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Dell's Subnotebook To Ship With Ubuntu 251

Posted by timothy
from the welcome-news dept.
k33l0r writes "Dell's entry into the sub-notebook market, the Inspiron 910, will ship with Ubuntu preinstalled. This was confirmed this morning when Gizmodo published (leaked) specifications for the Inspiron 910." I hope that's not the final form of the keyboard, though -- lots of wasted space on each side.
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Dell's Subnotebook To Ship With Ubuntu

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  • That's good news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:56AM (#24657185)

    I wish my EEE 901 had shipped with ubuntu too, instead of Xandros.

    Not that it's bad for beginners, but I'm not sure I want such a toy OS. I know Ubuntu eee exists, but I'd musch rather have the official distro. Or debian...

    • by xzvf (924443) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:13AM (#24657365)
      Might be obvious, but a little googling is all it takes to put Ubuntu on an EEE. Edubuntu 7.10 installed on mine with no real problems. But for normal people, yes it would be nice if it came preinstalled. The Intel Classmate comes with a version of Edubuntu 8.04 from Go2PC that is getting more stable every day. This may be Ubuntu's market if they can sign up more OEM's.
      • by Nursie (632944)

        On a 901?

        I thought the network hardware (amongst other bits) wasn't supported right now?

      • "This may be Ubuntu's market if they can sign up more OEM's."

        It occurs to me that GNOME on these things is almost as awkward and out-of-place as XP

    • by ZosX (517789)
      What's so bad about ubuntu? its basically debian with some spit shine polish.
    • by cetialphav (246516) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:17AM (#24657419)

      Not that it's bad for beginners, but I'm not sure I want such a toy OS.

      I've heard comments like this a lot and I am curious as to why you consider Xandros a toy operating system. I am a long time Fedora user and have been using Linux seriously for over 12 years and I am quite happy with the distribution that came with my EEE. I don't use the easy mode that the EEE defaults to (though I actually do like that mode), but nothing about the distribution seems "toy" to me.

      • by Nursie (632944)

        At the present time I'm not aware of anyone having managed to get advanced mode going on the distribution that comes with the 901. That's why I consider it a bit of a toy OS. I should have said toy desktop perhaps.

        Either way, I'm a debian true believer that recently defected to ubuntu on the desktop.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Have you tried the eee (900 in my case)? The version of xandros on there is dreadful. Firstly, the package repositories are minute. Most of the packages I'm interested in aren't there (gvim, latex, xfig, gv, fvwm2, doxygen, xv, xpdf). That's one major strike against it. Secondly, it doesn't have any kind of standard login procedure, so I had to do some odd hand hacking to get fvwm2 to run.

        Other than that, the GUI is not good for "real work". I define that as work that I like to do, and for that, I use prett

      • The xandros repositories aren't as good as ubuntu's. At least, not in my area. The default install of opencv doesn't work with the built-in camera on my 701, and the scipy build is out of date, which made the very first thing I wanted to do with it impossible.

        Now I've got a spare 4GB stick to install hardy to, so I'm going to give it another shot.

    • by flyingfsck (986395) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:48AM (#24657713)
      Mandriva supports the Eee PC directly. Just get the latest version and install it. No big deal.
    • Re:That's good news (Score:4, Interesting)

      by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @11:08AM (#24658917) Homepage Journal

      I have the opposite view. I have the default Xandros on my EEE PC and like it more than Ubuntu. Still no gcc(haven't figured that one out), but I can:

      1. Tweak my mousewheel settings(still can't find that in Ubuntu)
      2. tweak the GUI easily(through that big config manager)
      3. add/remove/tweak start menu items easily. Look at that, I added MAME to the Games section. Look at that, it put wireshark in a start menu section by itself.
      4. Effortlessly hook up to a wireless network
      5. Numerous other things that have been frustrating in Unbuntu.

      I bought a used IBM desktop(4 Ghz) and it seems sluggish with Unbuntu on it compared to the EEE. Even turning off the bells & whistles didn't do much of a difference.

