5 Best Laptops for Ubuntu 2021 – Price & Buyer’s Guide

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What are the best laptops for Ubuntu? Ubuntu is a free Linux distributed operating system and is updated after every six months interval. It has great community support and values privacy.

It also provides greater security for cloud services which is why this is a popular operating system among the developers. It offers a higher degree of control over the system and software.

However, Ubuntu is a very versatile operating system and will certainly not support any and every available hardware.

This means that you should not expect it to run smoothly on any laptop that you may lay your hands on. The features of the laptop should be able to maximize the potential of this operating system.

Now, the question is how exactly can you save yourself from buying a wrong device, given the fact that there are so many different models and brands to choose from. The answer is, go through this article.

This article comes with a list of some of the most reliable laptops for Ubuntu. There is a buyer’s guide following the list as well as a few frequently asked questions that will help you immensely in searching for the best laptop for Ubuntu for you.

Laptops for Ubuntu – Price

Last updated on September 30, 2022 12:55 am

The Installation or First-time Setup Process of Ubuntu in a Laptop

Unlike in the past when installing Linux was a complicated process that involved a lot of trials, Ubuntu, on the other hand, has done a good job in resolving that issue most comprehensively.

You can now download Ubuntu from the official website very easily just by choosing the right option.

One type will come with cutting-edge features and the other will provide long-term support. You can download it in one of the two system architectures, 32-bit or 64-bit.

Follow the on-site documentation to create the boot DVD or use the Windows Installer, Wubi.

The installation process is a breeze and once it starts it will be completed in less than 20 minutes.

After the installation process, the post-installation setup is also very simple where it will automatically detect the hardware to install the right kind of drivers.

Once done, you will find all the bundled features that this operating system comes with.

As for the app installation, it is easy as well because there is a curated storefront.

However, the Windows apps you are accustomed with will not run on this operating system without WINE, the Windows emulator.

Finally, you will need to put in some added effort to make some adjustments in the file structure of the operating system.

This will help you to deal with the default install of Ubuntu such as advanced power management, parental controls, system restore, and GUI.

5 Best Laptops for Ubuntu 2021:

1. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Overall

Acer Predator Helios 300
 

Bottom Line: This is a laptop that will provide the best overall performance while using Ubuntu. The combination of the Intel Core i7 processor of the 10th generation and the efficient Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card will handle all graphics and non-graphics performance most efficiently and at a fast pace.

Key Features 

Pros 

  • The keyboard comes with four-zone custom RGB backlights and with a separate number keypad.
  • The storage is huge and upgradable.
  • The cooling system of this laptop is innovative and very efficient.

Cons 

  • The trackpad is off-center.
  • The battery life is average.
  • The system is a bit heavy, weighing more than 5 pounds.

This is one of the best laptops overall to run Ubuntu, the most resourceful operating system of Linux.

This powerful machine with its powerful specs and configurations will allow you to explore the full potential and features of this operating system, which may run a bit sluggish in other laptops.

This machine is powered by the 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor.

It will allow you to make the best out of the operating system as well as your productive prowess with its six powerful cores that can operate at a high speed of up to 5.0 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost technology.

As such, Ubuntu comes with a more interactive user interface than the Windows 10 operating system.

It will therefore not need the support of a high-end graphics card like the one that this device comes with.

However, it will surely prove to be useful in case you want to explore the Windows front in order to play some intensive and high-end games.

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If you want basic usage of Ubuntu in this system, you will however have to deactivate the Secure Login in order to initiate the Nvidia drivers on the Ubuntu operating system.

The usefulness of this graphics card with 6 GB of GDDR6 VRAM in this device will be more when you want to run the Kdenlive Ubuntu Distro on it for the purpose of video editing.

Moreover, a dedicated graphics card of this stature and the specific distro will help you immensely in keyframe editing, multi-cam podcasting, and other jobs.

When it comes to the system memory, the 16 GB of DDR4 SDRAM with 2933 MHz bandwidth is good enough to have in order to get the desired support for dual boot functionality.

This will help you multitask in the best possible way because most of the apps in Ubuntu will run perfectly on low RAM and therefore any level of multitasking on your system will be pushing its limits a bit too far.

