30% on
top of the purchase price for import duty/handling charges. I am off to
university next year, so I think that I may make a bit of a trip over there,
pick up a Macbook pro, and Adobe CS4 plus anything else I fancy. Even with a
return flight around £300 it would still probably work out cheaper than
buying it here, and I get a bit of a holiday as a bonus.
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