Unlike Windows and MacOS that comes pre-installed in majority of the laptops, Ubuntu OS has to be installed externally. As you’ll be installing it manually, it is imperative to find a good laptop that can run Ubuntu and other flavors without any compatibility problems.
We interviewed 21 data science professionals, 17 machine learning experts, 22 developers/programmers, and a few Linux enthusiasts to make this list. We did this to ensure that none of our recommendations provide a great experience and have less compatibility issues or other glitches.
To have a work-life balance, a lot of people consider using VMs on Windows/MacOS based laptops and run Ubuntu from it, however, we don’t recommend it if you are going to use both the operating systems regularly.
If you’re a power Linux user or privacy-focused individual who also uses Tails OS, then you’re well aware that it’s light on resources and doesn’t require high specifications to run smoothly. That is why you wouldn’t need a very powerful/expensive laptop to run this free-yet-secure operating system. However, if you’re going to perform a resource-intensive tasks such as machine learning, video editing, etc, then you should consider getting a machine that has a powerful dGPU.
Note: Freedom 251 is hosted on a server that runs on Ubuntu OS.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- Best Laptops for Ubuntu in 2021
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
If you want to install Ubuntu, there are the minimum system requirements that need to be fulfilled in a machine before looking at any other features.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||Intel Pentium N4200||Intel Core i5 or better|
|RAM||4GB||8GB or better|
|Storage||256GB SSD / 500GB HDD||512GB SSD / 1TB HDD|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)|
|Battery||Up to 4 hours||Up to 8 hours|
|Installer Media||CD/DVD drive or USB port||CD/DVD drive or USB port|
Best Laptops for Ubuntu in 2021
|Acer Predator Helios 300|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon|
|Dell XPS 13 9370|
|Asus ZenBook 13|
|Asus Chromebook Flip|
|Acer Chromebook 15|
Ubuntu is fast, free, open-source, stable, secure, and has great community support. That’s why it is also popular among enterprises for their software needs, privacy seekers, and webmasters for hosting their websites!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a web designer/developer, programmer, system admin, data scientist, tech-savvy person, privacy seeker, or someone who just wants to get his hands on the operating system. This list includes the best laptops to install Ubuntu and smoothly use it without compatibility or performance issues.
So, shall we begin with the reviews?
1. Best Overall: Acer Predator Helios 300
Needless to say, Linux Ubuntu is a highly underrated but resourceful operating platform, predominantly preferred by laptops with slightly sluggish hardware configuration. However, instead of installing Ubuntu on a dated machine, you can consider getting the same for the insanely powerful Acer Predator Helios 300, to explore the features and attributes in their entirety.
Powering the Predator is the Intel Core i7-10750H chipset, which is overkill for the Ubuntu-based application programs like LibreOffice, Atom, GIMP editor, Skype, Tweak Tool, and more. Therefore, we would urge you to install the likes of Xubuntu 18.04 OS, which is pretty light, along with the existing Windows 10 OS, to find a minimalistic getaway for your productive indulgences.
Ubuntu does have a more interactive UI as compared to the Windows 10 OS, provided you know how to use the same to the T. While the premise doesn’t require a high-end GPU like the RTX 2060 and the 6GB of VRAM, it might come in handy provided you want to migrate to the Windows front for indulging in some demanding games. However, to activate the NVIDIA drivers on the Ubuntu OS, you need to disable the Secure Login.
While most individuals would ignore the same, the RTX 2060 graphics card can be quite a handful if you are using the Kdenlive Ubuntu Distro for your video editing requirements. Most importantly, a dedicated GPU installed drivers, and the concerned distro makes room for multi-cam podcasting, keyframe editing, and other attributes.
Coming to the system memory, 16GB of RAM is good enough for supporting dual boot functionality, in the best possible way. While the majority of Ubuntu applications are optimized to work on low RAM, no level of multitasking should feel like a stretch. However, you must know that Linux supports Google Chrome installation. Coming to the storage-centric requirements, the 512GB SSD addresses each with minimal hassle.
Besides, the NVMe-compatible SSD loads up the pre-existing Windows 10 and the Ubuntu OS of choice, in virtually no time. Moreover, Acer also allows you to upgrade the storage via the PCIe slots and hard drive bay, if and when necessary.
As far as the display is concerned, the 15.6-inch screen looks equally enthralling with the Ubuntu or Windows 10 OS displayed onto the same. However, for the multi-platform video and photo editors, the 72 percent NTSC color palette is a potent resource. Windows-centric gamers, however, can make a good meal of the 144Hz screen refresh rate.
Coming to the Ubuntu-centric productivity, the potent stereo speakers with optimized bass and smart amplification to show for are good enough for distros like VLC. Other relevant specs include the RGB backlit keyboard with excellent typing potential, 720p webcam, and even voice-purified speakers. Moreover, even the dual boot scenario is immune to throttling, as the AeroBlade 3D cooling setup deserves a special mention.
