Ubuntu 11.04 'Natty Narwhal' to star on Kogan laptops

Preloaded devices will offer yet more choices for businesses and individuals tired of the Windows treadmill.

With the final version of Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" just around the corner, excitement about the new Linux release is reaching a fever pitch. Now, adding fuel to the proverbial fire, Australian tech vendor Kogan just announced two new ultraportable laptop PCs that will come with Natty Narwhal preloaded.

Late last year I looked at several of the ways you can get Canonical's Ubuntu Linux operating system preloaded on a computer. I also outlined several good reasons for doing it that way.

Now, Kogan's new laptops present yet another option. Due to ship in May, the devices both feature a 12-inch widescreen LED display along with "everything you need straight out of the box: Internet, office applications, music, photo and video software packages, Ubuntu OS & Windows compatible," in the company's own words.

A Full-Sized Keyboard

First in Kogan's new lineup is its Agora 12-inch ultraportable laptop computer, which is priced starting at AUD 349, though presales are cheaper.

Featuring a 250GB SATA hard disk drive and 1GB DDR2 RAM -- with support for up to 4GB -- the machine sports an ultra low voltage processor for long battery life, a built-in camera and a full-sized, ergonomic chiclet keyboard.

Inside the machine are a 1.20GHz Intel Celeron M ULV processor -- the SU 2300 -- an Intel GS40 integrated video card with 256MB of shared memory, and an 802.11 B/G/N wireless card. With a gross weight of about 1.5 kg, the machine also features a webcam and a battery life of about 3.5 hours.

Then, of course, there's the compelling fact that it runs Ubuntu 11.04.

A 500GB Hard Disk Drive

Kogan's other new Ubuntu-loaded offering, meanwhile, is the Agora Pro 12-inch ultraportable laptop, a version that's priced starting at AUD 389 instead (again, with discounts on early orders).

Featured on this one are a 500GB SATA hard disk drive and 2GB RAM along with support for up to 4GB. Once again, Natty Narwhal is the operating system that's preloaded.

The best part is, devices like this are coming fast and furious. It was just a few weeks ago, for example, that we saw the launch of Hercules' new, Linux-powered eCAFÉ netbooks.

Now more than ever, when individuals and companies get tired of the Microsoft treadmill and realize that it's time to switch to Linux, they've got lots of options to choose from.

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Katherine Noyes

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