Introducing Sputnik 3 and its unofficial big brother


Sputnik3

Sputnik 3

First, a little background.  Nearly a year ago today we launched the first Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition.  This Ubuntu-based client-to-cloud platform was the result of an internal skunkworks effort, Project Sputnik.  Thanks to strong community input and support the project became a product.

Within a few months of launching the initial XPS 13 Developer Edition (Sputnik 1), we introduced “Sputnik 2” solving for the biggest issue with the first release, monitor resolution.

Today we are announcing the availability of Sputnik 3, the XPS 13 Developer Edition featuring the 4th generation Intel processors. This laptop, which is touch-enabled, will replace the existing XPS 13 Developer Edition.

ubuntu_black-orange_hexAnd since we’re talking about systems and Ubuntu, in response to the continuous requests for a more powerful version of the Developer Edition, we have taken the first steps by doing some testing on the Precision M3800 and posting the results.

This system news is on the back of our announcement earlier this week about the relaunching of the Profile Tool effort and our request for input from you all.

The Sputnik 3 Product specs are as follows:

  • XPS13-DEProcessor: 4th generation Intel i7
  • Display: 13.3″ Full High Definition touch display (1080p)
  • System memory: 8GB
  • Graphics: Intel HD graphics 4440 (HD 5000 in the case of the enterprise version)
  • Hard drive: 256GB SSD drive
  • Standard Service: 1 year Dell ProSupport and onsite service after remote diagnostics
  • Operating system: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Community projects: Cloud launcher and Profile tool (for more info see Tuesday’s update)

Availability of Sputnik 3

Starting today the updated XPS 13 Developer Edition is available in the

Pricing for the system will not increase and will remain $1,549.99

Early next week the Developer Edition will be available in Canada.

For North America, the US and Canada, in addition to the i7 configuration, there will also be an i5/128GB config  that will be available on a build-to-order basis and priced at $1249.99.

By the end of November, the Developer Edition will be available in

[Update 12/20/13: Sputnik 3 now available in Europe]

  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Italy
  • Switzerland

Europe – Wave 2:  Available in December

  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Sweden

Testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800 mobile workstation

While the XPS 13 has proven to be very popular with developers, since we started

Dell Precision M3800

Dell Precision M3800

project Sputnik there has been a group in the community that has been asking for a “big brother” for the XPS 13 developer edition, i.e. a system with 16GB of RAM that offered a larger screen and more horsepower.

With the above in mind, when Project Sputnik team member Jared Dominguez learned about the sleek new  Precision M3800 that was coming out, he finagled his way into getting a system to do some testing.

You can find Jared’s detailed results here but the net is “For the most part, everything [he] tested works,” the one exception being the SD card reader.   The resourceful Jared then shipped his system to Chris Ball, a buddy of his that maintains the SD/MMC/SDIO subsystem of the Linux kernel, and who graciously agreed to volunteer time debugging the Linux driver for this card reader.  We will keep you updated on the progress.

So while Jared’s testing is not official it should be enough to get most devs going running Ubuntu  on the M3800.  And like the initial project Sputnik offering, if we get enough positive feedback, we might be able to offer it as an official pre-installed offering.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

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100 Responses to Introducing Sputnik 3 and its unofficial big brother

  1. […] Dell spiffs up Project Sputnik laptop for open-source devs […]

  2. […] to positive feedback for the program, Dell today announced that it has committed additional engineering resources to the project. Furthermore, the PC maker […]

  3. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  4. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  5. Michael Heinrich says:

    Ok. Now your talkin’!!! Let’s get this show on the road! Thanks for the m3800 interest. I have been following it since it was introduced and am pulling the trigger on getting one of my own. Keep us posted on both developments. Look forward to the next entry!

