OK, so everyone knows that Dell announced (well Direct2Dell) that they will be releasing the new Ubuntu machines today at 4pm CST, Chicago Standard Time 🙂
Well, I have seen post after post about how people are getting ripped off by going with Ubuntu and not Vista. Well lets just break this down…
- Dell E1505n
I couldn’t find E1505n anywhere on Dell’s website, let alone anything n-series based. If it is there, then Dell’s search sucks. What I did find was the Inspiron E1505 which is Vista based. This laptop starts at $748 USD on their website, and Direct2Dell said it will sell for $599, a $149 difference. I think I am wrong with this one since I couldn’t find their “supposed n-series” stuff, except for desktops. So if this is the case, then the laptop looks to be a great deal!
- Dimension E520n
The E520 starts at $649 for a Vista edition. This same system with Ubuntu will sell for $599, only a $50 difference. OK, maybe we are getting ripped off….wait a second…Read the last paragraph for my thoughts on this one.
- XPS 410n
The 410n starts at $899 for the Vista edition. This same system with Ubuntu will sell for a whopping $849, another $50 difference. Is there a trend here?
Well, The 2 desktops show a $50 difference between their Vista counterparts. So that is why I think my price on the notebook is flawed, if it isn’t, then I would buy up as many as I could for that price.
OK, so only a $50 difference between the Vista edition and the Ubuntu edition. Ummm, wtf? Well, we are all used to seeing Vista on the shelves for $100+, and aren’t used to seeing it for say $15 or even less per license. Yes, Dell gets that kind of deal from Microsoft, so when you actually purchase a Dell machine, you are really paying for the hardware and not the software when it comes to the consumer based machines. So you really aren’t getting ripped off, wait a second, you aren’t getting ripped off at all. You are getting a great machine with the world’s greatest operating system (yes, I am waiting for the flames from the Vista fanbois) 🙂
Now, is this $50 difference going to be enough to cause someone to say, “Hey, check out Ubuntu on this Dell, it is $50 cheaper so I am going to buy it!” I am 50/50 on this one actually. I spent a couple of months working in a field survey class for one of my degrees not to long ago, and my task was to examine and attempt to understand the way consumers purchase goods. Well, I went between Best Buy, CompUSA, Fry’s Electronics, and Circuit City (all of these stores are electronics, computer, audio/video type stores in the US). The one thing I found is that Best Buy outsold them all. Why? Easy, they offered all of their discounts at the register, yet they were still more expensive in the long run compared to the others. The others would sell the same item, but would give your money back in mail-in refunds. So lets say the item retails at $400, Best Buy will sell it to you right now for $300, but the other competitors will sell it to you for $250, but you have to wait on average 2 months to get the $150 back from refunds. People want it now and they want it cheaper. That is the one advantage I see to this deal, even if it is $50. $50 lets you get off your computer for the evening and take your significant other out for a night on the town 😉
UPDATE: Nicholas hit a great point in the comments that I for some reason didn’t hit. Thanks Nicholas!