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The best Linux laptops for consumers and developers

If you're in the market for a Linux laptop, you have plenty of options. But which is the best? We did an in-depth analysis to compile a list of the best options on the market.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Amy Lieu

Many years ago, I never thought I'd find myself in a position to write about the best Linux laptops on the market and have to narrow down the field. Back then, we were lucky to have maybe one or two options available to us. Now, you'd be surprised at how many laptops are sold with Linux installed.

I'm not gonna lie - it's a good time to be a Linux user. With so many options, we can now actually be selective with how we spend our money. On top of that, we no longer have to do extensive research on a particular laptop to ensure every component will work with Linux. Once upon a time, that took considerable effort to track down chipset manufacturers and models that went into a particular laptop. 

Now, we can go to a company, find a laptop that ships with Linux installed, and know every single component will function as expected. For those of us who'd been working with Linux for some time, that was more a bother than a problem. For those without certain skills, it's much more of a problem to know where to find that information and how to compare it to features in the Linux operating system to make sure things work. Those days are long past and consumers can simply purchase a laptop knowing it will "just work."

One could argue the last point really isn't important to the average consumer. However, when companies give back to open-source, Linux as a whole improves. So including that piece of the puzzle makes sure to highlight those companies that fully understand the importance of open-source to businesses of all sizes, developers, and yes consumers.

And so, with that said, let's get to the laptops.

Also: These are the absolute best Linux distros for programming

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Company is highly dedicated to open-source
  • very fast performance
  • plenty of ports
  • highly configurable.
Cons
  • Outdated design
  • expensive
More Details

Tech specs

OS: Pop!_OS 22.04 or Ubuntu 22.04 |CPU: 12th Gen Intel i7 12700 H (up to 4.7GHz - 24MB cache - 14 cores - 20 threads) | GPU: GeForce TRX 3070 Ti with 5888 CUDA Cores or GeForce RTX 3080 Ti with 7424 CUDA Cores | RAM: Up to 64GB Dual Channel DDR4 32MHz | Storage: from 240GB PCIe Gen3 to 2TB PCIe Gen4 | Screen: 15.6" or 17.3"  Full HD 1080p (144 Hz) | Wireless: Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5 | Ports and Slots: 1 x HDMI (w/HDCP), 1 x Mini DisplayPort (1.4), 1 x Thunderbolt™ 4, 1 x Thunderbolt™ 4, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (1 x powered USB, Type A), 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x Micro SD Card reader, 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Microphone / S/PDIF Optical output) | Audio: 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Microphone), Stereo Speakers | Battery: Embedded 6 cell Polymer battery pack 80Wh | Dimensions: 15.6": 0.98" x 14.10" x 9.45" (24.89 x 358.14 x 240.03 mm) - 17.3": 0.98" x 15.59" x 10.32" (24.89 x 395.99 x 262.13 mm) | Weight: 15.6": 5.29lbs (2.4kg), 17.3": 6.17lbs (2.8kg) | Price: Base model starts at $1,899 and can go all the way up to $4,126

The Oryx Pro does not disappoint on any level. This laptop is probably the only laptop on the list I would consider for gaming. And given that modern gaming can take considerable power, it says quite a lot about the Oryx Pro. This laptop comes in either 15" or 17" configuration and includes some pretty impressive specs.

System76 almost always tops every list I write about Linux hardware. There are several reasons for that but at the top of that list would be some of the best customer service you'll ever experience. The company not only cares about its products but for those who purchase them.

The Oryx Pro is designed specifically for those who need power. This laptop uses hybrid graphics by default. Pop!_OS will use the CPU for most applications but with a simple command line tool, you can configure the discrete GPU for a specific app. This makes for a great performance-to-battery life ratio. As well, the dGPU is pre-configured to be used when running Steam (for games). You'll find animations run smoothly at around 85 FPS. 