Connectivity-wise, Acer brings forth the Type-C, Type-A, HDMI, Displayport, and other relevant ports and outputs followed by the Gig Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 support, especially for establishing strong and stable wireless connections regardless of the operating platform. However, our only cause for concern with the Predator Helios 300 has to be sluggish battery backup, which churns out more than the allocated 6 hours, when used with the latest Ubuntu 20.10 installed.
Overall, the 5.51-pound Acer Predator Helios 300 is easily one of the better gadgets for installing and leveraging the diverse perks of the Ubuntu OS, preferably in the dual boot mode.
- Ultra-powerful processor
- High-speed RAM
- Upgradeable storage support
- Potent acoustics
- Sharp display
- Overkill just for Ubuntu OS
2. Best Runner Up: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon is a unique laptop with multiple features that are perfect for your system to run Ubuntu. Well, firstly it runs on a 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U processor which is incredible to work on and run multiple applications at a time.
For even better performance, it is equipped with 16GB RAM and a sufficient yet powerful 512GB SSD-based storage preferred by highly powerful laptops. This is your go-to laptop as the design is pretty neat and stylish. You will love the keyboard it is excellent with an even better trackpad. This laptop has a battery life of an average of 6 hours which is very decent if you do not have hefty work to carry out.
Thanks to the SSD based storage, the boot speed is pretty great as well. Not every laptop features a 14-inch screen but this does. It has a 14″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS 300 nits Anti-glare screen display with amazing picture quality and tons of colors to showcase.
Moving on, we have the IR camera for face recognition. Not fingerprint recognition, but even better. Simply set up your face on the system, and you can unlock it quickly. It weighs only 2.49 pounds, which is super lightweight and you can carry it around with you as the screen itself is smaller than the normal laptops.
Some of the connectivity options are two USB 3.1 Gen 1 (one Always On), two USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 / Thunderbolt 3 (with the function of Power Delivery and DisplayPort), HDMI 1.4b, Ethernet extension connector, nano-SIM card slot (WWAN models), headphone/microphone combo jack, microSD card reader, side docking connector, security keyhole.
- Superb design and stylish look
- 180 degrees hinge with the incredible build quality
- Good RAM and storage size
- A great number of connectivity options
- IR camera for face recognition
- Not a great battery life
- Expensive machine
3. Best with 4K Screen: Dell XPS 13 9370
The Dell XPS 13 is an expensive deal yet an incredible machine with some incredible features to look out for. This laptop runs on an Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U 1.8GHz processor.
It is bound to give you the best performance and even better speed you can boost it up to a maximum of 3.9GHz frequency. Here we have another incredible touch-screen infinity-edge 4K Ultra HD with a 13.3-inch display. The only laptop here with an incredible picture quality that is left undefeated.
Now, moving on to the storage and RAM size, it has 16GB DDR3 RAM with 512GB SSD storage. You can store tons of your data on this laptop and never have to worry about an inch about the Linux Operating system which you will have to install separately since it comes preinstalled with Windows OS.
The design is simply eye-catching and looks stunning. It weighs only 2.67 pounds, making it the thinnest among all the Dell laptops that are available.
Also, the battery life isn’t too far behind. You can use it for all your gaming and professional work for a straight 8 hours or even more depending on the usage. But overall, it should work well if not the best. Also, the backlit keyboard looks perfect in the dark. The Anti-reflective screen combined with 400-nit brightness frees you to watch movies.
Additionally for connectivity, it gives 3 x USB 2.0 ports, 3 x USB 3.0 ports, card reader, headphone jack, USB-C with Thunderbolt 3. It is a little costly for beginners, but if you can manage a good spend well there is nothing better than this.
- Excellent 4K display with 400-nit brightness
- Stylish and excellent design
- Powerful i7 processor
- High-speed data transfer with SSD
- Great battery life
- Poor customer support
- Some hardware issue
4. Best Battery Life: Asus ZenBook 13
The Asus ZenBook 13 is a lightweight and very slim laptop perfectly compatible for you to run the Linux Operating system. You would love the design and build quality is fabulous.
The CPU runs on an Intel Core i5-8265U Processor and can be boosted to 3.9GHz power, an incredible addition to this laptop making it very powerful and stable at the same time. The best part is it has a small screen i.e. 13.3-inch wide-view Full-HD NanoEdge bezel that fits in an ultra-compact frame.
Moving on, it has 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage capacity. It is perfect for helping you run the Ubuntu system on your laptop very smoothly and effectively, as we know that laptops need at least 4GB of RAM to run the Linux operating system. Still, this laptop has twice what is needed making it a beast. It is designed for effortless portability, UX331 is just 0.5” thin and less than 2.5 lbs light. You can carry it around when traveling.
Another incredible feature about this laptop is that the battery power is about 14 hours long and would the entire day on a single charge. Also, to make typing more comfortable and more accurate this laptop has a full-size backlit keyboard with an impressive 1.4mm key travel. For better security, the laptop has one-touch fingerprint access on the corner.
For connectivity, it has been provided with HDMI, USB Type C, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11AC) and Micro SD card reader. The price range is indeed very decent and affordable.