  6. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  7. […] Introducing Sputnik 3 and its unofficial big brother | Barton's Blog […]

  8. […] Dell has also started contrast Ubuntu on a Precision M3800, that is a “big brother” to a XPS 13 Developer Edition, pronounced Barton George, executive of cloud developer programs during Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  9. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  10. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  11. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  12. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  13. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  14. Sven says:

    Hi!
    I’m using Linux and need a new laptop. The Dell m3800 seems to be the perfect machine, but the only thing that hinders me to buy it, is the glossy screen!
    I don’t need a touch-screen!
    Any chance to get this machine (or it’s brother XPS15) with an anti-glare option? I hope, then I can contribute to the Sputnik program…

  15. Dizi says:

    Does the Sputnik 3 and/or Precision version support setting battery charge thresholds? If not, are there plans to support this? I’d like to keep my batteries charged to 80% and when on AC for prolonged amounts of time, I set it to 45% – 55%.

    Thank you.

    • Argo says:

      I would like this feature as well.

    • @Dizi and @Argo, the BIOS should support custom battery charge configuration – which Lets you select when to start and stop charging. HTH

      • Dizi says:

        That’s good to hear. I would like support for changing the thresholds on demand within Linux as well like on ThinkPads. I often change the thresholds depending on my situation and sometimes having to restart is cumbersome or I just can’t due to a currently running task that could take hours to finish.

        Thank you.

  16. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  17. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  18. TJP says:

    Please make a matte display option.

    • Input noted! :-)
      thanks

    • Sven says:

      Yes, please!
      This is the only thing, that is holding me off to buy this machine.
      I would even do without the touch-screen and pay more for it, but I do not want a mirror!!!

      • mwolfindale says:

        +1 for matte screen option, ideally on a 15 inch model. Only thing holding me back on getting one of these! :)

        (Currently using an Asus N56VJ on Ubuntu for day-to-day design/dev, but would love to make the switch to a certified machine with the ProSupport etc!)

        (Another small question – any models planned with a right-hand number keypad? Not as important as the matte screen though.)

        Merry Christmas!

  19. So I have one question: how would one get a hold of the version of the XPS13 with the 5000 graphics?

  20. Anders says:

    Does it have a matte or glossy display?

  21. Hugo Roy says:

    What about fixing what’s wrong with the current Dell Sputnik?

    https://hroy.eu/tags/Dell-XPS-13/

  22. […] models are available for purchase in the US, with estimated ship dates of mid-December. Dell plans to offer the developer edition ultrabook in additional countries in the coming […]

  23. Nobody of Import says:

    After having a spate of failed Precision M6500, M6600, and M6700’s and noting that while it’s bundled with Ubuntu, it’s got a 13 inch display (Hint: For developers a 15.6 or 17.2 inch display is actually VASTLY more usable…) I’m only passingly interested in this.

  24. Argo says:

    Was hoping you guys would use a Latitude with a trackpoint and 3 mouse buttons.

  25. Hello, what is the battery life of this little jewel?

  26. George says:

    Cmon Dell, you’ve been promising Australia these devices since the first Sputnik!!

    • shirro says:

      I want to support Sputnik but Dell’s thinking is a decade out of date with this region locking. We live in a global economy and developers are everywhere. Apple’s outlook is global and they sell and support products where I live, so unfortunately I will be buying another MBP I think. I hope Dell are still around and innovating when it comes time for my next refresh but they need to start servicing a global market or others will eat their cake.

      • @Shirro,

        I too wish that Sputnik was available globally. That having been said corporate never dictates to the regions which offering they should support. The regions, based on local demand, resources etc make the call of what they will make available in their region.
        thanks

    • @George, unfortunately given local resources, business conditions etc Dell Australia has decided not to offer these :( Corporate doesnt dictate to the regions so the decision is theirs

      • Martin Paulo says:

        When this first became available, I wanted one. But couldn’t get it in Australia. Thus I got my company to buy me an Apple laptop.

        My family liked the Mac, and so have now all bought themselves Apple devices as well. Dell Australia lost not just me as a customer, they’ve lost my family as well.

