Dell Fixes Ubuntu Laptop Pricing

The company addresses an "oversight" that led to Ubuntu systems actually costing more than comparable Vista laptops. (

Dell Ubuntu Linux buyers were recently outraged when a price comparison between identical Inspiron 1420 laptops showed that instead of the Ubuntu system being cheaper, it actually ended up costing $225 more than the same laptop with Vista Home Basic Edition. This was after Dell had announced the week before that Ubuntu systems would be $50 cheaper than similar systems running Vista Home Basic Edition.

"Bottom line this was an oversight, pure and simple," a Dell spokesperson told "We will be posting a comment to IdeaStorm to that effect by tomorrow." In the meantime, Dell says that the prices have been reset to the appropriate prices.

The systems that were compared were Inspiron 1420s with Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 processors running at 1.5GHz, with a 667MHz FSB (front-side bus) and 2MB of cache. Each uses an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 for video. For memory and storage, the notebooks come with 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 (double-data-rate two) RAM, an 80GB SATA hard drive and a 24x CD burner/DVD combo drive. To connect to the Internet, they use an Intel 3945 802.11a/g Mini Card. The only difference between the systems was that one ran Ubuntu 7.04 while the other ran Vista Home Basic Edition.

The base price of the systems remained the same. The Vista system cost $819, while the Ubuntu system came in at $50 less: $774. Where Dell ran into trouble was that it was offering a special deal where customers could buy one of the colorful Inspiron 1420 line with Vista and get a free upgrade to 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. Dell valued this package at $275. If you wanted that same upgrade with Ubuntu, youd have to pay the full price and the additional $275.

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