Laptops

10 Best Cheap Linux Laptops to Buy on a Budget

Compared to other operating systems, Linux offers a dedicated environment for programmers that is free and more dedicated to users’ privacy and security. Therefore, Linux’s popularity has increased exponentially over the years. Whether you’re looking to buy a laptop with pre-installed Linux or want to run it in parallel with Windows operating system, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out some interesting specifications of the top ten Linux laptops you can buy at the most affordable prices today.

1. Pinebook

  • CPU: 1.2GHz 64-Bit Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53
  • Graphics: ARM Mali 400 MP2 GPU
  • RAM: 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM Memory
  • Storage: 16 GB eMMC 5.0 (upgradable up to 64 GB)
  • Display: 11.6″ IPS LCD (1920 x 1080)
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours and 45 minutes when fully charged
  • Weight: 2.293 lb
  • OS: Linux
  • Size: 299mm x 200mm x 12mm (WxDxH)
  • Availability: Globally
  • Price: US$ 99.99
  • Buy: Pine64

2. HP Chromebook 14

  • 9210 CPUs
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500
  • Storage: Up to 32 GB eMMC storage
  • Display: 14-inch HD Display
  • Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels. With full HD versions, you can get a 1920 x 1080 p display as well
  • Weight: 3.4 lb
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours when fully charged
  • OS: In-built Windows 10 home, compatible with Ubuntu 16.04 and higher versions
  • Availability: Globally
  • Price: US$ 319.00 (Full HD Version)
  • Buy: amazon
  • 3. Pinebook Pro

    • CPU: ARM Cortex-A 72 1.8 GHz, 64-bit Dual-Core Processor
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics Card
    • RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • Body: Magnesium Alloy Shell
    • Storage: 64 GB eMMC, which is upgradable
    • Display: 1-inch Full HD IPS Display
    • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
    • Battery Life: Up to 6 hours when fully charged
    • OS: Ubuntu 16.04 and higher versions or any other Linux Distro
    • Weight: 9 lb
    • Availability: Globally
    • Price: US$ 219.00
    • Buy: pine64

    4. Acer Aspire 1 A114

    • CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 Dual-Core processor
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
    • RAM: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 64 GB eMMC
    • Display: 14-inch Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit Display
    • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
    • Weight: 3.64 lb
    • Battery Life: Up to 6.5 hours
    • OS: Windows 10 OS with any Linux distros on dual boot
    • Price: US$ 249.00
    • Buy: amazon

    5. Acer Chromebook 514

    • CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core processor (Turbo up to 2.4 GHz)
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
    • RAM: 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • Storage: 32 GB expandable storage
    • Display: 14-inch Full HD Display with an IPS LED-backlit keyboard
    • Battery Life: Up to 12 hours
    • Weight: 3.09 lb
    • OS: Chrome OS with any Linux distros on dual boot
    • Price: US$ 325.00
    • Buy: amazon

    6. HP Stream 14

    • CPU: AMD A4-9120E 1.5 GHz Dual-Core processor (Turbo up to 2.2 GHz)
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon R3
    • RAM: 4 GB Non Expandable RAM
    • Storage: 64 GB
    • Display: 14-inch Diagonal HD Display with a Bright View WLED
    • Screen Resolution: 1336 x 768 pixels
    • Battery Life: Up to 14 hours
    • Weight: 8 lb
    • OS: You can install either Windows or Linux OS. Unfortunately, you cannot dual boot the two because of insufficient space
    • Price: US$ 349.99
    • Buy: amazon

    7. Acer Chromebook 13

    • CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130u 2.2 GHz processor
    • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
    • RAM: 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM
    • Storage: 128 GB eMMC, expandable via SD card
    • Display: 13.5-inch IPS LED Display
    • Screen Resolution: 2256 x 1504 Touchscreen
    • Battery Life: Solid life up to 10 hours
    • Weight: 3.5 lb
    • OS: Chrome OS with any Linux distros on dual boot
    • Price: US$ 747.12
    • Buy: amazon

    8. System76 Galago Pro

    • CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i7-8565u 1.8GHz, Quad Core Processor up to 4.6GHz, also available in Core i5
    • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
    • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM – extendable up to 32 GB
    • Storage: Up to 240 GB SSD space
    • Display: 14-inch Matte Full HD Display
    • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
    • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours when fully charged
    • OS: Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS and higher versions.
    • Weight: 87 lb
    • Availability: Globally
    • Price: US$ 1,099.99
    • Buy: system76

