Linux is an open-source operating system that comes in many different flavors and distributions, or ‘distros.’ While most desktop users might be more familiar with Windows or Mac OS, Linux is actually the most popular operating system used in the world today, as the underlying software Android devices use to operate.
Linux is free to use and generally sits out of the user’s way; however, older distros weren’t always like this, so if you have heard the hard-to-use stigma behind Linux, maybe it’s time to take a second look. Popular distro’s such as Ubuntu now serve seamless updates, and if Ubuntu isn’t for you, there is probably a distro that will be.
Linux’s popularity is growing every year, and the monetary savings that comes without the Windows license is noteworthy, so let’s take a look at some options you might consider if you’re looking for a new machine.
Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition
- + Beautifully designed
- + Premium hardware
- + Known for high residual value
- – Soldered ram on the 13″ model
The Dell XPS 13 is an ultraportable flagship laptop that packs premium features such as a high-res display, tiny bezels, incredible battery life, and of course, a hefty price tag.
The developer edition of the XPS 13 is an apples-to-apples version of the same Windows 10 machine, although it comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux.
The Dell XPS is a great option for users who are not yet fully decided on moving to Linux, as a quick install of Windows will leave you with a top device.
- + Clean design
- + Physical kill-switches for WiFi and webcam
- + Super-secure
- + Top-level hardware
- – It’s expensive
The Purism Librem 14 comes with PureOS, an operating system designed from the ground up to be secure for its users. Together with the Librem 14, PureOS has an array of features, such as adjusting its LED lights to monitor network traffic.
Purism are even looking towards removing the bloatware that comes under the hood, such as Intel’s Management Engine, which they believe will improve security further.
The Librem 14 comes with a mighty i7-10710U with six cores and 12 threads, which is perfect for running virtual machines within the OS environment to further protect your digital life. With enormous ram options of up to 64GB and two M.2 slots for storage, memory should be covered too.
- +- It’s a pretty machine but looks like a gaming laptop with a backlit keyboard.
- + Desktop-level hardware
- + Productivity-focused OS
- – It’s heavy at 4.85lb (2.2kg)
- – It’s expensive at $1,499 base
Things might be looking a little expensive here, but let’s explore why. The Gazelle, codenamed the Gaze16, is a Linux laptop designed to be used with Pop!_OS, and has been crafted with specs that speak to creative professionals.
Starting with a high-end graphics card, the Gaze16 comes with a 4GB RTX 3050 as standard and can be specced up to an RTX 3060. That’s desktop-level graphics in a 4.85lb (2.2kg) system, which you can take full advantage of, thanks to the 144hz display.
The only option on this model is an eight-core, 16 thread i7-11800H, which is pretty much the highest level intel offering you will find in a laptop right now, alongside up to 64 GB’s of RAM and a whopping 16TB of high-speed NVME storage.
Pop!_OS was designed for creative professionals who use their machines as workstations to create, and who wish to do so in a secure open-source environment, with workflows tailored to working in a busy setting.
To provide a more accessible experience for its users, Pop!_OS supports intuitive keyboard shortcuts, multitouch gestures, and application stacking, which tabulates applications together sort of like a browser tab.
- + Highly configurable at purchase
- + Portable and lightweight
- – The specs are relatively average until you pay a premium
The Clevo NL41LU offers users a great deal of customization options when purchasing, with customers able to choose to bring their own OS, RAM, and storage, with extensive options to buy what you don’t already have.
Starting with the base price of just under $500, the cost of maxing out this laptop can get pretty pricey, although it isn’t as expensive as some of the other options we have looked at today.
The Clevo is highly portable, clocking in at just 2.86 lb (1.3kg), with a mix of hard plastic and aluminum on the shell. Rocking a battery life of around 6 hours, this might just be the most configurable laptop on the Linux market right now.
Another offering from an established brand, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with Ubuntu, mixes some premium design features with mid-level hardware at a semi-competitive price on their base model. Users should remember they are buying from a trusted organization and from a laptop series designed with business users in mind.
The Linux X1 Carbon comes with just 8GB of soldered memory, although this can be upgraded for a hefty fee. It is, however, extremely fast DDR4X 4266MHz memory.
With a Full HD IPS display, the ThinkPad offers excellent viewing angles, a wide selection of inputs, and USB-C docking for quick conversions into a desktop environment.
As with the Dell XPS 13, customers should expect a premium windows-like experience on this machine and could easily dual-boot Windows onto it to take full advantage of both operating systems.
If you want more processing power and better graphics, then you can also go with their recent AMD variants available in T14 series laptops. They might not look as polished as X1 Carbon but they are well built and well built.
Note : This is a guest post from Jordan!