The 512 GB of NVMe M.2 SSD will provide adequate storage space and is enough to address all your booting up and load time issues with minimal hassles and maximum results and practically in a couple of seconds.

It will also be good enough for Ubuntu operating system as well as the pre-existing Windows 10 operating system.

The design of this laptop also allows you to expand this storage as and when required using the PCIe slots and hard drive bay.

The 15.6-inch screen of this laptop is full HD, widescreen, LED-backlit and has an IPS panel that delivers images at a high 144 Hz refresh rate.

It also has a 16:9 aspect ratio, 300-nits brightness, 3ms overdrive response time, and 72% NTSC.

The images will look stunning whether you use Ubuntu or Windows 10 operating systems.

Your productivity using Ubuntu will also be enhanced with the good-quality dual stereo speakers built-in that produces good sound output with smart amplification and deeper bass.

You can have a better multimedia experience when you use distros like VLC with its DTS X Ultra Audio feature that ensures proper loudness along with Acer True Harmony Technology.

The other useful features of this laptop that enhances its performance include the RGB backlit keyboard with good key travel distance and tactile feedback for optimized typing experience.

It also has a good quality 720p webcam with Super High Dynamic Range support, and voice-purified integrated microphones.

The innovative and efficient Aero Blade 3D cooling solution also adds to the performance of this machine as it helps in the dual boot without any noticeable throttling.

If you look at the connectivity options, this system offers Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AX 1650i wi-fi 6 that features dual band MU-MIMO technology and Killer Ethernet E2600 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN.

There is one USB Type C port, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one HDMI 2.0 port with HDCP support, and one Mini DisplayPort 1.4.

The only concern of this machine is the power of the lithium-ion battery that lasts for up to 6 hours and can live a bit longer when you use the latest Ubuntu 20.10.

Otherwise, it is one the best devices to leverage the diverse attributes of the Ubuntu operating system, ideally in the twin boot mode. Check out Acer Predator Helios 300 Review.

2. Dell XPS 9370 – Runner Up

Dell XPS 9370

Bottom Line: This runner up laptop for Ubuntu comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor and an integrated graphics chip. The screen is smaller as well. However, the performance of it is not substandard. The fast and large SSD storage, touchscreen, and other features adds to the convenience in operation.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 13.3 inches
  • Storage: 1 TB PCIe Solid State Drive
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i7 8550U
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620

Pros 

  • The touchscreen is quite large and comes with very narrow bezels on its three sides.
  • The SSD storage is huge.
  • The keyboard is backlit.

Cons 

  • The keyboard does not come with a separate numeric keypad.
  • The location of the camera is awkward.
  • The graphics card is integrated.

The fact that Dell partners with different Linux developers makes their system one of the most compatible ones with almost all Linux distributions, including Ubuntu.

In fact, this machine is one of the great machines that will support Ubuntu in the best possible way.

The device is compact in design, light in weight, and durable in build. It has a strong carbon fiber frame that not only adds to its strength but also adds to its look.

In spite of its limited connectivity options that includes only two Thunderbolt ports and one USB Type C port, this device can prove to be quite a powerful and useful machine to run Ubuntu.

If you want to connect more devices, you can always use an adapter.

The hinge is super flexible and allows opening it with only one hand which leads you to the beautiful 4K Ultra HD screen that displays images at 3840 x 2160 pixels.

In spite of its small 13.3-inch size, it is the virtually bezel-less design that makes it look bigger.

The images look sharper at 16:10 aspect ratio on this touchscreen with proper brightness and with significantly good color accuracy.

As for the keyboard, it comes with backlights and sizable keys that are appropriately spaced.

The keys have excellent travel distance to support faster typing and the good tactile feedback offers a better typing experience.

The trackpad, on the other hand, is comparatively large, responsive, looks great, and is good to use.

You will also have a significantly good audio experience with the two stereo speakers of 2 watts capacity, instead of 1.5 watts which is so common in the laptops of today.

The specs and hardware components allow running the software and operating system without any lags or latency.

The 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, the integrated Intel UHD graphics, the storage and RAM all work in perfect harmony.

The efficient thermal management system comes with two fans and ensures that the system stays cool even under pressure.