The one hit the Oryx Pro gets is the keyboard. System76 laptops aren't well known for being the best in this category, but that doesn't make a slouch by any means. You can, however, customize the backlights for the keys with the keyboard configurator app. And although the touchpad can't rival that of say a MacBook Pro, it's certainly large enough and does the job. 

If you're looking for power (and flexible power at that), you cannot go wrong with the Oryx Pro.

Also: New high-end Linux laptop: System76's Oryx Pro packs latest Intel Core i7 H-series CPU

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Elegant design
  • Very good performance for the cost
  • Plenty of ports
  • Plenty of CPU options
Cons
  • Battery life could use improving
More Details

Tech specs

OS: Ubuntu 22.04 LTS | CPU: 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1240P (12MB Cache, up to 4.4 GHz, 12 Cores), or 12th Gen Intel i7-1260P (18 MB cache, 12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.70 GHz Turbo) | GPU: Intel Iris Xe | RAM: Up to 32 GB LPDR5, 5200 MHz integrated | Storage: from 512 GB M.2, Gen 4 PCIe up to 2 TB M.2 Gen 4 PCIe NVMe SSD | Screen: 13.4", FHD+ 1920x1200, 60HZ, 13.4", FHD+ 1920x1200, 60HZ touch screen, 13.4", OLED3456x2160 3K, 60HZ, or 13.4" UHD+ 3840x2400, 60Hz, touch | Wireless: Intel® Killer™ Wi-Fi 6E 1675 (AX211) 2x2 + Bluetooth 5.2 Wireless Card | Ports and Slots: 2 x Thunderbolt™ 4 (USB Type-C™ with DisplayPort and Power Delivery), USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapter (included in the box), USB-C to 3.5mm headset adapter (included in the box) | Audio: Dual stereo speakers (tweeter + woofer), Realtek ALC1319D, 2 W x 2 = 4 W total | Battery: 3 Cell, 55 Wh, integrated | Dimensions: Height: 0.60 in. (15.28 mm), Width: 11.63 in. (295.30 mm), Depth: 7.84 in. (199.04 mm) | Weight: 2.71 lbs. (1.23 kg) for FHD+ or 4K+, 2.77 lbs. (1.26 kg) with OLED | Price: Base model starts at $1,599 and can go all the way up to $2,199.

This Dell XPS 13 has plenty of power. In fact, the latest edition of the laptop is twice as powerful as the previous edition. So, this little gem of a laptop can handle nearly anything you throw at it. 

The Dell XPS 13 has been around for some time and it was the first-ever Linux laptop to be produced by a large company. But Dell didn't just create a laptop geared specifically toward developers (even though the Linux version of the XPS is specifically called the Developer Edition), this thing is a work of art. It's beautiful and with each iteration, it gets better and better. From the gorgeous chassis to the perfectly spaced keys, the tiny bezels, and the attention to detail that a company like Dell can put into such a device, the XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition is hands down, the best-designed laptop on the list.

If you're looking for an executive-looking laptop, one that screams class and elegance, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option on the market. Dell also happens to take Linux and open-source very seriously, so they give back to the community to help improve the operating system and many other open technologies. Another plus with the XPS model is the keyboard and trackpad are quite good. What Dell has done is integrate the trackpad into a single piece of glass that runs across the wrist rest. This not only makes for a very smooth experience but a very elegant design that few laptops can best.

Also: The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition will soon arrive with Ubuntu Linux 22.04

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Highly configurable
  • haptic feedback on the touchpad
  • webcam can be disabled and even hidden out of sight
  • lots of CPU options
Cons
  • Company hasn't been around long
  • can be pricey
More Details

