Best Linux laptops for hobbyists and back-to-school.

Best Linux laptops for hobbyists and back-to-school.

The Best Linux Laptops: A Guide for Programmers and Students

Years ago, finding a Linux laptop was a challenge. But now, with the increasing popularity of Linux as an open-source alternative to Windows and MacOS, there is a wide range of options available. This is great news for programmers and students looking to expand their knowledge and skillsets. In this article, we will explore the benefits of Linux-based laptops and highlight the best options on the market.

The Rise of Linux Laptops

In the past, Linux users had to do extensive research to ensure that every component of a laptop would work with Linux. This was a major hassle and often required tracking down chipset manufacturers and models. However, those days are long gone. Now, consumers can simply purchase a laptop that comes with Linux installed, knowing that it will “just work.”

This is a significant development for the Linux community. It allows users to be more selective in how they spend their money and eliminates the need for extensive research. With Linux laptops becoming more widely available, it’s a great time to be a Linux user.

The Best Linux Laptops

To determine the best Linux laptops on the market, we considered factors such as performance, design, cost, and open-source support. Here are our top picks:

Dell XPS 15 9520: Best Linux Laptop Overall

Dell XPS 15

Pros: – Tons of configuration options – OLED display available – Decent battery life

Cons: – Expensive at higher configurations – No fast charge feature

Specifications: – CPU: Up to 13th Intel Core i9 – GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 – RAM: Up to 64GB – Storage: Up to 8TB SSD – Display size: 15.6 inches – Display type: LED or OLED – Battery life: 10 hours

If you’re looking for a reliable laptop for Linux or dual-booting Windows and Linux, the Dell XPS 15 is the best choice. It offers a plethora of configuration options, allowing you to customize the build to suit your needs. With its powerful processors, ample RAM, and storage options, this laptop can handle any task. The display is available in either LED or 4K OLED, providing incredible detailing, color, and contrast. Additionally, the Thunderbolt 4 ports make it easy to connect secondary displays, charge devices, or transfer files.

HP Omen 17: Best Linux Laptop for Gaming

HP Omen 17

Pros: – Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card – 13th gen Intel Core i7 – Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support – 165Hz refresh rate

Cons: – Expensive – Not many Linux-supported games

Specifications: – CPU: Intel Core i7-13700HX – GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 – RAM: 16GB – Storage: 1TB SSD – Display size: 17.3 inches – Display type: IPS – Battery life: 5 hours

While Linux-supported games are not as widespread, the HP Omen 17 is built to be one of the best gaming laptops for Linux. It features a powerful Nvidia graphics card, an Intel Core processor, ample RAM, and storage. The 17.3-inch display provides great resolution and a high refresh rate, ensuring smooth gameplay. With Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support, you can experience faster internet speeds and seamless connections to wireless peripherals. Despite its gaming prowess, this laptop still maintains a decent battery life.

Acer Swift Edge: Best Display in a Linux Laptop

Acer Swift Edge

Pros: – Lightweight design – 100% DCI-P3 color range – 4K OLED – Good battery life

Cons: – Limited ports – Only one screen size – No SD card reader

Specifications: – CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 6800U – GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics – RAM: 16GB – Storage: 1TB SSD – Display size: 16 inches – Display type: OLED – Battery life: 11 hours

For creative professionals who prefer Linux over Windows or MacOS, the Acer Swift Edge offers a great display and powerful components. The 16-inch screen delivers excellent 4K resolution and accurate colors, thanks to its support for up to 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The laptop’s lightweight design makes it perfect for on-the-go professionals. Whether you’re rendering 3D models, editing photos, or working on video files, the Acer Swift Edge provides the performance and display quality you need.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3: Best Linux Laptop Under $500

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3

Pros: – Affordable price – Great battery life – Anti-glare and blue light filter display

Cons: – No Thunderbolt ports – Limited inputs – Somewhat dim screen

Specifications: – CPU: Up to AMD Ryzen 5 7530U – GPU: AMD Radeon integrated graphics – RAM: 8GB – Storage: 512GB SSD – Display size: 15.6 inches – Display type: IPS – Battery life: 12 hours

If you’re a beginner or on a tight budget, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 is an excellent choice. Despite its affordable price, it offers solid performance for everyday tasks. With its AMD processor, ample storage, and long battery life, this laptop can handle web browsing, office work, and more. The 15.6-inch display provides a comfortable viewing experience with its anti-glare coating and blue light filter.