        Way to go, Dell Australia!

        Now I’m in the market to buy a new laptop for myself: and see from this thread that I’ll most likely be getting another Apple in the next few weeks. And the graph I saw this morning (http://www.asymco.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Screen-Shot-2014-01-13-at-1-13-3.09.21-PM.png) tells me that my next device after that will probably be yet another Apple one.

      • Andrew says:

        Another disappointed Australian who will wait another month before going out and buying a MBP. I would very much like to purchase one of these. As with a previous post Dell has slowly lost my entire family to Apple. Very unfortunate.

      • Martin Paulo says:

        I’ve now got my MBP: once you’ve used that retina screen you really, really don’t want to lower yourself to anything else :) . I’d quite like to buy something like the 4K entry level monitor to use with it (the P2815Q) – but that’s not available in Australia either :(

  27. […] models are available for purchase in the US, with estimated ship dates of mid-December. Dell plans to offer the developer edition ultrabook in additional countries in the coming […]

  28. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  29. 火书 says:

    […] [编译自:PCWorld , via:Barton George] […]

  30. […] Dell has also started testing Ubuntu on the Precision M3800, which is the “big brother” to the XPS 13 Developer Edition, said Barton George, director of cloud developer programs at Dell, in a blog entry. […]

  31. […] en los Estados Unidos. No tenemos demasiado información sobre su salida Europea, pero hemos leído que a finales de mes estará en la web española. El sistema operativo en concreto es […]

  32. […] de diciembre en los Estados Unidos. No tenemos demasiado información sobre su salida Europea, pero hemos leído que a finales de mes estará en la web española. El sistema operativo en concreto es Ubuntu Linux […]

  33. Do we still have the windows logo on the super button?
    I really would love to see the ubuntu logo..

  34. Mike says:

    Will Australia have it? If not what is the reason?

  35. […] an upgraded version a few months later. Now, the company has announced the availability of a new, third-generation edition featuring enhanced hardware specifications, including touch […]

  36. […] de diciembre en los Estados Unidos. No tenemos demasiado información sobre su salida Europea, pero hemos leído que a finales de mes estará en la web española. El sistema operativo en concreto es Ubuntu Linux […]

  37. Mike says:

    Is xps13 developers edition going to be shipped in Australia? If not why? I so want to get my hands on one!

  38. […] Include WiFi ac și Bluetooth 4.0, iar Dell promite că a lucrat cu Ubuntu pentru a optimiza toate driverele. Dell va lucra cu Ubuntu și pe seria business Precision. […]

  39. Rick says:

    I hope providing Linux compatible notebooks becomes even more successful and spread to their other notebooks. I’m personally hoping for their Latitude line to get the official Linux treatment. I just have to have the trackpoint an 3 physical mouse buttons.

    I’m very close to jumping ship from Thinkpads. The Latitudes just need settable battery charging thresholds for me to finally switch (even without official Linux support).

  40. […] de diciembre en los Estados Unidos. No tenemos demasiado información sobre su salida Europea, pero hemos leído que a finales de mes estará en la web española. El sistema operativo en concreto es Ubuntu Linux […]

  41. […] LänkarBlogg från Dell som introducerar laptopenPresentation av laptoppen på […]

  42. […] diciembre en los Estados Unidos. No tenemos demasiado información sobre su salida Europea, pero hemos leído que a finales de mes estará en la web española. El sistema operativo en concreto es Ubuntu […]

  43. […] Aunque de momento sólo está disponible en Norteamérica, Sputnik 3 debería aterrizar en España a finales de este mismo mes de noviembre, tal y como adelanta en su blog el líder del proyecto Barton George. […]

  44. […] Sputnik 3 is just the codename of the device. If you go to buy the Linux machine from Dell, you’ll see that it’s more properly […]

  45. […] Sputnik 3 is just a codename of a device. If we go to buy a Linux appurtenance from Dell, you’ll see that it’s some-more […]

