Does Project Sputnik ring a bell? Almost a year ago to the day, Dell launched the first XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop. What made that system so unique is that it ran Ubuntu instead of Windows. It started off as a 6 month program to explore the viability of offering an open source laptop targeted directly to developers, and within a few months, Dell launched the Sputnik 2.
Give Dell credit for wading into open source waters with "Project Sputnik," a pilot program to build a developer solution based on Ubuntu 12.04LTS. After six months of exploration and feedback from testers, Project Sputnik has now landed and is renamed Dell XPS 13 Laptop, Developer Edition. It's a thin and light 13.3-inch Ultrabook powered by Intel's Core i7 3517U processor and driven by Ubuntu, though you could potentially end up paying more versus a similarly spec'd Windows 7 model (with slower processor) or Windows 8 model (with half the storage space). Let's look at the hardware.