From non-existent webcam drivers to malfunctioning fingerprint readers, hardware compatibility remains a thorny issue when choosing a Linux-friendly laptop. Fortunately, there are some laptop manufacturers that care about Linux support and regularly release laptops with flawless Linux compatibility. We’ve selected five best laptops from such manufacturers and tested them with Ubuntu.
The Dell XPS 13 9370 is a high-end laptop that comes with Windows 10 pre-installed but works great with Ubuntu and other popular Linux distributions. In the past, Dell used to sell a version of the XPS 13 with Ubuntu instead of Windows 10, but that version is no longer available for online purchase.
If you’re a visually-oriented person and appreciate excellent craftsmanship, you’ll love how stunning the XPS 13 is. The laptop comes with a screen that seems endless thanks to its 4 mm wide InfinityEdge border and 80.7 percent screen-to-body ratio. The screen has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and covers 100 percent of the sRGB color spectrum, making it perfect for GIMP, Blender, Krita, OpenShot and other graphics and editing software.
Unlike many modern ultrabooks, the XPS 13 offers satisfactory connectivity options, including Thunderbolt 3 multi-use Type-C ports, a DisplayPort, a microSD card reader, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and a slot for a Noble lock.
The XPS 13 9370 is powered by the Intel Core i7-8550U processor, and it comes equipped with 16 GB of memory and a 1 TB PCIe Solid State Drive. Needless to say, the laptop has more than enough processing power for just about everything you might want to do on it, including programming and 3D modeling.
The Thinkpad X1 Carbon is the lightest laptop Lenovo has ever made. If you intend to carry your laptop with your everywhere you go, you can’t go wrong with this one. Despite its ultra-lightweight, the X1 Carbon is an extremely capable machine with a powerful processor, the Intel Core i7-8650U, 16 GB of memory, and a 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD.
The laptop’s 14-inch display has a resolution of 2560 x 1440, allowing you to comfortably fit two Libre Office documents side by side, with plenty of space left for toolbars and notes. The display has 500 nits of brightness, which is on par with the iPhone X. Because the display is so bright, you can comfortably use the laptop outside and clearly see everything that’s on the display.
You might expect such a light and powerful laptop to only last a few hours on a charge, but the X1 Carbon actually delivers up to 15 hours of battery life. What’s more, the laptop can charge to around 80 percent of its capacity in just an hour thanks to Lenovo’s RapidCharge technology.
The ThinkPad line of laptops has long been favored by Linux enthusiasts for its reliability, performance, and ruggedness. The ThinkPad T580 is the latest iteration of the most powerful ThinkPad, and it brings to the table an 8th generation Intel processor, support for up to 32 GB of memory, and a large Solid State Drive.
Lenovo understands who its target customers are, which is why the ThinkPad T580 prioritizes function over fashion. The laptop is equipped with a fairly standard Full HD display, whose moderate resolution helps increase the battery life of the laptop to around 14 hours.
If the idea of living a dongle life doesn’t seem too appealing to you, the ThinkPad T580 seems like an ideal laptop for you because it offers just about every port you might want, including a dedicated LAN port and a full-size SD card reader.
The ThinkPad T580 has passed the MIL-STD-810 series of tests, whose purpose is to test military equipment in various conditions where it is expected to be used. If the ThinkPad T580 can survive the desert and high-speed Humvee rides, it will definitely survive everything you put it through.
System76 is an American computer manufacturer based in Denver that specializes in the sale of Linux-friendly notebooks, desktops, and servers. All System76 laptops come with either Ubuntu or their own Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, Pop!_OS, as the preinstalled operating system.
The Gazelle is a fairly conservative 15.6-inch laptop with a backlit keyboard with a number pad and an 8th generation Intel Core processor. The laptop attracts with its sporty lines and sleek finish, offering more attractive design than most other laptops in this price range. System76 has decided to equip the Gazelle with a matte display, which means fewer reflections and greater clarity.
System76 allows its customers to pay for the laptop in monthly installments rather than up-front, making it affordable even for students who are on a tight budget.
The Librem 15 from Purism is an unique laptop as it was designed chip-by-chip, line-by-line, to respect your rights to privacy, security, and freedom. If you’re a privacy-conscientious individual and would like a certain guarantee that your own laptop isn’t spying on you, the Librem 15 is worth paying extra for.
The laptop comes with physical kill switches for the camera and microphone to prevent hackers from recording you during your private moments and using the recorded footage to extort money from you. Each and every chip inside the laptop has been selected with an emphasis on your freedom, so you don’t need to worry about hardware compatibility issues caused by proprietary drivers. With Librem 15, you are in charge of your hardware.
The Librem 15 comes with PureOS pre-installed. This Debian derivative is a user-friendly, secure, and freedom-respecting OS designed for daily usage. You can, of course, easily replace it with Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution you want.