7pm EST, 2007 May 24

Dell Prices - Ubuntu vs. Vista

In this document, I compare Dell's Ubuntu offerings against similarly configured Windows Vista offerings with the comparable product code. In order to simplify the comparision, I've chosen the most similar least expensive configuration options available.

This comparison isn't perfect, but I think it does show pretty clearly that Dell is willing to offer lower prices for $0 Ubuntu than for not-$0 OEM Vista.

Dimension E520n vs. E520

Ubuntu 7.04 Price: $409
Windows Vista Home Premium Price: $549

- I couldn't find Windows Vista Home Basic for the E520, or I would have taken the lower price. The E520 also comes with an optional free 56k winmodem.
- The biggest difference here seems to be the graphics adapters. The X3000 is Intel's newest integrated graphics chip. It comes with their new G35 motherboard chipset. It's newer stuff, but it's not $150 worth of newer stuff. On the other hand, Dell might be discounting the old boards to get rid of them.
- Paul McNeely writes: I did my comparison with components that were exactly the same. I upgraded both video cards to the 7300LE so they would match exactly and still came out with the $140 price difference.

Inspiron E1505n vs. E1505

Ubuntu 7.04 Price: $649 (After $50 upgrade to 1 gig RAM)
Windows Vista Home Basic Price: $728 (With ATI Graphics)

- Windows Vista Home Premium would have cost an additional $29.
- The Ubuntu machine starts with 512 megs of RAM. Upgrading it to a gig to match the Vista system added $50.
- Upgrading the Windows machine to Intel wireless added $29.
- Again, the Windows System comes with a free WinModem.
- Here, the graphics card difference is much larger, although the X1400 is still in the "Very Low End" range for Graphics - this is worth $50 at most, which is still less than the $80 difference. And, of course, the Intel card is better in that it actually works well on Ubuntu.

Dimension XPS410n vs. XPS410

Ubuntu 7.04 Price: $669.
Windows Vista Home Premium Price: $719

- Again, Home Basic is not offered.
- Once again, Windows users get a free Winmodem.
- The two systems are basically the same, with Vista Home Premium costing an extra $50 here.


You can Digg this if you want. This page is small, I'm sure the University has the bandwidth.


Apparently this got posted to the front page of Slashdot. And load averages (0.17, 0.05, 0.01) say that Slashdotting is overrated... or maybe it's my amazing web page design.


I'm Nat Tuck <chandon@gmail.com>. Feel free to email me with any comments or corrections.