5 Awesome Linux Laptops You Can Buy Right Now
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The best Linux laptops run smoothly—an experience that isn’t guaranteed when you install Linux on random computers. That’s because Linux can be customized for the hardware that it’s installed on.

This article lists the best Linux laptops that come with the open-source operating system preinstalled by the manufacturer.

Why Should You Buy a Linux Laptop?

Linux is an open-source operating system that you can install yourself on nearly any computer. So, why would you want to buy a specific Linux laptop instead?

Many laptops advertised as Linux devices normally come with Windows installed but have been tested and certified for some kind of Linux flavor. However, the devices in this list are purpose built with Linux in mind. This means that they will often run faster, smoother, and integrate better with the hardware than if you were to install Linux yourself.

There’s one downside to buying from small manufacturers: most purpose-built Linux laptops cost slightly more than those with Windows. Part of the reason Linux devices tend to cost more is that boutique manufacturers produce small numbers of product, which makes per-device costs more expensive. The exception to this rule is Dell, which actually reduces prices when you choose Linux over Windows.

Best Linux Laptop for Privacy:
Purism Librem 13

Librem 13 Laptop Product Image

  • Starting price: $1,400
  • CPU: Core i7-7500U
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 8GB to 32GB
  • Hard drive: 500GB HDD to 1TB NVMe SSD
  • Linux version: PureOS
  • Screen: 13.3-inch matte 1080p IPS

Purism’s Librem 13 is one of the best Linux laptops on the market for privacy. The crowd-funded company makes several laptops ranging in price from $1,300 to well over $2,000. All Purism computers include a customized version of Linux known as PureOS. PureOS is based on Ubuntu, but with privacy and security modifications.

The Librem 13 laptop comes with a Kaby Lake processor and custom privacy and security modifications. Unlike most of the other Linux laptops, it comes with an open-source BIOS called Coreboot. It also features two physical buttons that disable the microphone and camera as well as all wireless features. In addition, it’s constructed from a black aluminum unibody chassis.

If you’re interested and want to find out more before making a purchase, check out our review of the Purism Librem 13.

Best Portable Linux Laptop:
System76 Oryx Pro

System76 Oryx Pro Product Image

  • Starting price: $1,700
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H (9th generation)
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 2060, GTX 2070, or GTX 2080
  • RAM: 32GB to 64GB of variable refresh speeds
  • Hard drive: 2 x M.2 NVMe SSDs (8TB maximum)
  • Linux version: Ubuntu or Pop!_OS
  • Screen: 16.1-inch or 17.3-inch FHD, matte finish

System76 is one of the most well known Linux laptop manufacturers. Based out of Denver, Colorado, the company produces a range of desktop and laptop devices. They also happen to make one of the best overall Linux laptops—the System76 Oryx Pro.

In 2019, System76 introduced the Oryx Pro; a thin, high-performance notebook. The Oryx Pro’s specifications come closer to a workstation in power but in a slimmer and more portable package. But that performance improvement comes with a price. It costs a considerable amount of money.

Even so, the laptop packs a high-end 9th generation Intel processor which does not suffer from the performance problems associated with the security mitigations that damage performance on older Intel processors. It also includes a Turing GPU, which means its Tensor cores assist developers in creating machine learning algorithms.

The company made its name in Ubuntu-based devices, but they now develop their own Linux operating system. While it is based on Ubuntu, it looks a lot like a mashup of Google’s Material Design and GNOME. However, while customizing your Oryx Pro at checkout, you can choose Ubuntu instead if you’d prefer.

Most Affordable Linux Laptop:
ZaReason UltraLap 6440 i7

ZaReason UltraLap 6440 Product Im age

  • Starting price: $1,000
  • CPU: Intel i7-8550U
  • GPU: Intel UHD 620
  • RAM: 4GB to 32GB DDR4-2133
  • Hard drive: 120GB M.2 SSD to 2TB NVMe SSD
  • Linux version: any version of Linux
  • Screen: 14-inch FHD Backlit LCD

The ZaReason UltraLap 6440 i7 is the perfect Linux laptop if you are on the lookout for something customizable and affordable. The device comes equipped with an Intel i7-8550U CPU and can support up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. While the starting price of $1,000 only includes the baseline specifications, even that amounts to a powerful Linux laptop.

One of the UltraLap 6440 i7’s strengths is its customization. Unlike many other manufacturers, ZaReason will preinstall any Linux distro you choose. During checkout, the dropdown recommends the most popular Linux installations, but you are free to choose any you wish by specifying your selection in the customer notes.

Best Linux Laptop for Performance:
Dell Precision 5520

Dell Precision 5520 Product Image

  • Starting price: $1,480
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-6820HQ
  • GPU: Nvidia Quadro M1200
  • RAM: 8GB to 32GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Hard drive: 500GB SATA HDD to 1TB M.2 SSD
  • Linux version: Ubuntu 16.04
  • Screen: 15-inch 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge Display

Dell is one of the few mainstream laptop manufacturers to offer Ubuntu as a discounted alternative to Windows 10. That means that many Dell laptops can be configured at checkout as Linux laptops instead. If you’re looking for a high-performance Linux laptop, the Dell Precision 5520 might be what you’re after.

