Dell Unveils New Ubuntu Linux-Powered Precision Mobile Workstations

Dell Precision 3540
Give Dell credit, the bulk system builder has not shied away from Linux, and for several years has offered certain PCs with Ubuntu installed instead of Windows. That includes its Precision 7000 tower and rack workstations, and of course the XPS 13 Developer Edition.. Now you can order a more affordable Precision 3540 or 3541 mobile workstation with Ubuntu installed, if that is your desire.

Dell is not making a huge deal about this, though it is a notable option. As far as Dell is concerned, the new Precision 3540 workstations are notable because they put in the hands of creators a "budget-friendly" solution capable of 2D and 3D CAD design, heavy Excel workbook crunching, and so forth.

"Ideal for those looking for workstation-class performance in a small footprint, the Dell Precision 3540 mobile workstation is our most affordable mobile workstation and comes with the essentials including the latest 4-core Intel Core 8th generation processors, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, AMD Radeon Pro graphics with 2GB of dedicated memory, and 2TB of storage," Dell says.

The Precision 3541 is even more powerful, with 9th generation 8-core Intel Core and 6-core Xeon processor options, paired with next-gen NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics with 4GB of dedicated memory.

Both models sport a narrow-edge 15.6-inch display and an overall construction that is 10 percent smaller and lighter than the previous generation of Precision workstations—the Precision 3540 starts at 4.04 pounds, and the Precision 3541 starts at 4.34 pounds.

Dell Precision 3540

The Precision 3540 is available right now, priced at $769 for the following selections:
  • 15.6-inch HD (1366x768) display w/ webcam and mic
  • Intel Core i5-8365U processor
  • Integrated Intel UHD 620 Graphics
  • 4GB DDR4-2400 RAM
  • 500GB hard drive (5400 RPM)
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2
  • 3-cell (42Whr battery)
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
For those who prefer LInux, you can swap out Windows 10 Home 64-bit for Ubuntu 18.04, which shaves $66.69 off the price. That brings the tally down to $702.31. Likewise, there are plenty of upgrades available, from faster processing and graphics, to more RAM and storage. For just over a grand ($1,029.84), you could go with the following Linux configuration:
  • 15.6-inch Full HD (1920x1080) display w/ mic only
  • Intel Core i5-8265U processor
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 2100 w/ 2GB GDDR5
  • 8GB DDR4-2400
  • 256GB M.2 SSD (SATA)
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2
  • 90W E5 Type-C power adapter
  • Ubuntu 18.04
"As standard with Dell Precision workstations, both devices are Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certified, having undergone rigorous testing with professional applications like Autodesk Inventor and Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS to ensure that customers get the best experience possible," Dell says.

Follow this link to configure a Precision 3540, whether to buy or just to see what options are available. As for the burlier Precision 3541, that will be available later this month.