Dell was already selling an XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition, which was largely unchanged from the Windows-powered XPS 13 Plus that arrived earlier this year, except that it comes with Ubuntu Linux 20.04 LTS instead of Windows. Starting this August, Dell will ship the XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition with a newer Ubuntu 22.04 LTS software experience, and people who already bought the Developer Edition will receive the same optimized update.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus was released earlier this year as ultra-premium competition for the best laptops, with 12th-generation Intel Core processors, a MacBook Touch Bar-like panel above the keyboard, and a touchpad that blends into the laptop frame. It’s certainly a cool-looking laptop, but it has received mixed reviews for its limited selection of ports (there’s no headphone jack) and mediocre battery life.
Dell isn’t just swapping the operating system, though — the Developer Edition has received an official certification for Ubuntu by its developer, Canonical. That means everything should work flawlessly out of the box, and because Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is installed by default, you’ll get updates for “up to 10 years.” You can also switch to the non-LTS version of Ubuntu, or even other Linux distributions, but you might have a less stable experience.
Dell also confirmed the regular XPS 13 Plus has received the same Ubuntu certification, so if you install Ubuntu 22.04 on an existing Windows-powered model (once the optimizations are finished in August), you should get a similar experience. Ubuntu 22.04 was released back in April, and includes the GNOME 42 desktop environment, updated multitasking, Linux kernel 5.15, and many other improvements.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition starts at $1,289.00 in the United States, with the base configuration offering 8 GB of RAM, a 12th-generation Intel Core i5-1240P processor, a 13.4-inch 1080p touchscreen, and a 512 GB NVMe SSD. The Linux version is $100 cheaper than the same laptop with Windows 11 Home, and $160 cheaper than the laptop with Windows 11 Pro. Presumably, Canonical isn’t charging the same licensing fees as Microsoft.