Alongside Windows and macOS, Linux is one of the most popular operating systems in the world. It is the operating system of choice for desktop computers, servers, supercomputers, and embedded systems. Linux is free and open-source software, so the source code used to create Linux is free for the public to view, modify, and contribute to. If you want to learn Linux, You can get some of the best laptops for Linux under $1,000.
You can install Linux on any laptop. However, if the laptop hardware requirement does not properly support Linux, the operating system may not work correctly. You can avoid this experience by checking out the best laptops for Linux. In case you are on a budget, you can also discover cheap laptops for Linux in this article.
How to Choose the Best Linux Laptop
Whether you are buying a laptop that comes with Linux pre-installed or you want to install Linux yourself, there are a few things to consider before settling for a Linux laptop. Read below to discover how you can determine if your machine will run well with Linux.
Determine If Linux OS Is Pre-installed
You will find Windows OS and macOS computers more easily than Linux OS computers. Although Linux operating systems are gaining popularity, it is still regarded as a complicated operating system for IT experts. Nevertheless, you can still try to install Linux on your laptop. However, if you aren’t sure that your laptop can handle Linux, the safest option is to go with a laptop with Linux pre-installed.
Check the General Laptop Parameters
Just like any other laptop purchase, you have to think about the purpose of the laptop and what hardware parameters you want your laptop to have. Depending on your needs, one piece of hardware may be more important than another. How much storage do you need? Do you need a graphics card? Would you prefer a gaming laptop? Answer these questions before you make a purchase.
Consider Different Linux Distros
Linux is very versatile and flexible and there is a wide range of distros for laptops tailored for different tasks like programming, gaming, web development, and system administration. Notable examples of distros are Manjaro, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Linux Lite, and CentOS. Although this is something to consider, you can easily install any distribution that you want on your laptop.
Check Open Source Compatibility Databases
There are compatibility databases online where you can check if your preferred laptop will support Linux on open-source compatibility databases. A popular example is the Linux Mint hardware compatibility database. Simply put in your laptop details and it will provide a compatibility report.
How to Find Cheap Laptops for Linux
- Go for lower specs. If you want to save money when buying a new laptop, opting for lower specs is a great way to slash the price tag. For example, if you don’t need 512GB of storage, then don’t pay the hefty price for it. Instead, you can opt for 256GB.
- Find discounts. You can save costs by purchasing your laptop during discount periods such as Black Friday and back-to-school months. Laptops are generally cheaper than the typical base price during these periods. Amazon also has periodic sales to keep an eye on.
- Consider refurbished laptops. A refurbished laptop is a second-hand laptop that has been professionally restored to close-to-new condition by the manufacturer. You can save costs by buying refurbished laptops. They are considerably cheaper than new laptops.
The Best Laptops for Linux in 2022
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 with Linux||Lenovo||$3,589||Intel Core i7 processor, touch screen display, Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Juno Neptune 15 V3||Juno Computers||$2,199||Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM|
|System76 Oryx Pro||System76||$2,179||240GB SSD, 8GB RAM, full HD display|
|Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition||Dell||$1,509||Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Purism Librem 14||Purism||$1,370||Intel Core i7 processor, Intel UHD Graphics, 14-inch display|
|System76 Galago Pro||System76||$999||Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Asus Chromebook Flip CX||Asus||$999||Intel Core i3 processor, full HD display, 128GB SSD|
|Lenovo Legion 5||Lenovo||$879.99||AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX|
|Acer Chromebook Spin 713||Acer||$699||Intel Core i7 processor, Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Dell Inspiron 15 3000||Dell||$418.99||Intel Pentium Silver N5030, 128GB SSD|
81% of participants stated they felt more confident about their tech job prospects after attending a bootcamp. Get matched to a bootcamp today.
The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
Top Rated Laptops for Linux: In Detail
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9
- Best for: Perfect for people who want a light laptop
- Price: $3,589
This is a Linux pre-installed laptop with Ubuntu and Fedora options. You can also choose to install other distributions. It comes in a lightweight carbon fiber exterior with a solid build that remains unaffected by extreme conditions.
It works with Intel integrated graphics which is ideal for basic graphic tasks, but if you could easily customize it to handle powerful graphics and GPU intensive tasks. Furthermore, it also offers an excellent battery life of over 16 hours.
Juno Neptune 15” V3
- Best for: People who want a laptop with powerful hardware
- Price: $2,199
Even though this is an expensive laptop in the $2,000+ price range, it offers great value for your money. The Juno Neptune 15” comes with an Ubuntu Linux OS, an Intel Core i7 processor, and a powerful GPU to provide the processing power needed for Linux games. It also features other components, such as Wi-Fi 6 support, Thunderbolt connectivity, and a 144Hz IPS display.
