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“Give me a laptop powerful enough and I will compile the Linux kernel.” – anonymous Linux kernel developer.

Desktop Linux is the preferred platform for developers, whether it be scientists rendering the first image of a black hole or Tesla engineering working on self-driving cars.

But you can’t just walk into any store pick a laptop running Linux and walk home. Your choices are limited to a small set of players who sell Linux supported laptops. Among all these players Dell shines for two reasons, at least in my opinion:

1) Dell sells fully supported Linux laptops

2) Dell makes the best of the breed hardware. Yes, there are other companies selling Linux based machines, but those don’t make a MacBook user envy.

Personally, I don’t look beyond a MacBook, Microsoft SurfaceBook and Dell XPS/Precision. I have all three. Each running macOS, Windows 10 and Linux, respectively. The best experience for each platform.

Now, Dell has come out with a new member of its Precision family that is designed for developers and engineers and IT professionals.

“Today we are announcing the latest addition to the Project Sputnik line up — the next generation of the Dell Precision 3000 series mobile workstations, the Dell Precision 3540 and 3541 developer editions,” said Barton George, the founder of the Sputnik project at Dell.

Dell Precision 3540 mobile workstation, developer edition is powered by the latest 4-core Intel Core 8th generation processors. You can get up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and up to 4TB of storage. If you need GPU support, you can opt choose AMD Radeon Pro graphics with 2GB of dedicated memory and a 1366×768 resolution display.  You can get the maxed out 3540 for $1,438.

Those who want more muscles can get Dell Precision 3541 mobile workstation, developer edition that comes with 9th generation 8-core Intel Core and 6-core Xeon processor options. You can get up to 4TB of storage and up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and optional ECC memory with Xeon processor.  This one comes with powerful NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics with 4GB of dedicated memory and HiDPI display. 3541 will be available later in May and the pricing is not available yet, but I am expecting it in the bracket or $3000-$4000

Both machines come with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and are certified to run Red Hat 8.0. This one is a good option for those who use DaVinci Resolve for their video production.

If you are looking for an average machine for basic web browsing and casual programming 3540 would be a good choice, but don’t go for anything less than 32GB of RAM. If you want a beefy machine, then wait for 3541.

The choice is never bad.

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Swapnil Bhartiya
I have more than 12 years of experience covering Enterprise Open Source, Cloud, Containers, IoT, Machine Learning and general tech. My stories cover a very broad spectrum - traditional Linux, data center and Free Software to contemporary emerging technologies like 'serverless'. Widely Read: My stories have appeared in a multitude of leading publications including CIO, InfoWorld, Network World, The New Stack, Linux Pro Magazine, ADMIN Magazine, HPE Insights, Raspberry Pi Geek Magazine, SweetCode, Linux For You, Electronics For You and more.