Why Does Dell's Ubuntu-Powered XPS 13 Cost More Than Its Windows Equivalent?

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Dell's Ubuntu-powered XPS 13, codenamed Project Sputnik, started life as an internal R&D project. Now it's grown up and is available to buy online in the US—but why does it cost more than a Windows equivalent?

The computer now takes the name XPS 13 Developer Edition, and comes with a Precise Pangolin Ubuntu build pre-installed along with a special raft of drivers to make sure it works with as many peripherals as possible. The hardware is similar to other XPS 13 models: either an Intel i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SATA III SSD, so it should run super-quick with that Ubuntu install.

But then there's the issue of price. While the UK price hasn't been revealed (Dell states "We are currently working on expanding availability beyond the US,") in the States, all this comes in at $1,550 (around £965)—$50 more than the Windows equivalent. In other words, Dell is asking you to pay more for an open-source computer than for one running a proprietary OS. And that doesn't make much sense. [Dell via Ars Techinca]