Vostro 3500 has excellent Linux compatibility
software developer, academic
I'm running Debian GNU/Linux on my brand new Vostro 3500.
Audio didn't work until I upgraded from the standard 2.6.32 kernel to a very new 2.6.34 kernel. (Maybe 2.6.33 would work.... I didn't try.) Network only works with the proprietary 'wl' driver downloaded directly from Broadcom. I had to compile the 'wl' driver myself, but I suspect things are easier on Ubuntu compared to Debian.
I recommend the following for your /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf:
I can't believe a brand new laptop is so linux compatible!!! With my old HP laptop (DV2422CA) I had to wait about a year before I could run the network without ndiswrapper, and audio was always flaky.
I haven't figured out to get a microphone to work (built-in or line-in). Maybe current linux kernel can only handle speakers/line-out/headphones, and microphone support will come later?