Have a look at the market, you will find a number of brands with various models of laptops. In spite of that, there are only a few operating systems, most popular among which are Windows and Mac-OS. They have been there for decades. Windows and Mac-OS have been constantly upgrading to fit the need of the new hardware. However, Linux is the younger brother that has been around since the 1990s. Initially, Linux was reserved for technical users who understood the complexities of the code and open-sourced natures but with time, it became popular among common users as well.
Linux is versatile and has a powerful computing experience with zero restriction. The number of people who are switching to the Linux operating system is increasing day by day. It has become so popular that now even some laptops come with Linux as the default OS. That may give you a few options and you will get rid of installation headache but not give you the optimal experience. It’s good to install it yourself and buy a suitable laptop that perfectly meets the requirements of Linux. Let’s dive into the list of best laptops for Linux.
Best Laptop For Linux 2020
- Dell Precision M5520
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
- HP Elite Dragonfly
- Yoga C930 2-in-1
- MSI WS65 9TK-687
- Lenovo Business 330S
- ASUS VivoBook S15
- Acer Aspire E 15
Our Top 3 Picks
1. Dell M5520
Display: 15.6 (1920×1080)
2. ThinkPad X1
Display: 15.6 (1920×1080)
3. Surface Laptop 3
Display: 13.5 (2256×1504)
Important Details about Linux OS
What and Why Linux?
Most of us refer to Linux as an operating system, which is technically not true. If we dig deep, Linux is actually a kernel that is the heart of the operating system. Kernel is something that is responsible to run all the hardware and handle each process. In layman terms, OS is basically a kernel, without kernel, there will be no operating system.
Linux was first released back in 1991 and since then it has evolved rapidly. Linux is open source and also free, this especially attracts developers and programmers. At first, it was only used by technical users but now even common users are preferring it. Linux has many flavors, that depends on the type of your work and interest to decide which one to choose. The features and user experience you get on Linux completely depends on the Linux Distro you use.
How does Linux Distro Works?
Well, Linux comprises of a number of pieces of open-source software that can be combined internally and run as a single file. This open-source software includes a graphical interface, terminal interface, and the kernel core. In the end, a single file compiled from various software can be installed on a computer or laptop. A Linux Distro is actually the same thing. This can be done by yourself but you need to have extensive knowledge of coding and development.
They are a number of various Distro flavors available that do all the dirty work for you. They provide you with flexibility, themes, interfaces, and unique software which can be really helpful. Some of the most popular flavors are Ubuntu, Kali, Fedora, Red Hat and Mint. You can choose any of them based on your needs. If you are a beginner, you can use Ubuntu, Mint or fedora while hackers prefer Kali Linux.
Worth a Read: Best 11 inch Laptops
Best Linux Laptop 2020
1. Dell Precision M5520
Dell Precision 5520 is for those who are not constrained by budget because it’s really super expensive. This one is rated as one of the most powerful non-gamer laptops. It comes with extremely powerful internals that focuses on enterprise and professional users. It has no practical application for normal consumers. The chassis of Dell Precision 5520 is metallic and it’s super durable. It can last you a few years while tossing it in your bag every day. If you are a professional and need a super-powerful laptop for work, this is it.
Dell Precision 5520 is housed with all the latest and powerful internals. Dell lets you configure the Dell Precision with the latest Intel Core 7th Generation i7-7820HQ Processor, 32GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM, and NVIDIA Quadro M1200M with 4GB dedicated VRAM. The display of Dell Precision is also UltraSharp FHD with Wide View and Anti-glare. For storing your data files it comes with a massive and speedy 1TB SSD. All these internal components make it super expensive and out of budget but if you have money to spend, you should definitely go for this powerful beast.
Dell Precision 5520 features a keyboard of plastic keys with 1.3mm travel which is less than 1.5mm key travel keyboard experience offered by many laptops. If you come from a desktop, it may need some time to get used to it. The keyboard is also backlit and can be used in dark. Its Keyboard may not be remarkable but the trackpad is better, it’s smooth and robust. And also supports various gestures to help you out. Despite so heavy specs, the battery of Dell Precision 5520 still provides around 7 hours battery at 50 percent brightness. Dell Precision 5520 sports all important ports like HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 and USB type C. Overall it is a performance beast and worth the bucks.
2. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
Lenovo has made its name for producing some of the best quality laptops. They specifically target business and work laptops. With their new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme, they have added some power to their lineup. This laptop is one of the finest laptops on the market with a jaw-dropping Full HD display and an amazing performance with its latest processor and graphics. All this power is packed in a sleek chassis and feels extremely comfortable to use.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme features one of the most powerful Intel Core i7 8750H processor paired with the Intel UHD 630 graphics. To handle the multitasking and give you the ultimate performance, you get a 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. These specs are enough to handle all your Linux related needs and you will be having no issues related to performance. Moreover, the keyboard and trackpad of the laptop are exceptionally comfortable. However, the battery life of the laptop isn’t that impressive.
Whenever it comes to the thin and lightweight laptop. The first thing that comes in mind is durability but don’t be fooled by its looks. This laptop is extremely durable and can survive high humidity, dust, extreme temperature and drops. Furthermore, the sound quality of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is quite impressive. It can fill a mid-size room with its dual speakers. Plus, this laptop has a wide range of ports including USB 3.1, SD card reader, smartcard reader, Thunderbolt, HDMI and more.
3. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
If you are a fan of looks. Here is one smart and stylish laptop that can take your breath away. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is ultra-slim, lightweight yet powerful enough to run almost anything. If you want to install both Windows and Linux simultaneously and use one as per your need, you won’t be having any problem. Thanks to its amazingly powerful internals packed inside this smart beast. Regardless, surface laptop 3 is one of the best Linux laptops on the market today.
This laptop is specifically made for business but by amazing looks, it doesn’t look like one. Internally, it features the latest intel core i7 paired with the AMD Ryzen 5 which makes it powerful enough to run multiple programs in parallel and handle heavy tasks. There are very few laptops that have looks plus power. Microsoft Surface 3 is one of them. Furthermore, a 16GB Memory and 256GB solid-state drive are added to make sure you have no issues regarding speed and boosted performance.
The keyboard of the Surface 3 is amazing. It may not have a longer key travel but the keys are well placed and you will love typing on its keyboard while working. The same is the case with the trackpad. it’s quite better than a normal window laptop touchpad. The touchpad has a soft-touch coating that works great and you can execute any gesture from pinch to zoom to three-finger swipes and more. Furthermore, it has a great lap use, it won’t burn you out. Plus, supports all the important connections.
4. HP Elite Dragonfly
Looks can be really deceiving. Same is the case with the HP Elite Dragonfly, it looks amazingly so premium yet it’s so much durable. It has the ability to handle a lot of of beating, high temperatures, and dust. Also, this stunning sleek and lightweight laptop packs a lot of power inside and can handle almost anything. This is a perfect opportunity for the Linux operating system and is regarded as one of the best laptops for Linux.
Let’s have a look inside, HP Elite Dragonfly Notebook PC features the latest Intel Core i7 8665U, a good integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, a 16GB Memory (for faster loading and handling multitasking) and a 512GB SSD (a faster drive with 7200 RPM speed). We believe these specs and stunning looks are enough to make you feel at peace. Furthermore, HP Elite Dragonfly has extremely comfortable lap and hard surfaces use experience. If you are looking for a business laptop that is good at almost everything, this is the one that you should look for.
The Keyboard of the HP Elite Dragonfly is good to type on. It offers good key travel, the keys are punchy and have a good typing experience. Also, Trackpad work like a pro, does a superb tracking plus you can do all the gestures quite comfortably. Furthermore, it offers various ports for connection and has a stunning display quality to take your breath away. In case you are bored of working, just have some fun at watching movies on the Full HD display. Honestly, it’s completely worthy of the cost based on features and specs offered by this laptop.
5. Yoga C930 2-in-1
Yoga C930 2-in-1 won’t disappoint you with its performance. Yoga series is known for its super long batteries and hinges. Only this time they have added a smart speaker to the hinge which adds more to the beauty of this laptop. The aesthetic design also ensures good durability and performance. Don’t be fooled by its a sleek design, Yoga c930 packs a lot inside. You can use them for any purpose from the office to travel and more. Furthermore, you can also install both Windows and Linux operating systems.
Let’s have a look inside. Yoga C930 2-in-1 packs a latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U processor, Intel HD Graphics 620, 12GB RAM and 256GB Solid State Drive. These specs are enough to meet all your requirements related to storage, performance, multitasking and more. Furthermore, it features a stunning Full HD display with a resolution of (1920×1080), which makes it perfect for multitasking and doing creative work. Also, you will love to watch movies in HD on this laptop.
Despite being a sleek and thing laptop, Yoga C930 2-in-1 still has an impressive keyboard. You will feel comfortable while typing on this laptop. The key travel (1.3mm) is a little less than the standard (1.5mm) key travel. Still, you will love to type on this keyboard. Furthermore, the trackpad of the Yoga C930 2-in-1 does a Fabolous job at tracking and gestures. You won’t be having any problems while performing gestures on this trackpad. Moreover, Yoga C930 2-in-1 got all the necessary connections like USB3.1, headphones jack and Thunderbolt 3. We believe that this laptop performs more than it costs and is one of the best laptops for Linux operating system.
