Have a look at the market, you will find many brands with various models of laptops. Despite that, there are only a few operating systems, most famous: Windows and Mac-OS. They have been there for decades. Windows and Mac-OS have been continually 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. Still, with time, it became popular among ordinary users as well.
Linux is versatile and has a powerful computing experience with zero restrictions. 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. You will get rid of installation headaches 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 2021
- Dell XPS 13 9360 – Best Overall 2021
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 – Best Powerful 2021
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme – Best for Office
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – Best for Students
- HP Elite Dragonfly – Best Lightweight Linux Laptop
- Yoga C930 2-in-1 – Best Powerful Linux Laptop
- Dell Precision M5520 – Best Design Laptop 2021
- Lenovo Business 330S – Best Linux Laptop
- Acer Aspire E 15 – Best Value Linux Laptop
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)
Frequently Asked Questions about Linux OS
Who needs Linux and Why?
Actually, Linux is an open-source and community-developed operating system. It is supported by computers, servers, mobile devices, embedded systems, and servers. Whether it’s x86, x64, ARM, or SPARK, every major platform of the computers supports it. So, you can say that it’s one of the most widely supported operating systems in the world.
Linux is so popular across communities because its customization. You will find a distro for every kind of user and task. It doesn’t matter if you use it for servers such as apache, network operation, scientific use, or learning. You can make it very simple to run a specific task.
Performance-wise Linux is the best operating system because you can select the preferred Distro for your work and leave out all the extra functionality. For example, suppose you want to run a database or compute a giant cluster. In that case, no other operating system can run it more efficiently than Linux.
The most crucial part is that Linux is the most secure operating system to date. It is recommended by the leading security firm to use if you have confidential work. Leading firms like Google, NASA, and the US department of defense use Linux operation systems.
Is it safe to dual boot Windows and Linux?
Actually, dual booting is safe, but if you’re using Windows and Linux, the likelihood of the malware affecting the Linux environment increases. Also, operating systems other than Windows, Linux, and OSX don’t like to play with dual booting. They will slowly take ownership of the boot, and you will need to fix it from time to time.
So, dual booting is only advisable for students who are trying to learn the Linux operating system. Suppose you are working in a leading firm where Linux is used because of security reasons. In that case, we don’t recommend using duat booting.
What Apps Can You Actually Run on Linux?
There are much popular application and software that offers their Linux variants. Popular Softwares like skype, Spotify, and slack are available for the Linux operating system. These applications were built on web-based technologies and can easily be imported to Linux. Popular chatting apps like Telegram and Discord can also be used on the Linux operation system.
There is an open-sourced Windows Compatability layer called Wine that helps in running the windows programs on Linux without installing the window OS.
What are the Drawbacks of Using Linux OS?
There are some common disadvantages of the Linux operating system that come to mind.
- Popular Windows programs will not run on Linux: Since Linux doesn’t have the major share of the market. This makes it the least favorable for developers to develop software for it. Popular windows software (Photoshop, Proteus, etc.) is difficult to find on Linux operating system. This may not seem big, but it’s a problem for most businesses. These days a lot of programmers are making alternatives to this software to add to the Linux community.
- Limited Market Share: We all know about the superior error detection quality of Linux, and also it is so much secure. Now a question arises, why Linux isn’t so popular then. The main reason behind this is that Linux doesn’t target home users as windows do and that causes Linux to lose a big market share to Windows.
- Limited Hardware Drivers: Before you buy any component for your Linux system, you should make sure that certain hardware has a driver for it. Most hardware manufacturers usually write drivers for Windows. Not all the brands that you see write a driver for Linux operating systems. You need to be aware that some of the hardware you usually use, like printers, scanners, and others, may not be compatible with the Linux operating system. So, if you are buying a printer or scanner, make sure that it does have Linux drivers.
