Linux is not the most popular OS available, but it is the operating system many consumers, businesspeople, and developers love and use. It certainly does not have the backing of other big systems have, but nevertheless, it is very capable and even free.
Some laptops come with a pre-installed Linux OS, but you have limited options. The majority of major computer manufacturers just do not build laptops with or for Linux, but there is plenty of room for smaller companies to fill in the void and make good products.
1. Best Overall – Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition
Dell XPS 13 is widely considered as one of the best laptops available. The fact that it is also available with Linux makes it even better and more useful. Therefore, those who want a stylish, powerful, and lightweight laptop with this OS should pay close attention. Regarding the specs, the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition offers a lot of power.
The base model has an 8th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. This is powerful enough for Ubuntu 18.04 that is already installed when you buy it. The computer can also be customized to carry an Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. The base has a 13.3-inch display has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, but it is upgradable to 4K. This laptop only weighs 2.67lbs.
2. Best Budget – Pinebook 64
This is not the most powerful device available, but with a price like this, it is a great choice for those who wish to try their luck with Linux OS. This machine runs on a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor and has 2GB of RAM. It also has 16GB of flash storage.
When it comes to connectivity, there are two USB 2.0 ports, a MicroSD card slot, a digital video port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The display is 11.6 inches, upgradable to 14 inches, while the resolution is 1366 x 768. The laptop is pretty thin and light, 0.47 inches and either 2.30lbs or 2.78lbs, depending on the size.
3. Best for Power – System76 Serval WS
If you need a Linux laptop that is the most powerful out there, the System76 Serval WS is the one for you. Unlike the resto of the options currently available, this laptop has a desktop class Core i7 and i9 processor options, which are insanely more powerful than laptop class i7 chips in the rest of these computers.
Moreover, the Serval WS also has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series graphics card, which means this laptop for graphics-based computing than desktops are. The base model has a 15.6-inch display and a 1080p resolution. The graphics card is GTX1060 GPU, while the processor unit is an Intel Core i7-8700. For speed, 8GB of RAM is available, while a 250GB SSD is reserved for your storage.
The computer can be customized and upgraded as well. The best model comes equipped with a 17.3 inch, 4K matte display, while the inside components are GTX 1080 GPU, Intel Core i9-9900K processor, 64GB of RAM, and a 2TB hard drive. The default is also System76 Pop! OS Linux builds, but you can opt for Ubuntu 18.04 instead if you want to. The only potential downside to this beast of a computer is a high price and a bulkier build. The weight is 7.5lbs for the 15-inch version and a 9.2lbs for the 17-inch version. But if you want and need power, the extra weight is unavoidable with laptops.
4. Best for Security – Purism Librem 13
Security is a bigger concern in the tech world every day it seems, and although much more malware and viruses are available with Windows, Linux is also a target for them. This is exactly where the Purism Librem 13 comes in, because this laptop is specifically designed to protect the files you have from them. It features two hardware kill switches. They turn off the microphone, camera, wireless and Bluetooth options.
The laptop also has the PureOS, which is Purism’s version of Linux that focuses most on security. Spec-wise, the Librem 13 comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and up to 4TB of storage. The base model only has a 120GB SSD. The display of this security laptop is 13.3 inches, and it has two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, and one SD card slot. It is very thin and light, only 0.7 inches t and 2.2lbs. Therefore, it is a great option for those who travel a lot and must carry their work with them.
5. Best for Customization – ZaReason UltraLap 6440
ZaReason is famous for their Linux server equipment. However, they also build consumer products as well, like this ZaReason UltraLap 6440. Their laptop is a perfect choice for people who want or need to have the option to customize their laptop. This one offers them this ability as they can choose the hardware options, as well as the Linux system that will be pre-installed on their device.
This is great news for customers who do not just need Ubuntu, the popular version of Linux. When it comes to hardware specifications, it is what you would expect from a top-tier laptop. The base model has an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 120GB SSD. Of course, since it can be customized, it can include an Intel Core i7 CPU, maximum of 32GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of hard drive storage.
You can also fit in the second hard drive and get a total of 4TB of storage. Ports that it has are one USB-C port, two USB 2.0 ports, and an SD card reader. It is not a lightweight machine, nor is it too heavy. It is 0.87 inches thick and it weighs 3.6lbs.
6. Best Macbook for Linux – 2018 MacBook Air
If a laptop does not have the Linux OS pre-installed, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot install it on the machine yourself. MacBooks are loved and praised for their great design and powerful hardware. There are also tons of guides in existence telling you how to install Linux OS on your MacBook. Caution, however, as this is something we only recommend those who know what they are ding to try this.
If you are interested, the new 2018 MacBook Air is a good choice, beautifully designed with powerful enough hardware. The basic model of the new MacBook Air 2018 runs on an Intel Core i5 processor, has 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. These can be expanded to 16GB of RAM and 1.5TB of storage. Apple uses modern ports for their laptop as well, and you have two USB-C ports and a headphone jack present. As you probably guess, the model is nice and light, 0.61 inches thick and it weighs 2.75lbs.
7. Best Windows Laptop for Linux – Lenovo ThinkPad E570
As we mentioned above, you do not require a laptop with Linux pre-installed to run it. As with the MacBook, you can get a Windows laptop and install Linux on it on your own, but we again recommend that you only do it if you know how. For this tech operation, we recommend that you purchase the Lenovo ThinkPad E570, because this line of laptops is famous for working pretty well with Linux, and they are built sturdy and durable.
Lenovo ThinkPad E570 has an Intel Core i5 processor at its heart. Other components are 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, more than enough power to run Linux. The display is 15.7 inches, and although somewhat bulky at one inch thick and over five pounds, it is an excellent choice for a Windows laptop turned to a Linux.
As you can see, there are a lot of options for Linux OS on a laptop. We hope this helped you in making a decision, and that you will get yourself a quality machine to help you with your work.