6. MSI WS65 9TK-687
This laptop is only for those who have a handsome budget and want something extra powerful. You won’t need this kind of power if you are just a normal Linux user. In case you are a professional and you need is to work on heavy programs and perform high-level tasks then MSI WS65 9TK-687 could be a perfect opportunity. MSI has done a Fabolous job by packing such a power in a sleek chassis that looks amazing. Workstation laptops are normally powerful enough to handle almost anything and any number of tasks. So, you don’t need to worry about performance issues.
MSI WS65 9TK-687 features a powerful Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000, Intel Core i9-9880H (latest), a 32GB RAM (that much memory can easily handle a large of multitasking), 1TB SSD (Fast and enough for storing your files). Furthermore, WS65 offers a full HD display (it will help in multitasking) which is sharp and you will love to work on it. Such enormous internal will eventually help in increasing your productivity and creativity. If you have got enough budget, you should definitely go for this performance beast because it’s totally worth every penny you spend on it.
Normally, the workstation is not mobile but this one is portable and you can take it anywhere. The keyboard of MSI WS65 is impressive and fast typing is possible but it would be more comfortable if it had more key travel. Furthermore, the trackpad on this laptop works well with the tracking and gestures like zooming, pinching and other two or three-finger gestures. Also, MSI WS65 features a lot of ports like USB 3.1, thunderbolt, ethernet, HDMI, headphone jack and more. Overall, this is a very powerful laptop that can take your work experience to next level and is one of the best Linux laptops.
7. Lenovo Business 330S
Lenovo Business 330S is all about its great aesthetics. It is classy, has polished aluminum and plastic build with a non-glassy display. Plastic and aluminum are mixed in a way that you can’t tell whether it’s aluminum or plastic. The overall look and feel of Lenovo Business 330S are great. Also, this laptop comes with heavy specs, so running Linux will be a piece of cake here. This laptop here is something that is good at both design and performance.
Lenovo Business 330S comes with very heavy internals. Thanks to the latest Intel Core i7-8550U processor, Intel UHD 620 Integrated Graphics, 2TB Solid State Drive and 20GB DDR4 SDRAM. These specs make it super fast and responsive to normal tasks. The 14″ FHD (1920×1080) Non-Touch Display is sharp, bright and non-glassy. You can enjoy streaming videos in FHD. Thin bezels and stereo speakers add more to the value of a laptop. Overall, massive specs and fabulous design force us to place it at the top of the best laptop for the Linux list.
The keyboard is comfortable and may not be good as Thinkpad but still, you will love to type on it. The keys are good and have 1.5mm travel. However, the keyboard isn’t backlit, so you may have a problem while typing in the dark. The TouchPad is big enough and has smooth tracking. Also, gestures like zooming or scrolling can be done easily. Lenovo Business 330S comes with all the important ports you need like HDMI, USB 3.0 and type C. Overall, this is a great laptop to buy for work purposes. It’s portable, looks good and works well.
8. ASUS VivoBook S15
ASUS VivoBook S15 design isn’t the only premium, in fact, it offers the ‘new ErgoLift hinge’ which angles the keyboard up to 3.5° for a more comfortable typing experience. With its tapered chassis, aluminum cover and thin bezels, it looks beautiful and will be great for design-conscious people. It may look luxurious but when you look at the price of the ASUS VivoBook S15, it’s a budget laptop. This one is very unique from Asus, VivoBook S15 also comes in various colors including turquoise green and blinding yellow.
This laptop for Linux is equipped with Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6Ghz processor and 8GB DDR4 RAM that makes it fast enough to open multiple tabs and also play music or videos simultaneously. For storage needs, it features a speedy 256GB SSD and for graphical needs, Intel HD Graphics 620 is placed in. The display of the ASUS VivoBook S15 is also FHD with a wide-angle view. You can call it the best laptop for Linux 2020 because it’s fast, the design is good and has an enormous keyboard for comfortable typing.
ASUS VivoBook S15 has a battery life of around 8 hours of continuous surfing using WiFi. This may not be the best but can get through your workday. ASUS VivoBook S15 has a great cooling management system as well. As we know that the hinge can be lifted, it allows airflow to pass through and keep the laptop cool. The Touchpad of the ASUS VivoBook S15 is fast and responsive while performing the gestures. You can swipe through pages or scroll through the web with no problems at all. You can find all the necessary ports on the ASUS VivoBook S15 except Thunderbolt 3. Overall, this laptop is great whether it’s productivity or design.