Tech specs

OS: Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, elementary OS 6.1, Linux Mint 21, Manjaro 21.3.7, MX Linux 21.2, Zorin OS 16.2, and many others | CPU: Intel Core i3-1215U, Intel Core i7-1255U, Intell Core i9-12900H, or AMD Ryzen 7 | RAM: Up to 64 GB 6400 MHz | Storage: from 240GB SSD SATA over-provisioned, up to 2TB SSD Gen4 PCIe over-provisioned | Screen: Either 4K (3840x2400) at 60Hz or QHD (2560x1600) at 165 Hz | Wireless: Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 | Ports and Slots: two Thunderbolt 4 ports for Intel models and USB 3.2 Gen 2 on the Ryzen 7 option, a single USB 3 Type-A, an HDMI, SD reader, and a headphone jack.  | Audio: Dual stereo speakers (tweeter + woofer), Realtek ALC1319D, 2 W x 2 = 4 W total | Battery: Gallium Nitride charger provides 65 watts over USB-C whilst being 30% smaller than traditional chargers and is more efficient | Price: Base model starts at $1,509.30 and can go all the way up to $2,950.20.

With the StarFire, you get a lot of options when you configure it for purchase. Star Labs may not have been around the longest, but they get what makes Linux users excited. The StarFighter is a highly configurable laptop that can be shipped with your choice of operating system (such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Manjaro) and includes a very interesting take on the webcam. With the StarFighter, the webcam can be stored away from sight and even disabled via a killswitch. For anyone with privacy concerns, the StarFighter should bubble to the top of your list of options.

The StarFighter also includes a very nice backlit keyboard and a touchpad with Haptic feedback. One thing to consider about the Star Labs StarFighter is that shipment can be up for 5 months, so order quickly. Another thing to consider is which operating system you'd like on your StarFighter. You can choose from 18 different options (including Windows 11) or you can go with no operating system and install one that might not be listed on your own. You can also choose between either American Megatrends or coreboot firmware.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • System76 is involved
  • Pop!_OS
  • solid performance for the cost
Cons
  • Keyboard layout makes for a bit of a learning curve
More Details

Tech specs

OS: Pop!_OS | CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U with 8 Cores, 16 threads, with a 1.9 GHz base clock and 4.4 GHz max boost clock | GPU: Integrated: AMD Radeon™ Graphics (Support HW decode, DX12, HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2) | RAM: 16 GB DDR4 at 3200 MT/s and upgradable to 64GB. MHz | Storage: 1 TB PCIe NVME M.2 2280 SSD | Screen: 14" LED at 1920x1080 with 1000 nits for above average brightness | Wireless: Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5 | Ports and Slots: two USB SuperSpeed 5 Gbps ports, HDMI, two USB-C ports, headphone jack | Audio: dual audio speakers, 2 multi-array mics | Battery: 3 cell, 53 Wh Li-ion battery | Price: $1,099.

The HP Dev One came about as a collaboration between System76 and HP to create a productivity beast for developers. The laptop comes preinstalled with Pop!_OS, which is a great operating system for developers. But the highlights don't end with the operating system. The specs place this laptop solidly in the performance category and the design gives it a polished look that any developer would be happy to sport. The only real caveat to the Dev One is the keyboard does take some getting used to. It's not just the spacing of the keys (which can be a bit awkward at times) it's also the use of the cursor nub. I've never really liked those things, so it goes very much unused, all the while taking up precious keyboard space.

That's not to say the keyboard is bad. It's not. Once your fingers have grown accustomed to the layout, you'll find the keys have a good feel to them and I've yet to experience the slightest trouble (unlike the problems I've had with many a MacBook Pro keyboard).

The Dev One is the least configurable laptop on the list, but what you get is worth every penny. The combination of Pop!_OS and the AMD Ryzen CPU perform like an absolute champ. And the clean lines and lack of stickers and other graphics make this an elegant solution any developer would be proud to carry around.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Best in class keyboard
  • Lenovo customer support
  • elegant design
Cons
  • Battery life is bad
More Details