  46. […] a year ago today we launched the first Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition,” writes Dell Services’ Director of Cloud Developer Programs, Barton George.”This Ubuntu-based client-to-cloud platform was the result of an internal skunkworks effort, […]

  47. […] Sputnik 3 is just the codename of the device. If you go to buy the Linux machine from Dell, you’ll see that it’s more properly […]

  48. […] Sputnik 3 is just the codename of the device. If you go to buy the Linux machine from Dell, you’ll see that it’s more properly […]

  49. […] Sputnik 3 is just the codename of the device. If you go to buy the Linux machine from Dell, you’ll see that it’s more properly […]

  50. Aaron says:

    Yes, please as one of the ultraportable Latitudes to the Sputnik program. Trackpoint, 3 mouse buttons and a matte screen. Charge thresholds are excellent for battery maintenance.

  51. thibault says:

    Hi Barton,

    Can you please tell me How long we have still to wait until the profile tool would be working and we could download some programming environments ?

    Thanks in advance for your answer
    Best regards
    Thibault

  52. […] models are accessible for squeeze in a US, with estimated boat dates of mid-December. Dell plans to offer a developer book ultrabook in additional countries in a entrance […]

  53. Alexis says:

    So great. Do you have a expected date for the European 2nd wave? We can’t wait to put our hands on it.

  54. So, I just got my sputnik 3 yesterday. It’s pretty cool. I am still trying to think of a good use for the touch screen. Unfortunately, upgrading to 12.10->13.04->13.10 results in a system that will not boot. There is a kernel BUG in cfg80211_netdev_notifies_call apparently. It happens right after I see a message about loading the ufw (uncomplicated firewall) service.

    I am going to try and blacklist my wifi driver and see if the system will boot. Hopefully, I can troubleshoot some more after that.

  55. […] month in the States we announced the availability of Sputnik 3, the XPS 13 Developer Edition featuring the […]

  56. pamanes7 says:

    Can’t wait to see dell selling the M3800 pre-loaded with ubuntu

  57. Eddie says:

    Barton,

    I think it is really awesome that you offer a high end laptop with Ubuntu installed. Because of this, I bought the Sptunik 3 three weeks ago, even though I already have a functional Asus Zenbook. Overall, I can say that I’m satisfied, especially the keyboard and screen are a lot better than the Zenbook.

    However, since it comes with Ubuntu pre-installed I would expect better built in support for the OS. My biggest gripe is that often after resuming from suspend, the sound card will be dead, and I am forced to reboot (sometimes multiple times) in order for it to come online again. Heres a bug report for it: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/+bug/1066488

    Another issue with the sound is the white static noise you hear if you connect headphones.

    I’m going to install a later version of Ubuntu, and hopefully these driver issues will be solved in later kernels.

    I also had some issues with the initial OEM install of Ubuntu (installation froze, had to do a hard reset), which was quite underwhelming and marred an otherwise very positive initial impression.

    My last issue is the widely reported “coil whine” from the backlight that users — both using Linux and Windows — experience. While I can live with it, these laptops don’t come cheap, and when you pay this much for them you expect that such issues would be found in the QA stage, long before release to customers.

    Don’t take this the wrong way — in the end, I’m still happy with the laptop, and I love the initiative you’ve taken with the Sputnik project. :)

    • Hi Eddie,
      I appreciate your support and your feedback. Im sorry about the issues you’re facing, Im going to pass these along to the team (thanks for filing a bug report).
      Barton

  58. tsherif says:

    The M3800 with Ubuntu pre-installed is exactly the kind of machine I’ve been looking for! I want something built for Linux (I’m not a fan of tinkering with drivers), powerful and durable. I was considering going with a higher end Macbook Pro as something close enough, but if an M3800 developer edition comes out in the next while, I’ll definitely go with that instead. How has the feedback been for the Ubuntu M3800? Do you think you’ll be able to turn it into a product soon?

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