Mate desktop flavored Ubuntu distribution, Ubuntu Mate has been gaining rapid popularity among a certain Linux users. This gaining popularity is the reason why Ubuntu Mate was accepted as an official Ubuntu flavor to join the ranks of Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Lubuntu.
Its growing popularity has resulted in a hardware deal with Linux based hardware start-up Entroware. As of now Entroware laptops ship with Ubuntu but after Ubuntu Mate15.04 release, its Orion series will offer Ubuntu Mate 15.04 pre-installed.
Orion laptops start at a price range of £379 with a modest hardware offering of Intel Pentium 3550M (Haswell) processor, 4GB DRR3 RAM, a 500GB 5400RPM HDD along with integrated Intel graphics. The hardware can be configured to be upgraded based on your requirement and budget. The laptop weights 2.2 Kg with battery. More details can be found here.
The big picture
What it means for Linux user is that you’ll get a Linux system running out of box and with full hardware compatibility. Indeed such deals are not new in hardware market. Dell has selling Ubuntu laptops for years now. System76 offers only Ubuntu systems while Compulab deals in Linux Mint. More such hardware deals should result in expanding desktop Linux user share as pre-isntalled Linux systems will have better hardware compatibility, an area where beginner Linux users struggle a lot.