Enlarge / Kind of a looker, no? (credit: Scott Gilbertson)
Project Sputnik has done an admirable job over the years of bringing a “just works” Linux experience to Dell Ultrabooks like the XPS 13 Developer Edition—in fact, we’ve tested and largely enjoyed those experiences multiple times now.

But while the XPS 13 is a great machine that I would not hesitate to recommend for most Linux users, it does have its shortcomings.

The biggest problem in my view has long been the limited amount of RAM; the XPS 13 tops out at 16GB. While that’s enough for most users, there are those (software developers compiling large projects, video editors, even photographers) who would easily benefit from more.
Normally to get more RAM from a Dell, you’d pick up one of the various Precision laptops.

These lack the svelteness of the XPS series, but the line can pack in more RAM and larger hard drives. Unfortunately, the availability of the Ubuntu-based Precision machines has traditionally been somewhat spotty. Luckily with this latest refresh, though, that’s no longer the case: you can get Ubuntu-based Precision laptops in a variety of configurations from the Dell site.
Dell isn’t the only manufacturer producing great Linux machines.

And in fact the Oryx Pro from System 76 is another great machine that earned my previous recommendation for anyone who needed more RAM and didn’t mind the additional size and weight. Naturally, Linux will probably work just fine on plenty of hardware not specifically tailored to running Linux, but, if you want a “just works” experience, I’ve usually suggested staying away from bleeding-edge hardware that sometimes lacks drivers.
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