  • Some specs (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dougmeister (829273) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:59AM (#24657227) Journal
    Items of interest (to me at least): 8.9" WSVGA TL 1024x600 (WLED) screen 2.20 lbs w/ 4-cell battery Bluetooth via mini-card (apparently not included) CPU 1.6 GHz, 533 MHz, 512K single core Intel Atom N270 Diamondville Thanks. Hope it does come in at the $299 price...
    • by 4im (181450)

      8.9" WSVGA TL 1024x600 (WLED) screen

      I wonder if that screen is one of those awful "glare" screens. Anyway, does anyone have specs on the brightness of that screen? Other netbooks do not have sufficient brightness for use under a bright sky. This picture [gizmodo.com] seems to show it's surface is mirroring :-(

      Thankfully the pictures do show an RJ45 interface, specs published a while back on a german site made me believe there would be only WLAN included.

      If the keyboard is usable and that screen is halfway decent, it just

  • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:00AM (#24657235)
    was it originally developed or the Navy?

    Get it? Sub notebook?

    Oh, alright! I'm going back to work...well, I'll just pretend I have work.

  • Keyboard (Score:2, Informative)

    by elguillelmo (1242866)

    I hope that's not the final form of the keyboard, though -- lots of wasted space on each side

    I reckon it IS the final look, given it's true what the source cited in the article says, and the thing is shipping next Friday.
    Anyway, you can use that space for a couple stickers...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cwAllenPoole (1228672)
      I actually managed to get myself a copy of the XO laptop (one of the first "minimized" laptops) and I have to say this one actually looks substantially better (though I have yet to get a copy of the Eee for comparison). The keyboard seems adequate and comparable to the Eee: (and certainly better than the XO's) perhaps it is not glorious, but whatever. I will say, though, the swivel top of the XO was a nice feature which looks like both commercial models are missing, and I think that all three could use a
      • get myself a copy of the XO laptop

        How do you get your copies to work? Mine always come out flat, flimsy, and don't work.

    • by PinkyDead (862370)

      Having to implement changes today for a shipping date next Friday...

      LUG--xury!!

      In my day we'd ship it Monday, test it Tuesday, build it Wednesday and design it on't Thursday.

      (And no I've never worked for Microsoft).

  • by Van Cutter Romney (973766) <sriram@venkataramani.geemail@com> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:04AM (#24657277)
    I have an 8.9" eee pc running on the Intel Mobile Processor (read Celeron). I have both Ubuntu and XP running on dual boot but use Ubuntu more than often. XP is still **very** slow on the laptop and there is continuous disk activity while running it.
    • Unfortunately the must-have application on it is Windows only and WINE doesn't work, and it is running XP, but it is not slow, there is no continuous disk activity while using it and, in fact, after a week of use it is likely to get rather more use than I expected. It works just fine with a BT mouse, HSDPA dongle, and wireless.

      Tom's Hardware suggested the Celeron is faster than the Atom, but really the Atom seems able to do whatever is necessary and any slight slowdown is compensated by the unnoticeable fan

    • by cwAllenPoole (1228672) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @10:02AM (#24657923) Homepage
      I'm really surprised that anyone would WANT XP on this. First, MS is poo-pooing its own product. Second, it is a lot harder to get XP customized and paired down enough. Third, (at least for me), one of the big sells of MS OS's is compatibility. With this, however, I'd imagine that most of the work will be with OOo, Mozilla, or equivalent, something which is already cross platform compatible.
  • by east coast (590680) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:04AM (#24657279)
    This would seem a lot neater, if not more worth while, if it had a dock option. I just look at what HP did with the 1100 tablet and it's dock and think that they had the right idea with some slight short comings. Something in the same vein could have been done with this.
    • by Ngarrang (1023425)

      This would seem a lot neater, if not more worth while, if it had a dock option. I just look at what HP did with the 1100 tablet and it's dock and think that they had the right idea with some slight short comings. Something in the same vein could have been done with this.

