Re: Hardware issue - Dell claiming not covered
Battery claims are always going to be controversial, IMO, since they are frequently explicitly excluded from warranty claims entirely (other than something like 30-90 days). It's like when your car starts to burn oil with no explanation. You take it to the dealer, knowing it's under warranty, and they inform you that it's perfectly within industry standards for a vehicle to consume as much as 1 quart (roughly 1L) of oil per 1,000 miles.
Is this really related to Ubuntu? I would have thought it was more to do with ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) settings, or whatever they are, which are recognized by Ubuntu just as they are by Windows. You could check this in your BIOS settings (check for performance settings vs. power saving settings, etc., involving the display, the CPU, and anything else that might seem relevant). JMO, however.
Other than that, if they refuse to honor the warranty, and you are still convinced it's a valid claim after reading the terms & conditions of the sale, you could also take the matter up with (1) the retailer that sold the unit, if other than Dell, and (2) your credit/charge card issuer, if you paid for the purchase using one: they sometimes have warranty (and even one year extended warranty) clauses similar to their "free" travel insurance clauses.
Intrepid User of Xubuntu & LXDE on:
(1) Dell Latitude, CPi R400GT, PII 400 MHz, 256MB SDRAM, 66MHz.
(2) Toshiba Portégé 3490CT, PIII 700 MHz, 256MB SDRAM, 100MHz.
Both using NETGEAR MA521 Wireless PCMCIA (no issues!).