System76 Oryx Pro
- Best for: People who want more control and customization options
- Price: $2,179
The System76 Oryx Pro is one of the more expensive machines on this list. However, it is perfect for people who prefer a laptop with powerful GPU hardware. It comes with switchable integrated Intel graphics and Nvidia graphics, so the laptop can conserve power during low-graphic tasks. It also comes with its System76’s own Ubuntu-based operating system, Pop!_OS. You can also install your preferred Linux distribution on it.
Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition
- Best for: People who value a customizable user experience
- Price: $1,509
This is a popular choice among Linux users due to the lightweight laptop build, long hours of battery life, and strong performance. While the standard edition comes with the usual Windows OS, the developer edition runs on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS distribution.
Dell officially supports Linux OS, so it works without any technical issues. It also offers a host of features such as 256GB SSD, Intel Iris Xe graphics, a backlit keyboard, a card reader, and Wi-Fi 6 support.
Purism Librem 14
- Best for: People who want high-quality graphics or gaming experience
- Price: $1,370
If you prefer a Linux laptop with powerful processors, then the Purism Librem 14 is a fantastic option. The laptop comes with open source core boot BIOS firmware and no Intel Management engine. It also offers state-of-the-art security features such as the physical kill switch and BIOS write protection switch which helps protect the system from hackers and malicious software.
- Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
- Get exclusive scholarships and prep courses
Best Laptops for Linux Under $1,000
System76 Galago Pro
- Best for: People who want customization options
- Price: $999
Like the System76 laptop mentioned above, the Galago Pro offers users Ubuntu distro or Pop!_OS. However, this machine is sleeker and lighter than other System76 laptops. It is a 10th Gen Intel with an i5 processor, 240GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM storage. The RAM and the disk space can be upgraded to 64GB and 6 TB SATA respectively.
Asus Chromebook Flip CX
- Best for: People who want a portable laptop
- Price: $999
If you want to use Linux applications without spending a lot of money on a laptop, the Asus Chromebook Flip CX is a great option. It offers a unique blend of performance and versatility, delivered by awesome system features. It also comes with an Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM memory, and 128GB of SSD storage. It also has a 360-degree ErgoLift hinge which allows you to use it as a tablet or a laptop.
Lenovo Legion 5
- Best for: For heavy-duty gamers
- Price: $879.99
This is a powerful gaming laptop with a wide variety of customization options for users. It features an AMD Ryzen processor and a dedicated graphics card for high GPU tasks. It also comes with a 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM storage which helps distributions such as Kali Linux OS operate seamlessly.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
- Best for: People looking for a Linux laptop at an affordable price
- Price: $699
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is an excellent choice if you are looking for a budget-friendly Linux laptop. It utilizes Google’s Chrome OS which is based on Linux, allowing it to efficiently run a Linux distro for laptops. You can also run Android applications on this laptop. Laptop owners can also switch to the full Linux desktop environment by switching to developer’s mode.
Dell Inspiron 15 3000
- Best for: People on a tight budget
- Price: $418.99
This is the cheapest laptop on this list so it is a great budget option. But do not be deceived, this machine satisfies the minimum system requirements to run Linux so it is a great fit for anyone on a budget.
It features an Intel Pentium processor, Intel UHD Graphics 610, and a storage of 128GB SSD. The only downside to this laptop is that it is not a good laptop for heavy multitasking as it is powered by a Pentium processor and has only 4GB of RAM storage.
Should I Use a Laptop for Linux?
Yes, you should use a laptop for Linux. Linux has become a popular operating system due to its excellent performance, stability, security, privacy, and community. However, it may be difficult for you to use Linux OS with ease unless you get a laptop that satisfies the minimum system requirements.
It is crucial to do your research and pick what you feel is the best option for your Linux projects, depending on your budget. If you want to learn more about the Linux OS, you can also enroll in one of the best Linux bootcamps.
Best Laptops for Linux FAQ
Yes, Linux is good on laptops. As a matter of fact, it is lighter and faster than Windows OS. Linux is also more secure. Linux OS runs seamlessly on laptops.
Yes, there are Linux-based laptops. System76, Tuxedo, and Juno Computers are popular examples of laptop manufacturers based on the Linux OS. Even popular brands like Acer, Dell, and Asus are already offering pre-installed Linux laptops.
Yes, Linux will run faster than Windows on the same hardware because it is more lightweight. Windows has a lot of programs that run in the background, which consume RAM and reduce the speed of a computer.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Elementary OS, Deepin Linux, Zorin OS, Ubuntu Budgies, and Solus are notable examples of Linux distributions that look like the macOS.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.