      Use a USB Docking Station if you want more ports.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The wasted space isn't the only problem. What's worse (and far, far worse IMHO) is the way the keyboard is laid out. The 3rd row down is placed too far to the left - the A and Q almost line up. Caps-Lock is WAY too short, and enter is too wide. Bit of the inverse of the crap Apple [stack.nl] once pulled off. To add insult to injury, the >, <, ? and " keys have a different size.

    Really, I'd run away from that keyboard FAST.

    • by bwalling (195998)
      And there's no shift key on the right side.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by questro (802656)
        Look a bit closer at the picture, the right shift key is on the right side of the "up" cursor key.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bestinshow (985111)

      Yes, because it's a full function computer that requires a full-sized keyboard, with all the function keys.

      Apart from the ASD.. line being a bit too far to the left, the keyboard looks ideally suited for such a device. The alpha keys are larger to make typing easier, at the cost of the other keys.

      Who uses caps lock apart from people who have remapped it to control?

      • by Tim C (15259)

        From what little I've seen of her typing, my girlfriend uses caps lock instead of shift.

        I've also used caps lock at times when I've been typing a large amount of stuff in capitals (oddly enough), such as SQL statements and pl/sql code, which our local coding rules mandate should be in caps (now that I'm the most senior dev after a couple of others left, that may change...)

      • Who uses caps lock apart from people who have remapped it to control?

        I USE IT ALL THE TIME!

        On a more serious note and to avoid the caps filter, maybe even losing the caps locks key all together wouldn't be a bad thing for a sub notebook (perhaps making a function of some sort, for those rare people who really need to use it). As a programmer, I use it fairly often, but I suspect that I spend almost as much time backspacing after leaving it on accidentally.

      • by strabes (1075839)

        Who uses caps lock apart from people who have remapped it to control?

        Not sure. I have it totally disabled to prevent hitting it by accident, which used to happen a lot because of my elite typing speed skills. But seriously, I used to hit it accidentally all the time and it was really annoying.

      • i USE CAPSLOCK, YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD!

        (Here is some non-caps waffle to get past the shout-filter)

      • by cyclomedia (882859) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @02:03PM (#24661703) Homepage Journal

        I've been waiting for a chance to post this rant...

        Will someone in charge of the tech sites please ban "Laptop" people from reviewing these Netbook thingies. Please god let the "PDA" people review them instead? I'm sick of reading the constant complaints about the size, travel and weighting of the keyboards compared to top of the range laptops and even desktops. Will someone therefore please review these for what they are - PDAs with keyboards - and compare the keyboard to, say, any Windows-Mobile stylus device or even the iPhone. Yes, those ones without keyboards at all.

        And yes, we know you can't play doom 4 on them under vista, that's because WE DONT NEED THE Mhz to do that. 400MHz + 128MB RAM + a few gig storage is perfectly adequate for browsing ebay from the bathtub, cheers /rant

        sorry about that

    • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:25AM (#24657487)
      Dammit! I want all 101 keys on my subnotebook! And I don't care if that means that they're all 3mm x 3mm!
  • by Squapper (787068) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:08AM (#24657321)
    ...then print Tux on that silly windows key please?
  • Linux won't really get to Proliferate much if the server keeps melting as this one has ;)
  • Eh? (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by AP31R0N (723649)

    {Off topic pedantry}

    Ubuntu can run on a spiral ring notebook? It would make more sense to install it on a laptop. If it is pre-installed, that would mean that it is NOT installed. Pre means before (not 'in advance'). As in... not yet. Pre Civil War means before the Civil War, not Civil War already in progress. Pre- is for events... not verbs. A machine with no operating system installed at all would be "pre"-installed. A "pre"-heated oven would be room temperature.

    Marketing and MBA speak is killing

    • Re:Eh? (Score:4, Informative)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @10:32AM (#24658363)
      Pre- is for events... not verbs. A machine with no operating system installed at all would be "pre"-installed. A "pre"-heated oven would be room temperature.

