Best Linux Laptops Android Central 2020
If you're looking for an alternative to a laptop running Windows or MacOS you'll find there are a few options available with the Linux operating system. Most of the big name computer manufacturers aren't making Linux laptops, so it's helpful to know exactly what smaller companies have available. Thankfully, there are some great options from smaller players who have great reputations when it comes to standing behind their products.
- Pure Power: Lenovo Business 330S
- One Sexy Beast: Dell XPS 13 Developers Edition
- Complete security: Purism Librem 13
- For the gamers: System 76 Oryx Pro
- All the IO: System 76 Galago Pro
- A budget option: ASUS Chromebook Flip C302
- For starters: Pinebook Pro
- All the power: System 76 Serval WS
- Start 'em early: Hack Kids Coding Laptop
Lenovo is targeting the enterprise power user who wants Linux with the powerhouse that is the 330S. With an Intel Core i7, 20GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD, and Linux Mint 64-bit, this is a developer's dream machine. The 1080p display is its only drawback.
Dell offers a Ubuntu-powered version of the amazing 13-inch XPS model, and it's stunning. It's also filled with top of the line specs like a 13-inch 4K display, an Intel i7 CPU, and 512GB SSD. There's nothing this laptop can't handle.
Purism set out to build the most secure laptop ever, and the result is the Librem 13. Every hardware chip was not only chosen for Linux compatibility but with privacy in mind by using PureOS — software that starts at the bootloader and is built line-by-line to keep you secure.
Most high-end Linux laptops offer fast processors and plenty of RAM, but System 76 adds an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card into the mix. Play games at ultra settings or develop them with power and style.
In a world where the IO is disappearing from our laptops, the Galago Pro from System 76 gives you all the ports you'll need, and more. There's everything you could want including HDMI, Ethernet, mini-DisplayPort, and then some. You'll also get some great specs, customized to your liking with up to 64GB of RAM, 6TB of total storage, and a 14.1-inch Matte FHD display.
Chrome OS is Linux, and you can now run any Linux application natively on Intel Chromebooks — provided they're powerful enough. ASUS' great Flip C302 is plenty powerful enough for everyday use and most Linux apps, and the price hits the sweet spot.
This barebones laptop from Pinebook gives you the bare essentials to get started in the world of Linux. The Pinebook Pro sports 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and is comparable in performance to mid-range Chromebooks. There's also an unpopulated m.2 NVMe slot if you need (or want) to upgrade the storage.
If you're looking for a desktop computer in a laptop configuration, then the System 76 Serval WS is the way to go. This is a workstation laptop with the fastest GeForce GPUs, paired with desktop-level processors, and the entire laptop is configurable to your liking. Plus, the Serval WS comes in either 15 or 17-inch sizes, giving you all the screen real estate you'll need.
Those looking to teach their kids about coding and Linux will want to check out the Hack Laptop. This software runs inside of an ASUS Laptop, and features 4GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD, and an FHD display so that the battery will keep your kids going all day. The difference from other Linux laptops is that this one features Endless OS, which is pre-loaded with more than 100 apps to help with the learning process.
Which laptop is right for you?
Buying a Linux laptop is just like buying any other; you need to find one that fits both what what you need it to do and your price range. That's a bit of a sticking point compared to Windows-powered laptops.
Linux has been a niche "product" since its beginnings in 1991. Companies like Acer or Toshiba aren't cranking out inexpensive laptops that run Linux and probably never will. Finding a great Linux laptop is easy; companies like Dell and Lenovo cater to the enterprise crowd, while small but very reputable companies like System 76 cater to the enthusiasts. In theory, you can install Linux on any laptop if you're willing to go through the headache of finding the right configuration for the hardware inside, and that's a good option if you're technically inclined to do it. And lucky enough for it to work.
If you know you want a great Linux laptop, any on this list will serve you well. However, we recommend the Lenovo Business 330S. It has everything you could possibly need from a company that builds for enterprise users.
Chromebooks offer a bit of an in-between. ChromeOS is actually a locked down Linux distribution in it's own right (as is Android) and Google has enabled Chromebooks using Intel processors to actually run any correctly packaged Linux application in a native container.
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