My old laptop finally seemed to be on its last legs, so I began shopping. I’m the kind of guy who will do research for a month before spending $100 on a hand-held vacuum cleaner, so you can imagine how I deal with something having three or more zeros in its price tag.

I started using Debian when I was just a kid, and moved to Ubuntu a few years later. I was hoping that I could purchase a laptop in support of Linux– maybe System76, etc. But my artsy side shied away from every Linux-specific laptop I could find. I wouldn’t call them ugly, but they’re not at all appealing! I would like one that doesn’t look bullet-proof, please.

That’s when I happened upon Project Sputnik currently in beta status at Dell. I thought “Oh, this is perfect! My current laptop will probably last until the Fall of 2012, when the Sputnik project will be official.” So, I decided to wait while I researched the XPS 13’s hardware. But I also decided to post a comment on Barton George’s blog (the guy running Sputnik), and ask if they had a more specific release date than “Fall 2012.” Rather than reply to that question, he sent me a response saying there was still room in the beta if I wanted in. I’d get 20% off and by the way that code expires in one week.

20% off in trade for having zero time to research the XPS 13. But it’s supporting Linux! Okay… I did it.

Was it worth it? I’ll post a review shortly.