Even though hardware support for Ubuntu is better than ever, it cannot be taken for granted. Not every computer you buy will work perfectly with Ubuntu – there may be lapses in driver support. The Wi-Fi or sound may not work, which can be annoying, especially if you’re buying a device just for running Ubuntu.
Nonetheless, Ubuntu is one of the only free OSs that is as polished as other mainstream systems. It is for this reason that Ubuntu is used by everybody – from developers to business people alike.
One does not require powerful hardware to run Ubuntu. It is very efficient as an OS, and anything fundamental will suffice. However, since you’re buying a laptop just for Ubuntu, here are some important parameters to consider:
- Battery life
- Display quality
- RAM and Storage
1. Dell XPS 13
The brand new XPS 13 is a beast of a machine – featuring Intel’s 10th generation i7-10710U. It ensures that there will be no compatibility issues, and comes with Ubuntu 18.04 preloaded.
The 4K display is crisp and vibrant, and the keyboard and trackpad are super comfortable to use. The 16GB of RAM allows you to multitask as much as you like, and the 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD makes boot times and storage ultra-fast.
The laptop is lightweight and is loaded with ports. Its two Thunderbolt 3 ports are capable of power delivery – which makes usage a lot more flexible.
Powerful hardware and good battery life make the Dell XPS 13 the go-to option for Linux power users.
2. Acer Aspire E 15
Acer’s Aspire E 15 is an affordable device that will run Ubuntu without any hitches.
It is decently powerful for the price, and you can choose between the 8th generation i5 and i7. It boasts superb upgradability – more RAM can be added to the existing 8GB, and you may also add another drive.
The display is bright, albeit it’s a little dimmer than expected.
The backlit keyboard feels great to type on, and the SSD makes the laptop super snappy.
The E 15 looks a little bland. However, it offers excellent value for money and will never let you down.
3. ASUS VivoBook S15
The S15 is another decently priced laptop that’ll run Ubuntu perfectly.
The display is vibrant, and the thin bezels make it super-immersive. The ErgoLift hinge tilts the laptop slightly, making for a better typing experience.
The VivoBook delivers fantastic performance, and the i5-8250U can handle heavy workloads well. The 256GB SSD makes for fast booting times, and the 8GB of RAM allows you to multitask without slowdowns.
The battery life is excellent and will last you about 8 hours before needing a charge. You can also add more RAM and increase storage with another drive.
All-in-all, ASUS’s VivoBook is a well-built, stylish option that will run Ubuntu flawlessly.
When buying a laptop exclusively for Ubuntu, it is vital to avoid laptops preloaded with Windows 10, since it increases the price of the laptop. Dell arguably makes the best laptops for Ubuntu, since they come with great hardware and a blank hard drive.
Most times it cannot be helped, and putting the drive away and installing a new one for Ubuntu, or dual booting Ubuntu alongside Windows 10 is a great idea.