Everybody has a preference towards which operating system they prefer to have installed on their machine. The majority of the world are most familiar with Windows, Apple product lovers and graphic designers love OS X and for the rest of the world, Linux Ubuntu is a hot install and an operating which I myself am pretty passionate about.
To see exactly why Ubuntu is so popular as an install, one only has to check out part 2 of a survey Canonical blog carried out of Ubuntu users. Users of Ubuntu love the operating system for being ridiculously easy to install, love it for being completely open source, and also favoured it for being naturally virus free. It also very hard not to see the similarities between Apple’s OS X and Ubuntu, with the Cupertino based company clearly looking at Ubuntu for design inspiration.
It isn’t just Ubuntu which is popular though; Kubuntu, Edubuntu LTS, Debian 6, Linux Mint 13 and Fedora are also popular choices for those who are looking for a completely open source OS on a laptop computer.
Now, there are a wealth of fantastic step by step guides and tutorials online (check out Ask Ubuntu, AWESOME site) which shows consumers how to install any Linux distro on their machine, however for those who would rather have Linux running on their machine out of the box, what’s available? Well in the case of Ultrabooks, thin and light machines which pack the latest Intel processors and connectivity ports, your options are rather slim. There are some options available to you however, of which I’ll detail below.
Personally, I can think of nothing cooler than an Ultrabook running the latest and greatest version of Linux Ubuntu.
ZaReason UltraLap 430
Although you may have never heard of ZaReason as a brand, they are a well known manufacturer of Linux running desktop computers and servers. The Ultralap 430 is the world’s first Ultrabook which runs Linux out of the box, and as such upon its unveiling a number of months ago it recieved a fair bit of publicity.
Unfortunately, times change, and the ZaReason UltraLap 430 is a little bit outdated by today’s Ultrabook hardware standards. The UltraLap 430 features a 14.1″ HD (1366×768) Glossy LED Backlit Display, up to Core i5 3rd generation Intel Innards, Bluetooth, 2 USB 3.0 ports and up to 256gb of SSD storage. On paper these internals are pretty good, however aesthetically, the UltraLap 430 is no Zenbook measuring in at 13.5in x 9.25in x .75in and weighing in at 3.25 lbs.
Prices for the Ultralap 430 will set you back $899.99 in the US for base specification, whilst upgrading the processor to an i5 and RAM up to 8GB will tip the scales to $977.00.
Dell XPS 13 (certain geographies)
Dell will pre-load Ubuntu 12.04LTS on to your shiny new machine depending on where you are in the world as part of a new initiative to create a laptop for developers rather than outright consumers. The initiative is an extension of Project Sputnik, a pilot project aimed at creating an Ubuntu-based developer laptop.
Built from aluminium and carbon fibre, the XPS 13 is one of Dell’s finer Ultrabook offerings of 2012 and features a 13.3-inch display alongside gorilla glass making it quite the looker. This laptop is mostly aimed at developers to get Dell users to make more use of cloud based tools.
Other than the two Ultrabooks above, one of which is not even available yet, there is not much support from PC manufacturers to offer Ubuntu or any Linux Distro on machines out of the box. Thankfully however there are some really sweet guides online offering amazing information on how to install Linux on your Ultrabook. You should however note that it is not always possible to install Linux on certain hardware.