- Lightweight and slim
- Design is built perfectly with aluminum body
- Powerful and stable processor
- Nano edge bezel display
- Excellent battery life
- Sounds system isn’t perfect
- The keyboard could have been better
5. Best Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip
The Asus Chromebook Flip is an incredible 2-in-1 Chromebook for ubuntu. It has been equipped with a 2.1GHz Intel Core M processor that would work perfectly well for the Ubuntu operating system.
You can even feel the changes involved once you start using the laptop. Furthermore, the incredible 12.5-inch full HD touch screen display is more than you could ask for. Enjoy the UI of the amazing Linux operating system and everything it has to offer.
With an incredible 8GB RAM storage, you can do wonders. Since it does not come preinstalled with the Ubuntu system, you can easily get it after getting your hands on it. The RAM storage will do its job to keep the system stable and fast enough to run it in good shape. Furthermore, looking at the storage capacity is only 64GB which is not the best considering you have to work on Ubuntu but work on an average good to go.
Speaking of the design, it has a 360-degree hinge that can help this laptop to turn around and be changed to a tablet look alike. The design is very sleek and weighs only 2.65 pounds making it very easy to be carried around anywhere you want. The highlight of the laptop is the 10 hours long battery life that will work all day long.
On the other hand, the connectivity options on this Ubuntu laptop are Bluetooth 4.2, USB 3.1 Type C port, Micro SD card reader, etc. For a better view, at night the backlit keyboard works perfectly well and has a smooth finish altogether.
- Excellent battery life
- Lightweight and sleek
- Touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge
- Powerful processor for Ubuntu
- Beautiful, bright IPS Screen with full 1080p resolution
- Not enough ports for connectivity
- Tablet mode not satisfactory
6. Best Thin Laptop: Acer Chromebook 15
The Acer Chromebook 15 is a decent machine is also one of the best laptops for Ubuntu. It runs on an Intel Pentium N4200 that gives a very average performance overall and can be boosted to 2.5GHz for better results.
The screen size is 15.6-inches with a widescreen IPS LED-backlit Multi-Touch Display. You get an incredible picture quality and bright display. The large touch display lets you see and do more with less scrolling – surf, organize, swipe and edit.
This laptop is equipped with 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. This isn’t a lot to satisfy all the needs from a laptop but capable enough to run Ubuntu on your machine. The storage may have some issues since it is very low for all your activities. Speaking of the design it looks very sleek and weighs 4.85 pounds that you can carry anywhere you wish to. The body is made of aluminum and can be laid down to a 180 degrees flat for better access.
Chromebook runs on Chrome OS, which is something you can get rid of and install Ubuntu by yourself or ask a technician for this. All the apps you find in google are available here and very easy to access. It can run for approx 12 hours straight which is enough for you to go on for the entire day.
On the connectivity front, 802.11ac Wi-Fi featuring MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, HD Wide-Angle Webcam (1280 x 720), supports High Dynamic Range (HDR), 2 – USB Type-C ports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C, 2 – USB 3.0 Ports.
- Incredible battery power
- Multiple connectivity options
- Lightweight and slim
- Stylish and symmetric design
- The full HD touch experience
- Very low storage space
- Backlit keyboard, not the best
The HP Chromebook is yet another laptop that comes preinstalled with Chrome Operating system that can be changed to Linux as per your needs. One of the cheapest you will ever find and can be used for every generic purpose only.
It runs on an Intel Celeron N3060 dual-core processor, a little outdated as compared to such incredible up-gradation. It is much lower than what we had recommended but then for average work should work fine. Also, the screen size is 15.6” with a full HD touchscreen display. You can enjoy the touchscreen features on this small size laptop with a bigger screen.
On the contrary, the only issue is the very low sized 4GB RAM and much lower 16GB storage capacity. Not the ideal one for those looking for a very powerful system for everyday usage. But if your budget is low and there is nothing much you would be expecting to do with this laptop, you can go for it, and it will work fine. The body is plastic made, not something to be proud of, but what more can we ask for at such a price.
Since there isn’t much to be done here, so the system is more likely to use very little battery power and work for 12 hours. So, this is incredible in terms of a good battery. Some of the connectivity options are 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (1 for charging), 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x 4.5 mm AC power connector, and headphone/microphone combo.
- Lightweight and small-sized
- Decent touchscreen performance
- Good for beginners
- Multiple connectivity options
- Excellent battery life
- Poor RAM and storage capacity
- Outdated processor
Here we are with some of the best laptops for running Ubuntu O. Surely there are hundreds of more such laptops available in the market, but these are verified perfectly making sure it meets all your needs and perfectly reasonable as well.
If you have any queries regarding the specifications and working of the above-listed laptop, we would be more than glad to help you out in selecting one. For more information on these laptops, you can visit their official websites to find all the technical details and more about the manufacturers.
Make sure you stick to the list above as all the laptops are the best among the ones you will look for in the market. We totally understand your need and the reason for your going through all the details carefully. So make sure you choose wisely.