- The Support Issue: Operating system like Windows have their own support team that you can contact any time if you have any problem without any charges. In the case of open-source operating systems like Linux, it’s an issue. Opens source operating systems are run through support channels, and you will have to pay for support if you have any issue with the Linux OS. However, the issue can also be resolved through forums. These blogs are created for supporting Linux, but you will need a good Linux administrator for that. Because it’s not easy to find the solution in these forums.
What are the Popular Linux Distributions?
We have picked some of the most used and popular Linux distributions. Let’s have a look:
- Nitrux: This distro is for users who are new to Linux OS. if you are a beginner, you must start with this Linux distro because it sports some of the most stable and respected open-source programs that you can find. Projects like Ubuntu and KDE plasma are put together to suit the new Linux users.
- Zorin OS: This distro is entirely focused on providing the best user interface to its users. If you are addicted to Windows OS and want something similar, Zorin OS can be the perfect alternative.
- Pop!_OS: This Distro is mostly favored by gamers because of some of the interesting features that it provides. It is developed and maintained by the Vendor System76 and is free to download. If you are a gamer and want to shift to Linux, Pop!_OS is a perfect choice.
- Kodachi: if you have work that requires privacy and security. Kodachi would be the perfect choice to choose because it is specially built for users while keeping privacy and security in mind.
- Arch Linux: This distro is for professional Linux users. It’s one of the most sought out distros by the professional because it’s specially designed for them. if you are a power user and need a perfect distro that answers all your needs, no other distro is better than Arch Linux OS.
Best Linux Laptop 2021
1. Dell XPS 13 9360
Dell manufactures different kinds of laptops whether you want a laptop for office work, gaming, travel, school or college, and more. They will never disappoint you. Their model Dell XPS 13 9360 has been built with extreme precisions featuring an incredible sleek build, thin bezels, and premium look. Dell XPS laptop is perfect for installing Linux OS because of its structure and power. XPS is primarily built for offices and schools, giving ultimate portability and easiness to carry around; that why it will work great with Linux OS. It doesn’t matter if you are a college student, an office worker, or a businessman; XPS will be the best option for you.
Furthermore, Dell XPS 13 9360 isn’t all about the design of the laptop. It also brings more to the table. Internally it has been filled with an enormous component that can do wonders working together. You will find the latest Intel i5 7200U processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD. These specs can do any task, whether it’s streaming, writing, or doing other professional duties. The Dell XPS’s keyboard is very impressive, and typing on this keyboard is effortless and fun. The Touchpad of the laptop is responsive enough to carry out gestures and have smooth tracking.
Moreover, Dell XPS 13 features all the critical ports that you will need for your work. It features an ethernet port for internet connectivity, an HDMI port, USB ports, and more. So you won’t have any connectivity issues. The battery life of the XPS 13 is also good and can get you through the day. Apart from all these, the ergonomics of XPS 13 are so cool, and you will instantly fall in love with it. Overall, this laptop has terrific performance, a breathtaking design, provides ultimate portability, and is a perfect opportunity to install Linux OS. So adding them to the list of best Linux laptops is totally justifiable.
2. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
Linux is mostly used by programmers and coders. The operationg system itself may not require a powerful laptop but the work you are going to do need power. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is a perfect candidate for linux operating system. It has a premium design with enough 15.6″ screen and high resolution 1080p display. If you are going to use linux for programming or coding, you need multitasking and ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 gives you that. Also, the laptop comes with a very competitative and comfortable keyboard which have enough keytravel and actuation force. The design is a plus with extremely thin bezels and ASUS ROG Zephyrus logo on the bottom of the display gives an amazing look.
The laptop is packed in a compact chassis giving room for portability and putting it in a backpack. Internally the laptop is filled with powerful components to make sure that you never face any performance issues. The laptop is added to the best laptop for Linux because of its powerful AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, and massive 16GB RAM. These internals combined can challenge any kind of task and any number of functions. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 can be used by college students, coders, programmers, and others. Lastly, the laptop comes with a massive 1TB storage to ensure that you never get out of space.
