I was excited to learn that a major PC manufacturer is finally deciding to offer a Linux distribution on their machines and actually support it, however, there are some very disappointing aspects to the new offerings from Dell. Since I build all of my computers, the only PC’s I would be interested in are the laptops. My Thinkpad T30 is great, but theres a lot of times that I feel the need for a little more power, usually in the realm of a faster video card. So when I started to look at the Ubuntu laptops that Dell is offering, it was a bit of a letdown to see that only one model is available, the Inspiron E 1505N. The worst part about this offering is the lack of choice in terms of the video card that is installed, which is limited to a Intel integrated chip. This is made worse by the fact the the Windows version of the laptop has the option of a 256MB ATI chip. Hopefolly, this is just temporary, because limiting the graphics system in such a way does not place the system on an even footing with other products.
EDIT: It seems that Dell has changed the system and now allows the selection of a 256MB GeForce Go 7300 graphics chip. I’m glad to see that they choose an nVidia chip over an ATI because of the far superior Linux drivers available. So most of this post is now useless, but I still wish that they offer Ubuntu on more models. I imagine the main issue with expanding the product line is lack of drivers for the hardware. This, I hope, will change over time.