Linux

Best Laptop for Ubuntu 2017 | (Updated February 2017)

best laptop for ubuntuThe best laptop for Ubuntu is nothing unique in terms of hardware.

Unlike Windows or Mac, Ubuntu isn’t a paid operating. Therefore, you can get it for free and install it on any laptop of your choice.

However, you should be warned that installing Ubuntu on a Macbook is much tougher than installing it on a Windows based laptop.

It is for this reason that we always recommend people to get Windows-based laptops primarily as they are cheaper, easier to use and available in several configurations. You can install Ubuntu OS for free.

As much fun as it sounds, Ubuntu is a full package that comes with all the essentials you need to run your programming and development career. It is the Linux operating system of choice for many developers because it has such a strong and well-supported community.

Let us now have a look at the reviews. The list was updated on February 2017.

Product
Price Scale
Screen Size
Processor
RAM
Graphics
Storage

Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV

9/1013.3" IPS FHD TouchIntel Core i5-6200U8 GB LPDDR3Intel HD Graphics 520128 GB SSD

Acer Aspire V 13 V3-372T-5051

6/1013.3" IPS FHD TouchIntel Core i5-6200U6 GB DDR 3Intel HD Graphics 520256 SSD

Lenovo Flex 4 80VD000CUS

8/1014 inch IPS FHD TouchIntel Core i7-7500U8 GB DDR 4AMD Radeon R5 M4301 TB HDD 5400 RPM

Newest Dell Inspiron 14-inch

6/1014 inch HD TouchIntel Core i7-5500U8 GB DDR 3NVIDIA GeForce 920M1 TB HDD 5400 RPM

HP 15-ay018nr

5/1015.6″ FHDIntel Core i7-6500U8 GB DDR 3Intel HD256 GB SSD

Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG

5.5/1015.6″ FHDIntel Dual Core i5-6200U8 GB DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce 940MX 256GB SSD

Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK

8/1015.6″ FHDIntel Quad Core i7-6700HQ8GB DDR3GeForce GTX 960M1 TB + 8 GB HSSD

Acer Aspire 17.3

6.5/1017.3" FHDIntel Core i5-7200U8 GB DDR4 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 940M256 GB SSD

Best Laptop for Ubuntu Reviews

Now, what we have prepared is a short review on all the laptops that qualify for Ubuntu. This will without a doubt help you decide what you need to buy.

We have shortlisted the best laptop for ubuntu based on screen size. We understand some of you prefer mobility, while others prefer a workstation. Therefore, this list should help you find what you are looking for.

Finding the Best Laptop for Ubuntu

If you are reading this article, then most probably you have already made up your mind on getting a laptop for Ubuntu. However, find the best laptop for Ubuntu depends on your needs and requirements.

Just as is the case with any other field, the hardware that you get reflects the complexity of the projects that you will work on. Finding the right hardware for Ubuntu is quite easy if you know exactly what your needs are.

This operating system can run on the most basics of hardware as well as on the most powerful of PCs.

13.3 inch Best Ubuntu Laptops

This screen size is perfect for mobility. These laptops are not just sleek and thin, they are also budget friendly and tend to have much longer battery life.

1. Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV Laptop – Premium Grade Ultrabook

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This is one of the finest 13.3-inch laptops for Ubuntu user. Like all of the laptops in this list, this laptop also comes pre-installed with Windows 10. However, booting Ubuntu would not be any issue at all.

This is not the top model for ultrabooks by Dell. It has been chosen purely based on the mobility aspect that it provides. It weighs only 2.8lbs and measures at 0.6 inches in thickness.

You do have to pay a premium for the form factor of this laptop since you can get almost the same hardware at a much cheaper rice tag.

This laptop comes in several configurations. This particular one offers Intel Core i5-6200U processor along with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD. All of these components are an essential requirement for smooth and lag free work environment.

The outer body of this laptop is classy and has an aluminum hard covering that ensures the laptop is sturdy as well as stylish.

Another fantastic aspect of this laptop is the screen. The laptop uses a high-quality IPS panel Full HD touchscreen. It gives vibrant and beautiful colors. This should be helpful if you are a graphic designer too.

Specs at a glance: 13.3 inch FHD IPS Touch, Intel Core i5-6200U, Integrated Graphics, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 128 GB SSD, 0.6 inches thick

Pros

  • Beautiful design and high build quality
  • Light and thin makes it perfect for mobility
  • The hardware is more than enough for quality programming on Ubuntu system.

