Dell is one of the few brands out there that give customers the choice whether to use Windows or not. They first did it with a special edition of their XPS 13 Ultrabook, which featured Ubuntu and was tailored to be more enticing to graphic designers. That caused some tongues to wag since Linux fans took it as a sign that Windows was going down. Maybe they’re going to talk even more after they see this!
Dell’s Linux-packing Alienware X51 is now $100 cheaper than it’s Windows counterpart and the performance scales up from the $599 entry-level version, which throws in a Core i3-3220, 4GB RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a Nvidia Geforce GT645. You can shove a lot in that small chassis, including a Core i7-3770 and Nvidia’s GTX660. The X51 is similar in size to the original fat Playstation 3 and can be bought locally as well.
But the way it’s being advertised, particularly with the Steam app open on the Ubuntu desktop, suggests that Dell wants to be associated with the Steambox initiative, although it’s not approved as yet. Sections of the press release concentrate on the X51’s gaming capability with Linux and even touches on the free applications available in the open-source market and the security of the OS, particularly because it isn’t as targeted as Windows. Dell doesn’t go into detail about what’s pre-loaded on the OS and doesn’t say if it’s the 12.04 LTS or a special version created in-house. With over 150 games available on Steam for Linux, though, this may help the X51 to sell more units.
Our local Alienware portal doesn’t have the option for Linux yet, nor does it have discounted pricing. I feel that the asking price of R10,000 is still way too much for what’s essentially budget hardware that can fit into a R5000 budget. You can build a faster machine with the same OS and upgrade options for cheaper.
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