If it wasn’t for the fact I’m spending money, I’d really enjoy shopping for a new computer.

Early last year I gave my 15″ Inspiron laptop to an Ethiopian engineering student who needed it a lot worse than I did. My 10″ netbook is OK for straight writing, and my aging, anchor-esque 17″ Dell laptop worked when more screen real estate was needed.

Dell XPS13

Dell XPS13

But with a trip to Hawaii staring me in the face (I know, weep for me) and more travel on the horizon, it’s time for something faster and sleeker. (Traveling with two kids means paring down everything you carry; on those slogs to the rental car and panicked dashes to the next gate, ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain.)

My wife’s Asus Zenbook Ultrabook has been stellar, the only real problem being the Windows operating system running it.

Regular readers know of my forbidden love for Ubuntu Linux, a free, open source operating system that frees me from the walled gardens being built by Microsoft and Apple.

I’ll be looking for a Linux-friendly laptop, and the Zenbook doesn’t qualify, but several of Dell’s ultrabooks do, and that’s where I’m starting.

Well, that’s where I’m looking first. It’s just possible I over-research buying decisions, eventually overloading the decision-making centers in my brain into a state of immobility.

A smart daddy/writer would take a look at the Dell XP13′s featherweight status (2.99 pounds), speed, reviews, keyboard and Linux compatibility, and just buy it.

Which I just did*.

Keep writing (on whatever computer excites you), Tom Chandler.
(*Not a cheap journalistic trick; in the writing of this post I convinced myself to go lighter instead of bigger.)