Furthermore, the laptop features all the necessary ports for connectivity reasons like 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C. You can connect everything with the help of these ports. Moreover, the laptop comes with a speaker with Smart AMP technology capable of filling your whole room with music. Overall, This best Linux laptop has an outstanding design, excellent performance, comfortable keyboard, and ultimate portability. What more could one need from a Linux laptop.
3. 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 a fantastic performance with its latest processor and graphics. All this power is packed in a sleek chassis and feels exceptionally comfortable to use.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme features one of the most powerful Intel Core i7 8750H processors paired with the Intel UHD 630 graphics. To handle the multitasking and give you the ultimate performance, you get 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. These specs are enough to manage 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 to 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.
4. 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 it doesn’t look like one by unique looks. Internally, it features the latest intel core i7 paired with the AMD Ryzen 5, making 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 is added to ensure you have no issues regarding speed and boosted performance.
The keyboard of the Surface 3 is terrific. It may not have a more extended 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 relatively better than a standard Windows 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 excellent lap use. It won’t burn you out. Plus, it supports all the critical connections.
5. HP Elite Dragonfly
Looks can be really deceiving. The same is the case with the HP Elite Dragonfly, it looks so premium, yet it’s so durable. It can handle a lot of beating, high temperatures, and dust. 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, an excellent integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, a 16GB Memory (for faster loading and handling multitasking), and a 512GB SSD (a speedier 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 an 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 I have a good typing experience. Also, Trackpad work like a pro does superb tracking, plus you can make 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 watching movies on the Full HD display. Honestly, it’s utterly worth the cost based on the features and specs offered by this laptop.
6. Yoga C930 2-in-1
Yoga C930 2-in-1 won’t disappoint you with its performance. The 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 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 the 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), making 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 thin laptop, the 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 the Linux operating system.
7. 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 typical 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. Still, 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 the 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 the 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 such 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.
8. Lenovo Business 330S
Lenovo Business 330S is all about its great aesthetics. It is classy, has a polished aluminum and plastic build with a non-glassy display. Plastic and aluminum are mixed so that you can’t tell whether it’s aluminum or plastic. The overall look and feel of Lenovo Business 330S are great. This laptop also comes with heavy specs, so running Linux will be a piece of cake here. This laptop here 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 suitable 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 made easily. Lenovo Business 330S comes with all the crucial ports you need like HDMI, USB 3.0, and type C. Overall, this is an outstanding laptop to buy for work purposes. It’s portable, looks good, and works well.
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 super comfortable keyboard. Aspire E 15 may look a little bulkier, but it’s lighter than it looks. It’s better than fair. It plays games, does multitasking, connects everything with various ports, and features an optical drive.
Internals of the Acer Aspire E 15 is excellent 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 an 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 impressive specs at such a low price. This internals can legally 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 than the recommended 1.5mm. The good news is that it comes with a Numpad, which means a full-sized keyboard, even with the Numpad keys being full-sized and well placed. The Touchpad of Aspire E15 is enormous and very responsive. You can efficiently 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 excellent performance, is lightweight and budget-friendly.
How to Choose the Best Laptop for Linux?
Well, Linux doesn’t have special requirements, so it’s effortless to choose a Laptop for Linux. Linux is quite a versatile operating system. Before you decide, 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 significant 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 depends on the type of work you do. First, you need to focus on your requirements and consider common issues 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 Linux Distro requirements 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 a Big Budget?
Honestly, you don’t need to have a big budget to get a suitable laptop for running Linux smoothly. Actually, Linux is relatively light and can be operated on a budget laptop. Of course, higher specs have their own fruit, but a good budget laptop can also run Linux quite efficiently. All of it depends on what you need 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, dual boot or remove the current operating system and install Linux OS. 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 deal with 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
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 varying 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.
In the end, we conclude 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 for each kind of user. We have included laptops that offer full specifications, great design, comfortable keyboards, and the budget to meet your needs. Good Luck!