Ubuntu is a free operating system that represents a serious alternative to Windows. Some suggest that it has significant advantages over other operating systems, especially regarding security and privacy. We’ve reviewed the best laptops for running Ubuntu in 2022.
Many users complain about Windows and antivirus “bloatware,” which comes preloaded on their new laptops and slows their computing speed. Still, if you have Ubuntu, this problem could potentially be solved.
If you are interested in exploring substitutes (like Ubuntu) and moving away from more familiar operating systems, you will need to look for a laptop that can easily support them.
For Ubuntu, you will need to make sure that Linux-based drivers run well with your system. Fortunately, the Ubuntu homepage features a list of hardware fully compatible with the operating system. However, you should review this page before purchasing for your peace of mind.
Additionally, using Ubuntu on laptops with Windows already installed is sometimes problematic but not necessarily unfeasible. However, if you plan on using Ubuntu from the outset and do not require the Windows OS at all, buying a laptop with Windows preinstalled represents a waste of money as you will be paying for the license for Windows that you will not need.
In terms of specifics, the official Ubuntu homepage offers a page with guidelines and a list of recommended minimum requirements to run the operating system effectively. These are the bare minimum requirements you need in the best laptops for Ubuntu:
- 2 GHz dual-core processor
- 2 GB RAM
- 25 GB hard drive space
- VGA-capable of a minimum 1024×768 resolution
- One of CD or DVD drive or at least a USB port to install
- Internet access
While these specifications can be found in many laptops these days, some setups out there represent a better value for money and potentially smoother functionality.
The Best Laptops For Running Ubuntu
Depending on what you want to use the laptop for more generally, you will also want to consider other specifications. After examining the available literature and several reviews, this list of ten of the best laptops to run Ubuntu can hopefully lead you in the right direction. So you can find a Linux-capable laptop to complete whichever tasks you need to do with your computer.
Acer Aspire E15
This notebook lands on the budget-side of the laptop cost spectrum, although its specifications represent good value for the money. It features an Intel i7 Core processor (which can support speeds of up to 4.0 GHz), while the base version has a more modest 1.8 GHz. It also contains 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage space.
These specifications allow it to meet the minimum specifications for running Ubuntu efficiently. In addition, the 15.6″ HD display (with resolution up to 1920×1080) makes for excellent visualization, and the dedicated 2 GB NVIDIA graphics card allows for many contemporary games to be supported with ease.
It comes with 3 USB 3.0 ports and 1 USB 2.0 port to house any accessories you might need to use. It is listed as having 15 hours of battery life and also has a DVD drive (just in case). At 5.27 lbs, it is a little on the heavy side, although this should not stop you from considering this solid choice.
Pros Of The Acer Aspire
- Fast processor for the price
- Battery life and power are solid
Cons Of The Acer Aspire
- Heavy in terms of weight.
- The physical build is essential and not for everyone.
Acer Predator Helios
The Acer Predator Helios is highly popular for many applications, so it is natural to include it in almost any list of “best laptops” of any kind. Based on its high-end specs, this gaming laptop can easily support the use of the Ubuntu operating system.
The display makes games look great with a 15.6″ screen and a maximum resolution of 1920×1080. The 3.8 GHz Intel i7 Core, 16 GB RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage space make running typical applications extremely smooth. In addition, the mighty 6 GB NVIDIA graphics make it excellent for gaming.
Moreover, all of this is available at a very reasonable price point. This machine is also highly flexible with 2 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 ports and 7 hours of battery life. So if you are looking for a solid gamer laptop to run with Ubuntu, look no further.
Pros Of The Acer Predator Helios
- Excellent specifications for the price point.
- The build is not bulky despite the power of the laptop.
- Highly popular.
Cons Of The Acer Predator Helios
- The keyboard backing color only comes in red.
- The metallic casing shows fingerprints quickly.