      Curious, but both Merriam-Webster [merriam-webster.com] and the Oxford English Dictionary seem to disagree with you. Since you need to have a subscription to the OED, I'll quote what they say:
      pre-, prefix
      With verbs, or participial adjectives and verbal nouns derived from them, in sense 'fore-, before, previously, in advance'.


      Would you like to amend your statement to say that the OED is killing the English language? Because that would be a pretty silly argument to make.
    • Ubuntu can run on a spiral ring notebook? It would make more sense to install it on a laptop.

      Notebook has been another term for laptops for years now. Deal with it already.

      If it is pre-installed, that would mean that it is NOT installed. Pre means before (not 'in advance'). As in... not yet. Pre Civil War means before the Civil War, not Civil War already in progress. Pre- is for events... not verbs.

      Yes, it's installed prior to the customer receiving the laptop. Pre-reception installation is a bit unwieldy, so we shorten it to pre-installation. This is another commonly accepted (and rather logical) use of the language.

      Marketing and MBA speak is killing the English language faster than a failing education system and buggy spell check programs.

      None of this is marketing or MBA speak. This is normal, everyday use of the language. One day, do us all a favor and come down from your ivory tower where you only speak pure English. By the way, I hope you're

  • by muffen (321442)
    Dell's Subnotebook To Ship With Ubuntu

    I don't know why, maybe its the lack of coffee, but I actually chuckled when I read that.
  • What people use laptops and netbooks for is easier for linux to do than to try to be everything for everyone on the desktop.
     

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @12:23PM (#24660069)

    The other 10" netbook (MSI Wind) is selling on Amazon for $569. It seems that netbooks with 10 inches of screen (measured diagonally btw) are settling into that price range.

    I must say, however, that $300 for an 8.9" screen is a darn good deal for a powerful netbook from Dell. --Though for 10" screens, the Asus eee line still impresses me more than any of the others so far; they've got a year's worth of product development under their belts at this point where everybody else is still scrambling, and Asus seems to be the only manufacturer which isn't shipping units with "crystal-bright" screens, which I know some people prefer, but for me clinched the deal by virtue of its absence. --The other perk is the presence of a massive user support community. This is the first time, possibly in my life, when I've found myself in with the popular crowd. It feels kind of weird to have the 'it' item. I can't decide if I feel dirty or elated. It's rare when "Popular" also means "Damn Good".

    The other elements which I'm impressed with on the 1000H are the default 6-cell battery and its nice long life, the responsive and properly sized keyboard with its sensible layout, the screen real-estate, great audio, quiet fan/HD, and excellent body design, (it's nice and rugged; doesn't feel cheaply made like some of the other netbooks I've handled). I was also pleasantly surprised with the hibernate feature in XP; until it came through the door, I was resigned to putting up with long start-up times, but with the hibernate feature it goes from cold to me typing at full speed in about 14 seconds, though I suspect that would be longer if I doubled up the memory. It currently has 1 gig, but I've not noticed any limiting issues with that at all. A gig is a lot; though it might become a bit annoying if I decide to do any heavy Photoshop work on the thing, although I can't realistically see that happening very often.

    The one thing I do find is that the trackpad keys are a bit too stiff for my liking. --But at least they're in the right place, at the bottom of the trackpad. I don't know what several other designers were thinking when they put them to the sides. Weird. The only other thing I would caution people about is that the eee1000 is just this side of being too big and heavy. You need a bit of muscle to hold it in one hand while typing with the other; it's best on your lap or knee or some other surface. A Blackberry it is not, but it still slides very nicely into a backpack and it's easy enough to treat like a book around the house rather than a piece of fold-up furniture.

    I've not tried out the 8.9" eee, and it does seem that the competitors have some nice netbooks out in that range, so I don't know if I'd go with Asus for one of those if I wanted the smaller screen. This new Dell machine, aside from the glossy screen, looks like a pretty decent choice if they can deliver on the projected price.

    -FL

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan

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