Cons

  • Expensive due to its premium design.
  • Lacks the 7th generation Kaby Lake processors

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2. Acer Aspire V 13 V3-372T Touch Notebook – Budget Ultrabook

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Granted, the Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV above was a bit expensive. This was mostly because of its exquisite looks and premium grade material used for construction.

If you are looking for almost the same hardware, a thin profile, at a much cheaper price tag, then this is the laptop for you.

This is a reasonably stylish and sleek laptop for Ubuntu. Regarding hardware, this laptop is almost the same as the Dell laptop above. However, it costs significantly less.

It measures at 0.81 inches and weighs 3.5lbs, which is big and heavy for a laptop of this size. However, it also costs much less.

At the core of this laptop lies the powerful Intel Core i5-6200U. Along with that this laptop offers 6 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD. One of the biggest attractions of this laptop, other than the price tag, is the 12.5 hours battery life.

If it is true portability and mobility that you are after, then this is the best laptop for Ubuntu. You can stay away from the power socket for almost half of the day.

Specs at a glance: 13.3 inch FHD IPS Touch, Intel Core i5-6200U, Integrated Graphics, 6 GB DDR3 RAM, 256 GB SSD, 0.81 inches thick

Pros

  • Ample storage for a budget ultrabook
  • A reasonably powerful hardware makes it suitable for working on Ubuntu system.
  • Offers a long battery life

Cons

  • A bit heavier compared to the market standard for 13.3″ laptops.
  • Only 6 GB of RAM can hamper the performance when dealing with larger workload.

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14 inch Ubuntu Laptops

This size of laptops are still quite portable, but at the same time are also comfortable for viewing. For many, 13.3-inch screen size is just too small. Therefore, 14 inch is the best bridge between portability and comfort.

3. Lenovo Flex Full HD Touchscreen Display 80VD000CUS

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The name itself is a good hint towards the flexibility of this laptop. It is called “flex” because the 360-degree rotating hinges allow the user to use this laptop in 4 different ways. The screen can be bent back, converted into a tent mode or just be used as a tablet.

Different modes will suit various applications. For instance, if you want to watch a movie then just go for the tent style. This laptop offers the latest 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor. That is just beginning of the story for this laptop.

This is a touchscreen laptop. It offers a superior IPS panel that has a great color reproduction. On top of that, it is FHD. Therefore, it is also great for multi-tasking.

You will need to upgrade to Kernel 4.1 in order to make Ubuntu Touch-Friendly.

For less than $800, this laptop not only offers an excellent processor, it also boasts 1 TB of HDD, 8 GB of DDR 4 RAM and even a dedicated AMD R5 M430 graphics card.

This is hands down one of the best Ubuntu laptops that you can get. It is an all rounder laptop with all the essential components.

Specs at a glance: 14 inch IPS FHD Touchscreen, Convertible, Intel Core i7-7500U, 8 GB DDR 4, 1 TB HDD, AMD Radeon R5 M430

Pros

  • Convertible form factor adds another dimension to how you can use the laptop.
  • Perfect blend between performance and mobility.
  • Dedicated graphics card makes it great for even game development.

Cons

  • A bit expensive for budget conscious buyers.
  • The laptop disappoints with a lack of SSD; the HDD is only 5,400 RPM.

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Types of Convertible Laptops

Although there are a handful of convertible laptop types, there are two that stand out the most: hinge rotate and detachable.

Hinge Rotate

With these convertible laptops, the screen rotates 360 degrees and goes on top of the keyboard to act like a tablet. They keyboard gets disabled once in the tablet mode.

These convertible laptops generally offer better specs at a given price because the hardware is located in the base and therefore easier to manufacture. However, they are less portable and heavier. Therefore, their primary use is not as a tablet.

Lenovo Flex Full HD 80VD000CUS is an example of Hinge Rotate convertible laptop.

Detachable

With these convertible laptops, the screen detaches from the keyboard to act as a tablet.

They generally have weaker hardware; however, they are highly portable. They can be easily used in tablet mode.

4. Dell Inspiron Touchscreen – High-Performance Affordable Laptop

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This is yet another fantastic 14 inches best laptop for Ubuntu.

In fact, it is one of the cheapest laptops suitable for Ubuntu in this list. Yet it features an Intel Core i7 processor.

This laptop harbors Intel Core i7-5500U processor. This is from an older generation; however, the performance is more or less the same as compared to current gen models. On the plus side, the older generation processor brings down the price point.