Tech specs

OS: Fedora 36 or Ubuntu 22.04 LTS | CPU: Intel Core i7-1260P, up to 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1280P vPro | GPU: Integrated: Intel UHD | RAM: 16 GB DDR5-5200 MHz | Storage: 256 GB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe TCL Opal and up to 2TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 Performance TCL Opal | Screen: 14" WUXGA 1920x1200 IPS non touch with 100% RGB, 400 nits, and a narrow bezel, up to a 14" WUXA 1920x1200 IPS touchscreen | Wireless: Intel AX211 Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 | Ports and Slots: 2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 3.5 mm headphone jack, HDMI 2.0b | Battery: 57 Wh Li-ion battery | Price: Base model starts at $1,164.50 and can be specced out to $2,059.50.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 is for anyone who has to pound the keys all day. Writers, developers, executives…if you type a lot, you're going to want this keyboard under your fingers because you won't find a laptop that can improve on what Lenovo has done. It really is that good. Everything about the X1 Carbon screams business laptop that could be used by anyone, from bottom to top. And if you're used to (and prefer) the boxy Lenovo chassis designs, you'll be glad to know the X1 Carbon Gen 10 carries on that tradition. It may not be the sleekest-looking laptop on the list, but it performs like a champ and does so with plenty of class.

The one big caveat to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 is that the company sacrificed battery life for performance. From previous incarnations, the battery life of the new model is pretty disappointing. So, if you're one to keep your laptop untethered from a power source for extended periods, the X1 Carbon Gen 10 might not be the best option. However, if you do always have access to power, and you're looking for a best-in-class keyboard, this laptop might be right up your alley.

Also: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10) review: The best business laptop?

What is the best Linux laptop?

Hands down, the System76 is the best overall laptop on the list. Although it might be the least elegant piece of hardware on the list, its rugged design and outstanding performance make this the clear winner for best in class.

Top Linux laptop

Price 

OS

Best for…

System76 Oryx Pro

Base model starts at $1,899 and can go all the way up to $4,126

Pop!_OS 22.04 or Ubuntu 22.04 

Best Linux laptop for performance and customer service

Dell XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition

Base model starts at $1,599 and can go all the way up to $2,199.

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Best Linux laptop for overall design

Star Labs StarFighter

Base model starts at $1,509.30 and can go all the way up to $2,950.20.

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, elementary OS 6.1, Linux Mint 21, Manjaro 21.3.7, MX Linux 21.2, Zorin OS 16.2, and many others

Best Linux laptop for configurability

HP Dev One

$1,099

Pop!_OS

Best Linux laptop for developers

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10

Base model starts at $1,164.50 and can be specced out to $2,059.50.

Fedora 36 or Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Best Linux laptop keyboard

Which Linux laptop is right for you?

The important thing to remember is that these laptops all ship with Linux preinstalled. And these aren't the only options available (but the best). So, if you're looking for a dependable laptop that "just works" with Linux, you cannot go wrong with any of the options on this list. I am 100% confident in all of the laptops on this list. 

Match up your need and your budget and the decision of which to buy becomes quite easy.

In the end, it boils down to this:

Choose this Linux laptop...

If you want...

System76 Oryx Pro

The best overall laptop

Dell XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition

The best-designed laptop

Star Labs StarFighter

The most configurable laptop

HP Dev One

The best laptop for developers

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10

The best keyboard

How did we choose these Linux laptops?

But what makes a certain laptop worthy of belonging on such a list? Obviously, it has to work with Linux and not require the user to do any of the work to make that happen. Beyond that, here are the key features we considered when compiling this list:

  • Customer Support
  • Performance
  • Design
  • Cost
  • Open-source support

What is Linux?

Linux is an open-source operating system, created by Linus Torvalds, that is not only suited for desktops and laptops, but for enterprise-grade servers, container deployments, the cloud, and much more. Linux is available as a distribution and can be downloaded and installed for free on as many machines as you need.

What is open-source software?

Open source software is software that has been released under a specific license that grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software along with its source code. That license ensures the software is available to anyone and can be used for any purpose.

Are there alternative Linux laptops worth considering?

Yes. There are a number of other alternative laptops that ship with Linux pre-installed, such as the System76 Serval WS, Purism Librem 13 laptop, and the Juno Neptune 15" V4, or you could even go with any given Chromebook and enable Linux support in order to install Linux applications.


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