If you buy a laptop and know you plan to run Linux, you can either get any laptop, reformat the hard drive, and install your favorite Linux distro on it, or just get a laptop running Linux directly. from the box. Here are some of the best Linux laptops you can get in 2020.
1. Lenovo ThinkPad T490 (s) and T495
The Lenovo ThinkPad T490, T490, and T495 are all essentially the same laptops with a few slight differences. These are all 14 inch ultrabook style business notebooks built to last, tested through 12 military spec tests to ensure durability. The T490 and T490 are both Intel-based, with 8th and 10th gen Intel U-series processor options, and the T495 is AMD-based with 3rd gen Ryzen processors.
All are available with up to 16 gigabytes of memory from Lenovo, and the non-S versions have selectable RAM slots for some scalability. Lenovo ThinkPads in general are among the best laptops for Linux, but 14-inch T-series ThinkPads are classics. Plus, given that it’s technically the latest generation, the price is quite nice, starting at around $ 750.
These systems are all approved Lenovo for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, some of which are also certified for RHEL / CentOS. However, the integrated Intel or AMD graphics and the Intel WiFi card mean that most Linux distributions will work well with them. Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, Pop! _OS, Manjaro, Arch, whatever you want will work fine.
2. Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition
Among the many systems that you can pre-load with Linux, the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is easily one of the most elegant and aesthetic. It’s a thin and light 13-inch laptop that’s packed to the gills with as much performance as you could want for a small laptop. The 10th generation Intel G-series processors, up to 16 gigabytes of fast RAM, and an optional 4K 16:10 IPS display make this an ideal candidate for anyone looking for a new Linux laptop. To add to the beauty, there are two exterior options: silver with a black and white carbon fiber palm rest with a white carbon fiber palm rest. The price of performance is also good for what you get, starting at $ 1,099.
These all come preloaded with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which is a solid foundation for one of the different flavors or just Ubuntu Vanilla. Many drivers have been provided upstream by Dell, so many distributions using newer kernels should be able to take full advantage of Killer Wi-Fi cards and Intel Iris Plus graphics.
3. System76 Oryx Pro
System76 is one of the industry’s leading Linux laptop manufacturers, and for good reason. His Oryx Pro is much more than a laptop with a redesigned Ubuntu distribution. The Oryx Pro is a 15 “or 17” Nvidia powerhouse that runs the Open Source Coreboot firmware and the Open Source firmware of the System76 onboard controller, giving you access to switchable graphics on its distribution, Pop! _BONE.
It comes with an Intel i7-10875H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, 2070, or 2080 Super, and up to 64 gigabytes of RAM. It’s a perfect laptop for everything from games to editing videos. The price is a bit steep, starting at $ 1,699, but you’re paying for all the work System76 has put in for the switchable Nvidia graphics and Coreboot.
Pop! _OS is the obvious recommendation. System76 developed it specifically for its machines, and it comes with all the various equipment that goes with a factory image designed for its systems. Anything that supports Nvidia will also work fine, but Pop! _OS is the cream of the crop on System76 hardware.
4. Pine64 Pinebook Pro
Pine64 has often made headlines for its Pinephone, but the Pinebook Pro is another great product from them. This is a 14 inch ARM laptop that weighs less than 3 lbs / 1.5 kg and consumes power. It’s a great little machine that helps push Linux forward on the ARM platform and costs just under $ 200.
Since Pine64 devices use the main ARM Linux kernel, you can run just about any ARM Linux distribution on them. Some notable examples are Arch, Debian, Ubuntu, and Fedora.
5. KDE Slimbook 15
This laptop just hit the presses and takes Linux workstations to the next generation. the KDE Slimbook 15 Introduces the 4th Generation Ryzen H series processors, which outperform desktop processors in many situations. The KDE Slimbook 15 is a powerful processor with up to 64 GB of RAM. With all the issues plaguing 4th gen Ryzen on Linux, the KDE Slimbook 15 is a huge step forward.
Currently, any distro running a newer kernel would perform incredibly well on a 4th gen Ryzen system. Fedora and Arch would have had excellent results. However, the KDE Slimbook 15 comes preloaded with KDE Neon, and early reports give excellent results.
If you’re looking to switch to Linux, be sure to check out our frequently asked questions for new Linux users, these GNOME Shell extensions to make your Linux laptop more usable, and find out which flavor of Ubuntu you should be using.
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