This Lenovo ThinkPad almost resembles a MacBook in terms of aesthetics, and its specifications are nearly as impressive. While this setup is more on the pricey side, it seems to be worth it as it boasts 2.8 GHz of processing speed, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of SSD storage space and only weighs 2.51 lbs! In addition, it is very flat and takes up little space, making it highly portable. Not bad, right.
Naturally, as it is included on this list, it is more than capable of running Ubuntu smoothly. And it still has a 14-inch screen with a maximum resolution of 1920×1080. Unfortunately, the integrated Intel graphics are not ideal for gaming or graphical applications. Still, this machine is perfect for basic computer tasks (and even computing tasks that require a bit more processing speed).
Typing is very comfortable, given the layout of the keyboard. As a bonus for those who are security-conscious, it features both a fingerprint reader and facial recognition software so that your Ubuntu is not loaded without your knowledge.
Pros Of The Lenovo ThinkPad
- Extremely light.
- Aesthetically pleasing.
- Suitable for professional office applications.
Cons Of The Lenovo ThinkPad
- Graphical capabilities are lacking.
- Expensive price point.
Dell XPS 15
This offering from Dell provides several enticing features that allow Ubuntu to run efficiently and will enable it to serve as a complete replacement for a desktop computer. In addition, it easily connects with other accessories such as external hard drives and monitors if you need to expand your workspace.
Linux generally tends to run very smoothly on Dell machines, and with a 2 GHz processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of SSD storage space, this laptop is no exception. The 15.6-inch monitor makes for comfortable viewing, and the dedicated NVIDIA graphics run day-to-day applications with ease. It weighs in at 4.4 lbs and so is mid-range in terms of build.
Pros Of The Dell XPS 15
- Powerful specifications.
- Dell machines run Ubuntu efficiently.
Cons Of The Dell XPS 15
- Expensive price point.
- Only 2 USB ports.
Acer Chromebook 15
If you are looking to run Ubuntu for primary school, university, or professional applications like animation, consider the Acer Chromebook 15. This setup comes standard with the Chrome OS, but it can easily accommodate Ubuntu. In addition, the screen is a significant selling point, as at 15.6″ and with a possible maximum resolution of 1920×1080, this is quite large for a Chromebook.
It weighs only 3.97 lbs. and comes with a touchscreen and backlit keyboard for enhanced convenience. Its general specifications are solid as well. This represents an excellent value with a 2.5 GHz Pentium N4200, 4 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of SSD storage space. Integrated Intel HD graphics do not make it ideal for gaming per se, but if you are satisfied with a solid work computer, consider this setup!
Pros Of The Acer Chromebook 15
- Fast processing speed.
- Excellent value for money.
- Solid battery life.
- 4 USB 3.0 ports.
Cons Of The Acer Chromebook 15
- Lacks an HDMI port.
- Graphics are not ideal for gaming.
If you are looking for a laptop that is basic but fast enough to run Ubuntu on your new laptop, then look no further than the HP Chromebook. Why this is currently rated as an “Amazon Choice” product is no mystery. With a basic (but quick!) Intel Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of eMMC SSD storage space. This system is ideal for those who need a straightforward and no-nonsense machine for everyday tasks.
The Intel HD graphics are suitable for video, and at 2.51 lbs. this build is highly portable and sleek. It ships with the Chrome OS as a Chromebook, although configuring it to run Ubuntu is straightforward.
Pros Of The HP Chromebook
- Excellent price.
- Perfect for basic applications like web browsing and word processing.
- Very light.
Cons Of The HP Chromebook
- The processor is on the lower end for running advanced applications.
- We have limited ability to run more demanding programs.
Lenovo ThinkPad T460
The Lenovo ThinkPad T460 is perfect for business professionals who no longer want to be confined by the Windows operating system. While it can run Windows with ease, this machine can also easily accommodate a transition to Ubuntu. Its “ultrabook” specifications also make it ideal for any applications you are likely to encounter in the office.