As for the RAM and storage, you cannot upgrade or replace the RAM because, unfortunately, it is soldered onto the motherboard.

The SSD storage, on the other hand, can be upgraded, though you will seldom need it, if you download a lot of different files and Linux distributions in your system. Check out Dell XPS 9370 Laptop Review.

3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Small Yet Good Screen

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
 

Bottom Line: The screen size of this laptop should not be a deal breaker because it is quite good in performance. It may be small but is of good quality to support the graphics needs of Ubuntu as well as a few games. The images look sharper on this WQHD, IPS, anti-glare display with 300 nits of brightness.

Key Features 

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Pros 

  • The keyboard comes with backlights.
  • There is a fingerprint reader for additional security.
  • The sound quality and mics are of good quality.

Cons 

  • The battery life is not as advertised.
  • There is no optical drive.
  • The keyboard does not have a separate numeric keyboard.

This Ultrabook comes with numerous features that makes it one of the most ideal machines to run Ubuntu operating system.

The latest Intel Core i7 processor belongs to the 10th generation and has an operating speed ranging between 1.6 GHz and 4.20 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost technology.

It helps to run most of the apps, and that too at the same time.

The adequate amount of DDR3 RAM and the PCIe NVMe SSD, though a bit low as per today’s standards, ensure that the system has a faster boot time.

You will get to see clearer and sharper images on the 14-inch WQHD display that delivers images at 2560 x 1440 pixels.

This IPS panel comes with anti-glare property which makes the images softer to your eyes even as it is exhibited at 300 nits.

The powerful Intel UHD graphics integrated with the CPU ensures that these images look seamless and more vivid with better color accuracy.

All the other features of this device ensure that it can handle the power-sapping Ubuntu operating system most efficiently and produce the results as desired.

As you may know, Ubuntu operating system comes with a lot of useful security features and if you want to ensure the privacy of it then this device will not disappoint you.

It comes with good security features, another aspect that is appealing in its design.

It allows facial recognition in the webcam to ensure a faster and more secure login.

This will prevent any unwanted visitors from getting access to your system when you are not around.

This is an extremely lightweight and portable laptop weighing just 2.40 pounds allowing you to lug it around easily with you anywhere you go outside your home or office.

This system also comes with a host of connectivity options including two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two USB 3.1 Type C Gen 2 ports, and a Thunderbolt 3 port.

There is also one HDMI port, one RJ 45 LAN port for ethernet connection, a nano-SIM card slot, and a Micro SD card reader slot.

The device also supports Intel Dual-Band 9560 802.11 AC connectivity with vPro as well as Bluetooth 5.0 which will ensure that you can transfer large volumes of data seamlessly and at a high speed. Check out Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review.

4. Asus Chromebook Flip C302 – Good Features in A Light and Sleek Body

Asus Chromebook Flip C302
 

Bottom Line: The light and sleek body of this laptop is packed with good features that will help running Ubuntu quite effectively on it. The small screen comes with touch support, the battery life is good, the 2-in-1 design and the strong 360-degree hinge for added convenience are all noteworthy features. 

Key Features 

  • Screen: 12.5 inches
  • Storage: 64 GB
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: Intel Core M5
  • OS: Chrome OS
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics

Pros 

  • The screen comes with touchscreen support.
  • The keyboard is backlit.
  • The battery life is good.

Cons 

  • The screen is small in size and comes with a thick bezel.
  • The RAM and storage amount are low.
  • The graphics card is integrated.

This is a niftily crafted laptop that is small, sleek, and light in weight but has all the features and specs that enables it to run Ubuntu as well as other operating systems based on Linux.

It is powered with an Intel Core M5 processor that can run at a high speed of 3.1 GHz. It will process the given data strings at a significantly faster rate.

The unique thing about this laptop is the display which is pretty small, measuring just 12.5 inches, but comes with touch support.

This means that you will have maximum usability while working on this machine as you can draw, write, and sketch on the screen directly.

The 2-in-1 design of this laptop also allows you to use this device in any mode you want and as per your convenience including as a traditional laptop, as a tablet, as a studio or in the tent mode, thanks to its 360-degree strong hinge.

