Update March 17: Great review in Network World — Review: Dell’s Ubuntu-powered M3800 Mobile Workstation is a desktop destroyer
Since the planning stages of project Sputnik over two years ago we wanted to offer two versions of our developer-focused systems. The idea was to have both an ultra mobile laptop and a beefier workstation offering, a beauty and the beast line up if you will. Due to the need to focus our resources however, we worked with the community to first build out the laptop, delivering the XPS 13 laptop, developer edition.
Moving towards the beast
The first year after launching the XPS 13, we got a steady stream of requests for a bigger system. This wasn’t lost on team member Jared Dominguez who decided to work on his own time with the Dell Precision M3800 mobile edition and put together instructions on how get Ubuntu running on the system.
A little over a year ago with the launch of the 3rd generation of the XPS13 developer edition we also announced its “unofficial big brother” and provided Jared’s instructions. We received a lot of great feedback but there were also folks asking when we were going to deliver an officially supported version of the M3800. What we told the community was — like the initial project Sputnik offering, if we got enough positive feedback — we might be able to offer it as an official pre-installed system.
A thread was started on the Sputnik Forum for people to express their interest in an official system. We got a tremendous amount of positive feedback and as a result we listened to our customers and have added the M3800 to our developer edition lineup of Ubuntu-based systems.
Introducing the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, Developer Edition
One of the main features people were looking for in the Precision M3800 was 16 GB of RAM. The new Ubuntu-based M3800 introduced today, has that and a whole lot more:
Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, dev edition – Key features
- Preloaded Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
- Next generation of the world’s thinnest and lightest true 15-inch mobile workstation
- Starting weight of just 4.15lbs (1.88kg) and a form factor that is less than 0.71 inches (18mm) thick
- Fourth generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, professional grade NVIDIA Quadro K1100M graphics, and up to 16GB of memory
- 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) screen option
- Availability: worldwide
Unfortunately, one of the features that wont be available right out of the gate is thunderbolt support. As Jared explains in his blog:
Because our factory Ubuntu installs only ship Ubuntu LTS releases, we were not able to ship with Thunderbolt support. However, thanks to the hardware-enablement stack in Ubuntu, starting with upcoming Ubuntu 14.04.2, you will be able to upgrade your kernel to add some Thunderbolt support. We plan to be working with Canonical to recertify the Precision M3800 with official Thunderbolt support.
How do I get one
You can get to the M3800 developer edition by going to the Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation page: www.dell.com/create and choosing the system labeled “Fully Customizable” on the far left. Or you can go directly to configurator, where under “Operating System” you can select Ubuntu 14.04 SP1 and away you go!
What about the additional software?
This time around we went with the vanilla image of the most recent LTS release (14.04). A vanilla image was actually one of the top requests when we gathered input on our initial Storm session.
Since the original launch we have been working on a profile tool and Cloud launcher. We are still working on these but it’s been a bit more difficult than we originally thought :). Stay tuned for more news on this.
Will there be a new XPS 13 developer edition?
You bet! The 4th generation of the XPS 13 laptop, developer edition will be available soon. It will based on the the new XPS 13 laptop that debuted earlier this month.
A Big Thanks
Thanks to everyone in the community for the tremendous support of the Sputnik program. Without your support, this program would not be possible!
Pau for now…