These include a 2.3 GHz Intel i5 Core processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 500 GB of HDD storage space. This setup has a reliable business-like feel with a screen measuring 14″ and a maximum resolution of 1360×768. In addition, it is responsive and fast, making it ideal for getting down to work and getting things done.
With 2 USB 3.0 ports, this laptop errs on the side of practicality and not on the side of leisure (read: gaming). However, with an estimated 8 hours of battery life, you are sure to find that this dependable laptop can run Ubuntu and help you succeed in your professional life.
Pros Of The Lenovo ThinkPad T460
- Ultrabook specifications.
- Sleek, professional look and feel.
Cons Of The Lenovo ThinkPad T460
- Graphics are not ideal for gaming.
- We are lacking ports.
GDC Micro PC-Mini
Some laptops already come with Linux preinstalled. If you are looking to simplify your experience in getting Ubuntu up and running quickly, consider any of the offerings from System76. The GDC Micro PC-mini, for example, comes with Ubuntu as the default operating system.
It comes with either a 13.3″ or 14″ monitor, an 8th generation i5 or i7 Intel Core processor, up to 32 GB of RAM, and an SSD hard drive with up to 1 TB if you require (and if your budget can afford it)! The basic model is very affordable, and the thin and lightweight build makes it highly portable to allow you to run your Ubuntu-based programs from anywhere.
Some excellent bonus features include backlit keys to illuminate your keyboard if you are working late and several varieties of ports to accommodate any accessories you could think of. The integrated Intel graphics are also very decent. Consider this model if you are genuinely looking for something different.
Pros Of The GDC Micro
- It comes with Ubuntu preloaded.
- Lightweight design.
- Modern computer from a non-mainstream company.
- 128 GB Storage
Cons Of The GDC Micro
- It can be challenging to find in some countries.
- Fully loaded models can get expensive.
Apple MacBook Pro – Is this the best laptop for running Ubuntu?
This high-end Apple model of the MacBook family is one of the least budget-friendly but most capable laptops on this list. Its display is very sharp, with a 15-inch screen measuring 2880 by 1800 pixels.
While it naturally does not come with Windows installed, the MacOS can be replaced with Ubuntu easily with the specifications embedded in this setup. The 2.6 GHz Intel i7 Core processor is more than enough to run Ubuntu efficiently. And with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage space, this laptop is sure to run any programs in the open-source operating system with ease.
On top of that, the MacBook Pro comes with a dedicated Radeon Pro 560x graphics card with 4 GB memory which is excellent for gaming. In addition, the 4 USB 3.0 ports are handy for other accessories. Overall, the sleek design of the MacBook family is hard to beat for aesthetic appeal. Consider this option if you have the money to spend.
Pros Of The MacBook Pro
- Sleek design and color.
- Beautiful sharp display
- High-end specifications.
Cons Of The MacBook Pro
- Touch bar sensitivity can be problematic.
Dell Precision M7710 for Ubuntu
This offering from Dell is a heavy-duty option for those who need a proper workstation for various computer tasks. Fortunately, the hardware supports Ubuntu, but it can also be chosen to be preinstalled instead of Windows. In addition, this laptop is excellent for graphics applications with a screen size of 17.3″ and wide viewing angles.
Its specifications are similarly impressive, with a 3.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Quad, 32 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of SSD storage space. It runs more basic programs with ease. Moreover, while the basic version available on Amazon is presented here, upgraded versions can be found directly on the Dell website.
Pros Of The Dell Precision M7710
- Impressive specifications.
- Suitable for graphics work.
- Option to come with Ubuntu preinstalled.
Cons Of The Dell Precision M7710
- Heavy (though for a powerful computer, this could be expected).
With these suggestions, exploring the world of alternative operating systems like Ubuntu should be easy. Looking through this list, there is a laptop for almost every computing need you could have. We hope you have found this covers the best laptops for running Ubuntu.
Consider the pros and cons of each laptop, as well as the price point, to find a machine that is right for you. For example, you might want to check out the best laptops for data science or the top laptops for engineering for some other ideas.
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