Dell Inspiron 1505 with Ubuntu

I’m writing this from the new Dell laptop I recently purchased which comes with Ubuntu preinstalled.

Overall, I’m impressed – it’s nice to get a laptop that “just works”, without spending a dime for Windows. Everything seems to work quite well out of the box. The machine arrived earlier than Dell’s web site promised, which is a good thing, because their promised date was a lot of time to have to wait. It’s certainly no beauty – it’s kind of thick, and a bit clunky, but hopefully it will be a good workhorse in the next few years. I need something reasonably fast, with a good screen, rather than something ultra-thin, flashy and super portable.

The nits to pick:

  • The beep. The default beep is VERY LOUD, and doesn’t follow the system volume settings. This is very annoying when trying to work quietly.

  • I added the nice screen upgrade, to have a WSXGA+ screen, at 1680×1050 pixels, but the default resolution is 1280×1024, so the out of the box aspect ratio isn’t quite right.

  • The touch screen mouse buttons are very sloppy feeling. I don’t expect super-tight engineering with a machine of this class, but they are not up to par.

But I expect I’ll get most of that figured out with a bit of fiddling, and the price was quite good, so overall I would highly recommend it to anyone else in my situation: wanting a Linux laptop that “just works” for a good price.

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