Dell announced that fans of open-source operating systems can now order two more mobile workstations powered by Ubuntu out of the box. As of May 2018, the only laptop in the Precision Developer Edition series that users could order a GNU/Linux distro on was the 3530. Naturally, some people probably installed their own system software, but Dell has been hinting at increasing support for at least Ubuntu out of the box.
The 15-inch Dell Precision 7530 and the 17-inch 7730 are now available for purchase. Canonical, the organization behind the Ubuntu distro, called the 7730 the first mobile workstation that’s ready for AI/ML support. Both of these two machines feature 8th gen. Intel Core and Xeon CPUs coupled with AMD Radeon Pro and nVIDIA Quadro graphics adapters.
You can get either of them with up to 128GB of RAM and a massive 6TB PCIe SSD card if you’re looking at running any seriously intensive stuff on them. Workstation was once a term heavily associated with powerful standalone Unix machines, and that’s more than likely the reason that it’s getting applied once more in this case to describe these designs.
Since they’re marketed toward developers, it’s easy to imagine that kind of power being applied to compiling code. It would also be useful for creating large archives, like those used to make distro ISO files. That being said, they may also be attractive to gamers who want to seriously push the limit of what they can make Ubuntu do.
By default, these machines actually ship with an implementation of Microsoft Windows 10. Users looking for the Ubuntu version will have to specify this while they’re making hardware selections online. If they order a stock machine without making any changes, then it will presumably arrive with Windows 10 installed even if this isn’t desirable in that situation.
Nevertheless, selecting Ubuntu will actually lower the starting price to some degree because it negates the user from having to purchase a Windows license.
Other optional extras include features like an external eGPU chassis, which might once more be useful for compiling code or dedicating a little extra power to an extended online gaming session.