The RAM and storage will allow running the operating system seamlessly in spite of both being low as compared with today’s standards.

This sleek and stylish laptop can run with ease for up to 10 hours on a single charge allowing you to complete all your day’s work easily before you plug it in for a recharge.

You will have a comprehensive and impressive connectivity option in this system that includes Bluetooth 4.2 support, a USB 3.1 port, a Micro SD card reader slot, as well as 802.11ac standard of wireless communication.

The backlit keyboard is another impressive part of this small laptop which allows easy typing in darker settings.

The decent 1.4 mm key travel and feedback, along with the spacious 104.5 mm x 61 mm and responsive trackpad will offer a better user experience. Check out Asus Chromebook Flip C302 Review.

5. HP 15-DY1731MS Laptop – Value for Money

HP 15-DY1731MS Laptop
 

Bottom Line: This laptop will offer a better price to performance ratio to those users who are on a budget but wants a touchscreen to use. Though just an HD screen, it will be enough to work on Ubuntu and others. The audio system, TrueVision HD camera, ports and battery life of it adds more value for money.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i3 1005G1
  • OS: Windows 10
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics

Pros 

  • The screen is large and supports touch.
  • The keyboard is large and comes with a separate numeric keypad.
  • The speakers and sound quality of the device is good.

Cons 

  • The graphics card is integrated.
  • There is no optical drive in the system.
  • The keyboard does not come with backlights.

If you are on a budget and looking for a laptop that comes with a touchscreen as well as a large keyboard then this is the one that you should go for.

Apart from its beautiful design, the considerably good specs and a higher price-performance ratio will add more value to your investment, besides offering a higher Ubuntu experience.

This sleek and light laptop comes with a powerful processor, though i3, belonging to the 10th generation. It has an operating speed of 1.2 GHz at the base clock and up to 3.4 GHz at the Boost clock.

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The system will stay cool even if you use it for long hours and push its limits due to the efficient cooling system that is inconspicuous but does its job silently.

The laptop has an HD display that delivers images at 1366 x 768 pixels. This 15.6-inch WLED screen comes with 10-finger multi-touch support which will add to your convenience while using it.

You can connect a lot of external devices to this laptop and transfer data to and from it at a high-speed using the ports and slots that include a multimedia card reader slot, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port, and one HDMI 1.4 port.

The device also supports Bluetooth 4.2 technology and offers Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11b/g/n/ac connectivity.

The lid of the laptop is specially designed and includes a fabricated rubber at its bottom which lifts the ergonomic designed full-sized keyboard with a separate numeric keypad a bit.

This offers a better typing position and the accuracy is ensured by the large and adequately spaced-out keys with good key travel distance.

The 8 GB RAM with 2666 MHz bandwidth, 128 GB SSD storage, the integrated UHD graphics card, all will help to install and run Ubuntu and other Linux distributions on it seamlessly.

The audio system is quite good to deliver crisp and clear HD sound with the good quality stereo speakers to add to your gaming or viewing experience.

The HP Truevision HD camera and the powerful mics will ensure that you have a better experience while making a video call.

Things to Look for Before Buying Best Laptops for Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a good operating system that can provide you with a great, powerful and archetypal computing experience, but only when it is used with the right laptop.

Though Linux distros such as Ubuntu are quite flexible, you will need some standard specs and hardware requirements in the laptop to run this operating system smoothly on it.

Here are some aspects that you should look for while choosing a device to run Ubuntu operating systems.

Form factor and screen

The size or form factor of the laptop should be your first consideration. If you want to have a portable laptop, you will need to choose a small and sleek laptop.

For that, you will need to choose a smaller screen because that will influence its weight and keep it within 3 to 5 pounds.

Ideally, the screen size should be between 13 to 14 inches. This will also ensure that the laptop has a decent battery life.

All these features will make it the best laptop for a regular traveler or one who needs to use a laptop mostly on the go.

Yes, a larger screen will be much better as it will offer you with larger screen real estate to work on those screen-reliant distributions especially.

You will be able to see a larger part of the pages without having to scroll down too much. However, it will add to the weight and cost.

