Ante Karamatic has installed Ubuntu and WinXP Pro on his Dell Inspiron 8600 and describes the differences of a plain Windows XP installtion and a plain Ubuntu OS installation.
Please note that he may be biased towards Ubuntu – read the analysis here.
As you can see, Ubuntu is better in support out of the box for this laptop.
All No functions, bor both systems, can be easily renamed to Yes with few
drivers. Notice that on Windows you will need a CD with drivers or a USB
stick. Non of three network devices aren't working. On the other had,
Windows starts a lot faster! A lot! This is very important for desktop, while it
isn't of big importance for laptop (we all use sleep, don't we)?