9. Acer Aspire E 15
Acer Aspire E 15 is for users constrained by budget. It is targeted specifically at students and enterprise users. Don’t be fooled by its lower price, E 15 features a great variety of ports, the latest processor and a keyboard that’s super comfortable. Aspire E 15 may look a little bulkier but it’s lighter than it looks. It’s better than fine, it plays games, does multi-tasking, connects everything with various ports and also features an optical drive.
Internals of the Acer Aspire E 15 is great with a lot of upgradability options. It comes in various variants you can choose from. In 400 dollars budget, you can get a laptop with 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U Processor, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, sharp 1080p display and 1TB SSD. No other laptop can offer such amazing specs at such a low price. This internals can fairly run Linux and have the capacity to do multiple tasks simultaneously.
Acer Aspire E 15 is very comfortable to type on, although its key travel is 1.1mm less compared to recommended 1.5mm. The good news is, it comes with a Numpad which means a full-sized keyboard, even with the Numpad keys are full-sized and well placed. The Touchpad of Aspire E15 is huge and very responsive. You can easily perform gestures like scrolling and swiping. The battery life is around 8 hours which means it will last for a day. Also, it has all the necessary parts you need. Overall, it provides great performance, is lightweight and budget-friendly.
How to Choose the Best Laptop for Linux?
Well, Linux doesn’t have special requirements, so it’s very easy to choose a Laptop for Linux. Linux is quite a versatile operating system. Before you choose, you need to know that not every Distro will support all the hardware. For some, you may need additional drivers to be installed while others may not support some features. To avoid such issues and have a clean installation. You have to be careful about choosing your best laptop for Linux.
Go For Specifications that Meets Your Requirements
The specification is very important while choosing a laptop for Linux. This OS is quite flexible when it comes to hardware, you can look for hardware that meets your unique requirements. This totally depends on the type of work you do, first you need to focus on your requirements and consider common issues you faced with your previous system. After you are totally clear about your need then choose a laptop that exceeds those needs.
Most important specification includes RAM, Processor and Hard drive, etc. For Linux, you need to be very careful about all these.
Is Your Laptop Compatible with the Linux Distro?
After buying a good Laptop for Linux Operating System, you need to check the requirements of the Linux Distro, you are going to install. Each of the Distro has its own requirements and tested laptops where you will not face any issues. This will eliminate the risk of any uncertainty. Software related issues will not be a big problem because you can find a quick solution available online.
For issues related to your Linux Distro, there are specific forums where users share their problems and troubleshoot them together. You can always go there if the issue you face is already tackled there and find the solution.
Do you Need to have Big Budget?
Honestly, you don’t need to have a big budget to get a suitable laptop for running Linux smoothly. Actually, Linux is quite light and can be operated on a budget laptop. Of course, higher specs have its own fruit but a good budget laptop can also run Linux quite efficiently. All of it depends on what do you need if you want to save money and get a laptop that works fine for you. You can choose a light Distro that can run on even as small as 256MB of RAM.
Pre-Installed Operating Systems
In today’s world, most of the laptop comes with pre-installed operating systems. Linux can work on these devices. In this case, you have two options, either remove that operating system and fresh install Linux or you can also dual boot. If you want to keep the pre-installed operating system, you still have the option to run Linux. As we know that Linux is lightweight and you won’t have problem for dual boot. To do that you will need to partition your hard drive and dedicate some space to Linux. This will enable you to switch between the two operating systems.
Laptops with Pre-Installed Linux
Well, this one is for people who are still confused and avoid the issue related to the comparability of Linux Distro with Laptops. These Laptops are Linux ready and you can choose a laptop with your favorite Distro. As different manufacturers offer laptops with different flavors of Distros. The main benefit of Linux ready laptops is they don’t need you to set them up. Simply, just turn it ON, boot Linux and use it.
Coming to the downside of pre-installed Linux Laptops, they may not support all the features you want. Linux is all about customizability and various Linux Distros. Linux ready laptops come with some of the popular Distros. They may be fully compatible with the hardware but may not offer as much customization you want. Before going for Linux ready laptops, you must consider these issues.
At the end, we come to the conclusion that no matter which laptop you choose, the only thing that matters that it fulfills your needs. Our list of best laptops for Linux has laptops to each kind of users. To meet your needs, we have included budget laptops, powerful specifications laptops, laptops with great design and quite office experience laptops. Good Luck!