It is also useful to have an anti-glare screen which will be much softer and comfortable to look at and also a resolution of at least HD, if not full HD, to see the text and images clearly.

If you have to share the screen with others during your work or while making a presentation of your creation, you should go for an IPS panel rather than a TN panel.

The brightness and contrast ratio are also important if you work out of your office mostly. Typically, a brightness of 275 to 300 nits is desired for Ubuntu.

CPU

The CPU or Central Processing Unit of the laptop is the most important component that will execute all your commands and process the data strings, simple or complex. Therefore, it should be powerful.

Expensive laptops come with more powerful processors but you need not buy an expensive one for running Ubuntu. Just make sure that it has enough cores to offer a consistent performance.

Typically, an Intel Core i5 processor will help you to run Ubuntu operating system more fluidly on your laptop.

An i7 processor or higher will be overkill. However, if you are on a tighter budget, you can go for an Intel Core i3. Just make sure that it belongs to the latest generation, 7th or higher.

RAM

RAM is that important component of the laptop that will allow you to work with more apps and tabs at the same time.

The amount of RAM required for a laptop typically depends on the operating system used in it.

Normally, Windows operating systems and macOS will need a significant amount of RAM to run smoothly as well as a huge amount of background processes.

The good news is that Ubuntu operating system, a Linux distro, is quite lean and does not need as much RAM as other operating systems.

For a good baseline, you can go for a laptop with 4 GB of RAM.

Storage

When it comes to storage of your laptop, it is very important for running Ubuntu operating systems.

This is because you will need to download a lot of Linux distributions as well as different third-party drivers and software to run Ubuntu operating systems.

Depending on your workload and need to store the created files, you can go with at least 128 GB SSD, but 256 GB will be much better to be on the safe side.

You may get quite a good performance when you run Ubuntu on a laptop with a standard Hard Disk Drive.

However, if you want to enhance the performance, you should invest a few dollars more and go for a laptop with an SSD.

It will be quieter, lighter, less vulnerable to failures and be faster to perform.

If you cannot afford it, you may go for a small SSD and a large HDD combo storage. This way you will get a huge storage space, often up to 1 TB.

You will also get a faster performance of the laptop as the operating system and necessary software stored in the SSD that allows faster boot up and access.

Graphics card

As mentioned earlier, unfortunately, Linux is not compatible with most of the hardware, and so is Ubuntu, a Linux distro. One of the most significant hardware is the graphics card.

If it is from Nvidia, the graphics card will come with a lot of different proprietary drivers that may not be compatible with Ubuntu and you will have to configure them to make them work, which by itself is a hard task.

However, it does not mean it will not run on a laptop with an Nvidia graphics card.

You will be better off if you have an AMD graphics card in your laptop, either integrated or dedicated.

You may go with an Intel integrated graphics card because these video cards are supported nicely and smoothly on Ubuntu.

FAQs:

Is compatibility of the laptop essential to run Ubuntu smoothly?

Yes, it is because Ubuntu is not compatible with any hardware and software configuration. Sometimes, you may even need to use some third-party software and additional drivers to deal with the compatibility issues.

Can I upgrade my existing laptop to use Ubuntu?

Yes, you can, provided your existing laptop is one of those compatible models. If you are clueless then you can take the help and consult with the Linux community forums.

Will gaming and video software in a laptop be compatible with Ubuntu?

Once again, this depends on the compatibility of the software and your laptop model. If you do not know anything about the compatibility of the software with Ubuntu, you should contact the manufacturer of that particular.

What additional features can I have in my laptop to run Ubuntu?

As it is a laptop it will come with a lot of additional features but you will need to consider especially those that you use frequently. These can be external mouse and keyboard, and some additional drivers.

How can I prevent my laptop from having issues down the line with Ubuntu?

The only way to do that is to have the desired specs in your laptop. This includes the processor, its speed, RAM, graphics card and storage. This will help you to use the operating system for all computing jobs on a day-to-day basis.

About Dominic Cooper

Dominic CooperDominic Cooper, a TTU graduate is a computer hardware expert. His only passion is to find out the nitty gritty of all computers. He loves to cook when he is not busy with writing, computer testing and research. He is not very fond of social media. Follow Him at Linkedin