Asus VivoBook Pro 15 OLED: Best Battery Life in a Linux Laptop

Asus VivoBook Pro 15

Pros: – Impressive battery life (up to 14.5 hours) – OLED display – Pantone-validated display – Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU

Cons: – Expensive – No touchscreen option – Not 4K

Specifications: – CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 6800H – GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 – RAM: 16GB – Storage: 512GB SSD – Display size: 15.6 inches – Display type: OLED – Battery life: 14.5 hours

If an exceptional battery life is what you seek, the Asus VivoBook Pro 15 OLED is the perfect choice. With up to 14.5 hours of use on a full charge, you can work and stream all day without worrying about running out of power. The OLED display delivers vibrant colors and detailed images, and its Pantone validation ensures accurate color reproduction. With its powerful graphics card, this laptop is also suitable for creative professionals and digital artists.

Choosing the Right Linux Laptop

The choice of a Linux laptop depends on your experience with the operating system. If you’re a beginner, you may opt for a laptop with lower-end components and configurations. This allows you to learn Linux without investing a significant amount of money. On the other hand, experienced Linux users may prefer more powerful laptops for programming and working with Linux source code.

Here is a summary of the best Linux laptops:

Laptop Price CPU/GPU RAM/Storage
Dell XPS 15 $2349 12th or 13th gen Intel Core, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Up to 64 GB, up to 8TB
HP Omen 17 $1550 13th gen Intel Core i7-13700HX, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 16GB, 1TB
Acer Swift Edge $900 AMD Ryzen 7 6800U, AMD Radeon Graphics 16GB, 1TB
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 $400 Up to AMD Ryzen 5 7530U, AMD Radeon Graphics 8GB, 512GB
Asus VivoBook Pro 15 $1049 AMD Ryzen 7 6800H, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 16GB, 512GB

How We Chose These Linux Laptops

When compiling this list, we considered several important features:

  • Performance: We included laptops with current or last-generation components to ensure optimal performance.
  • Design: Our selection includes laptops with eye-catching designs suitable for both gaming and office environments.
  • Cost: Linux can run on older models or used laptops, allowing for cost savings, especially for beginners.
  • Open-Source Support: Linux’s open-source nature means there are plenty of online communities dedicated to learning and improving the system.

What is Linux?

Linux is an open-source operating system created by Linus Torvalds. It is not only suited for desktops and laptops but also for servers, containers, and the cloud. Linux is available as a distribution and can be downloaded and installed for free on multiple machines.

Running Linux on a Mac

While it is possible to run Linux on Mac devices, there are limitations. Current-generation Macs with Apple’s own M1 or M2 chips do not yet have reliable Linux support. However, Intel-based Mac devices can still run Linux operating systems.

Disadvantages of Linux compared to Windows or MacOS

While Linux has many benefits, there are some disadvantages to consider. The learning curve for Linux can be steep for beginners, and support for brand-name software may be limited. Additionally, the diversity of Linux distributions can make it challenging to ensure software compatibility across different versions.

Alternative Linux Laptops to Consider

If none of the recommended laptops meet your needs or budget, you can load Linux onto almost any laptop or desktop. There are many Linux-capable laptops available at varying price points. However, it’s important to research compatibility and ensure that the hardware is supported.

In conclusion, with the increasing availability of Linux laptops, it’s an exciting time for programmers and students to explore the open-source alternative. Whether you choose the Dell XPS 15, HP Omen 17, Acer Swift Edge, Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3, or Asus VivoBook Pro 15 OLED, each offers its own unique benefits and features. Consider your requirements, budget, and level of experience with Linux to find the best laptop for your needs. Happy Linux computing!