    9. ASUS Zen book UX331UA

    • CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250u processor
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    • RAM: 8 GB
    • Storage: 256GB SSD space
    • Display: 3-inch Full HD Display
    • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
    • Weight: 2.50 lb
    • Battery Life: Up to 14 hours
    • OS: In-built Windows 10 home, compatible with Ubuntu 16.04 and higher versions.
    • Price: US$ 1,289.47
    • Buy: amazon

    10. ASUS Vivo Book S15

    • CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265u 1.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor with Turbo up to 3.9 GHz
    • Graphics: NVidia GeForce MX250 GPU with 2 GB DDR5 Graphics Memory
    • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 RAM
    • Storage: 256 GB M2 Solid State Drive, expandable via SD card
    • Display: 6-inch Full HD NanoEdge Display with 180-degree viewing angle
    • Battery Life: Up to 6 hours but strong charging capability
    • Weight: 3.97 lb
    • OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit with any Linux distros on dual boot
    • Price: US$ 1,499.77
    • Buy: amazon

    Conclusion

    With the above list concluded, these were our top ten recommended Linux Laptops to buy if you’re on a budget. These cheap Linux laptops cater to different processor, budget, and hardware requirements of users who use Linux operating systems for daily usage. These are also the newest models with either pre-installed Linux or full support for dual-booting it with Windows. If price is not a concern and you want to get the best of the best laptops for Linux, then take a look at our list of the 11 Best Linux Laptops for Enthusiasts. There are plenty of good models available in the market right now. Thank you for reading!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I Buy a Cheap Linux Laptop?

    Yes, you certainly can buy laptops with the Linux operating system already installed. Although this is certainly not as commonly found as laptops with Windows, macOS, or Chrome OS already installed. Out of the 10 laptops that made our shortlist of the best cheap laptops, only two of them actually come with a Linux operating system already installed. These include our Number 3 pick: the System76 Galago Pro, which has Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS already installed, and our Number 4 pick: the Pinebook Pro, which has Ubuntu already installed. Mostly, you will have to buy a Windows-ready laptop for many good laptops, and then, do the Linux installation yourself. Linux is completely free to download, and it is now easier to install on laptops than it ever has been. Therefore, we suggest getting a decent laptop first and then installing your preferred Linux distro.

    Is a Linux Laptop Cheap?

    The price of laptops that come with Linux already installed can vary just as much in price as any other laptop. For example, there are very significant differences in price between the two laptops in our shortlist above that have the Linux operating system already installed. Our Number 4 pick: the Pinebook Pro, which has Ubuntu installed, costs around $200.00. Whereas, our Number 3 pick: the System76 Galago Pro, which has Ubuntu Linux already installed in stark contrast, will set you back almost a full $1000.00. And that’s quite the difference. You do save money on buying Windows licenses and MS Office licenses. Still, the lack of supply for Linux options means you will likely either pay the exact cost or even more for a Linux laptop.

    What Is the Cheapest Linux Laptop?

    If you want a cheap laptop that already has the Linux operating system installed, then we would hands-down recommend our number 1 pick, the Pinebook, which has Ubuntu already installed because it only costs $99.99. If you ask us, this is particularly cheap, costing much less than your average Chrome OS Chromebook, generally considered the cheapest type of laptop. However, remember, you don’t need Linux already installed if you want to run it. It’s free to download and relatively easy to install. We suggest getting a decent laptop and then installing Linux on it.

    Can I Install Linux on a Chromebook?

    Of course, you can. You can install various Linux command-line tools, Integrated development environments, code editors, etc., on your Chromebook to write code, develop apps, create software and do much more. However, Linux isn’t officially supported as an OS by Google for Chromebooks. That’s because installing Linux requires that you put your device into the “Developer Mode” to give you “full write access” to the Chrome OS. By keeping these files outside the normal access, Google ensures the Chromebook’s security and integrity of the OS.

    How to Check If My Laptop Is Compatible With Linux?

    We are afraid there is no easy way to know whether your laptop is compatible with Linux or not. You have to research online about the compatibility of your laptop and the particular Linux distro you want to install. However, the Ubuntu Certified hardware database is an excellent place to start your research. There, you can check whether your laptop is included in the Ubuntu database or not. The good thing about this database is that if your laptop is compatible with Ubuntu, it will be smooth sailing running all the other Linux distros.

    About the author

    Syed Asad

    Asad is passionate about all things tech. He brings you reviews of the latest gadgets, devices, and computers