The Precision 5520 can be configured to ship with Ubuntu 16.04 preinstalled, and it even reduces the price of the standard Windows-based model by $100. The laptop comes with the Intel Core i7-6820HQ CPU and can support up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. Storage configurations start at a 500GB SATA HD and range up to a 1TB M.2 SSD.

While many Linux laptops have reasonable displays, the Precision 5520 comes with an Ultra HD 4K InfinityEdge display. This makes it ideal for creatives looking to do editing work, or even those of us wanting to watch videos at high resolution. Overall, the Precision 5520 offers the best value out of all the Linux laptops mentioned here.

Best Premium Linux Laptop:
Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition

dell-xps-13

  • Starting Price: $850
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-8145U
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3
  • Hard drive: 128GB M.2 SSD
  • Linux version: Ubuntu 18.04
  • Screen size: 13.3-inch FHD InfinityEdge Display

The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition employs a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber in its clamshell design. The combination of light, high-durability materials allows the XPS to weigh in at just 2.7 pounds. As with other Dell models, the XPS 13 is available as a Windows laptop, but can also be modified to come with Ubuntu 18.04 preinstalled instead.

While prices for the laptop start at $850, by adding additional features and hardware, you can easily configure the XPS 13 Developer Edition to cost almost $2,000. By any measure, it one of the most premium Linux laptops on the market.

Should You Buy a Linux Laptop?

If you’re looking for a new laptop, and just want to run a few Linux apps, consider buying a Chromebook or a Windows laptop. Both operating systems are now compatible with Linux apps and services. If you only intend to use Linux on occasion, this might be the best option for you.

However, if you need the highest level of security and privacy, a Linux laptop is for you. There are many Linux laptops on the market—some are customizable, while others are focused on performance and privacy. If you’d rather a Linux laptop that didn’t break the bank, you might want to check out the best cheap Linux laptops The 3 Best Cheap Linux Laptops to Buy in 2018 The 3 Best Cheap Linux Laptops to Buy in 2018 Cheap Linux laptops aren't easy to find. Fortunately, we've rounded up three of the best Linux-equipped laptops around. Read More instead.

Explore more about: Back to School, Laptop, Linux Distro, Ubuntu.

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  1. JohnIL
    July 8, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    These are too over priced and if you buy one and for some reason hate Linux. Then you have to buy a Windows retail license. Its better to buy a hardware compatible for Linux notebook with Windows installed and have a good fall back OS if you need to duel boot or decide to sell or trade in the notebook. Its way more attractive with Windows installed then selling one with Linux and no Windows license. Besides these companies are rather small and there is not much information on how well their support is? I have used notebooks from Dell that came with Ubuntu installed and they don't run any better then if I bought the same notebook with Windows and installed Ubuntu instead. Except that I would have saved some dollars doing so.

    • kannon
      July 10, 2019 at 11:10 pm

      I'm sorry about that omission. It looks like that content was eliminated by the editor, unfortunately, but you can find a list of Ubuntu-certified laptops here:

      https://certification.ubuntu.com/

  2. Steve Al.
    September 6, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    vcc

  3. Steve Al.
    September 6, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    What kind of list it is without Linucity (WWW.LINUCITY.COM) ??

    They have better products and better prices, then any of the ones mentioned.

    Steve

  4. kgbme
    March 26, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    No, Kaby Lake is (already) previous gen. There is nothing to justify the high prices, any longer; it is, actually, a generation and a half behind (the new hybrid-graphics chips).

    • Kannon Yamada
      March 27, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      The article probably needs to be more clear. Kaby Lake-R is a SUBSTANTIAL upgrade over Kaby Lake for the same amount of money. That's why I strongly recommend that consumers get Kaby Lake-R on their laptops. Anything else is paying the same amount of money for less.

  5. csm2
    March 12, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    It is ironic that laptops pre-loaded with a pay-for O/S (Windows) cost much less than laptops pre-loaded with a free O/S (Linux). Why do System 76, ZaReason, Dell, etc insist on using high end laptops? What makes Linux appealing to many people is that it will work very well on low end and older hardware.

    • Kannon Y
      March 12, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      Economies of scale. They're making a small number of laptops so they have to pay more per laptop to the actual manufacturer. They probably are either white label companies or they send designs to a manufacturer in China.

  6. Jim
    March 10, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I would love to buy a Linux laptop. Problem, price. $700 to $2800. No thanks. I bought a refurbished HP Pro Book for $250, wiped a questionable Windows Pro 7 from it and dual boot Debian and Ubuntu LTS. (HP has great support for Linux
    computers and printers.)

    Until Linux gets new laptops and desktops under $500 I doubt I will be buying on. I would also want a LTS installation like Ubuntu or Mint or a rolling release like Sparky. Why buy a computer that OS will be obsolete in a few months? Hopefully Plop will fill the bill on new Linux computers.

  7. Heimen Stoffels
    March 10, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Thanks for the great list! But you forgot to mention that Chromebooks can run any Linux distro just like regular laptops. It just involves setting the legacy boot flag, but that's very, very easy to do.

    • penguinforsupper
      November 15, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      Chromebooks suck for linux. The only OS that will "mostly" work is Gallium linux. Not even sure if gallium is still developed. Believe me it's an adventure converting a chromebook to linux only. You are better off buying a windblows machine for dual boot or linux only.