As far as the budget is concerned, this is one of the best laptop for Ubuntu. However, it does have a few drawbacks.

Although this laptop has a touchscreen, the resolution is a disappointment. It only offer HD resolution.

Furthermore, this laptop offers an ample 8 GB of memory and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 920M graphics card. Remember that this is an entry level graphics card and you should not expect it to play the AAA titles on high settings.

Specs at a glance: 14 inch HD Touchscreen, Intel Core i7-5500U, 8 GB DDR 3, 1 TB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce 920M

Pros

  • Affordable 14 inch laptop that has the hardware to perform heavy duty work
  • NVIDIA GeForece 920 despite being an entry level graphic card, gives you added performance benefit when designing.

Cons

  • Only offers HD resolution
  • The processor is two generations older.

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15.6 inch Ubuntu Laptops

For most of the users out there, this is the most preferred screen size of laptops. By default, people tend to go for this size. This is the most comfortable screen size to work on.

There is an abundance of laptops in this screen size. A majority of the laptops ranging from budget to high-performance category are found to be in 15.6″ screen size.

There are high chances that your choice of best laptop for Ubuntu would be a 15.6″ laptop.

5. HP 15-ay018nr 15.6-Inch Laptop – Best Performance/Dollar Value

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This affordable laptop by HP is packed with all the features that you would need and with the best of quality. It has a 15.6-inch wide display with screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This ensures that images are displayed clearly and in good colors.

Built in IPS panel gives wide viewing angles and enhances the experience. This laptop packs an Intel Core i7-6500U processor. This is a dual core processor with hyper threading enabled. It is a low voltage processor. Therefore it can ensure a much longer battery life.

The only drawback of this laptop is that it is ‘Certified Refurbished’. However, if you can look past that label, then it has the hardware that would have cost you easily a couple of hundred dollars more.

Ample storage is provided with 256 GB of SSD. Along with that, this laptop also offers the rare optical drive. Most of the brands are opting out the optical drives to maintain a thin profile.

This is a laptop that is less than an inch thick, yet at the same time manages to offer an optical drive. This is quite the achievement.

Along with that, it offers 8GB of memory that should be fair for all sorts for work on Ubuntu.

Specs at a glance: 15.6″ inch FHD, Intel Core i7-6500U, 8 GB DDR 3, 256 GB SSD, Intel HD

Pros

  • One of the best performance/dollar value thanks to the amazing discount.
  • Thin and light for a 15.6″ laptop.

Cons

  • Certified Refurbished label can put some people off.
  • Since this is a certified refurbished laptop, the warranty is limited to only 90 days.

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6. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG Laptop – Our Recommended Best Laptop for Ubuntubest laptop for ubuntu

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This laptop has the tendency to top any of lists out there these days.

After all, it offers some of the best value in the market. It is for this reason, that for the short time that it has been in the market, it has already received more than a 1,000 reviews on Amazon.com alone.

This is a laptop that is built for performance at cheap. It offers Intel Core i5-6200U processor. This is entirely reasonable for a notebook that is less than $550. Along with that, it offers 8 GB of DDR 4 RAM and even a NVIDIA GeForce 940M graphics card.

To top it all up, this laptop not only offers a backlit keyboard but also promises a battery life that can last for 12 hours.

Specs at a glance: 15.6″ FHD, Intel Dual Core i5-6200U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 256 GB SSD, 12 hours battery,

Pros

  • Dedicated graphics card along with a mid-end processor makes this an amazing deal.
  • Long battery life and slim design excellent for portability
  • Offers USB Type-C along with other latest features like DDR 4 RAM.

Cons

  • Not powerful enough to be cut out for heavier work.

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7. Dell 7559-2512BLK – Best High Performance Laptop for Ubuntu

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This is a relatively high-performance laptop, and for that reason, it is also quite expensive. However, if you are looking for the best laptop for Ubuntu, then you need to make a bit of investment.

If you are after a career in development, then considering spending on a quality laptop like this.

This particular laptop offers a high-performance Intel Core i7-6700HQ. Thi is a quad core processor with hyper threading enabled making it one of the most powerful for multimedia laptops.

On the downside, despite being a high-performance laptop, this laptop does not offer an SSD.

Along with that, it offers a decent hardware to go along including a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card.

The hardware is quite fantastic and worthy of being used in complex projects.

Not only does this best laptop for Ubuntu has a battery life of 10+hours, but it also has a slim profile.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD, Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB + 8 GB HSSD, 10+ hours battery,

Pros

  • The i7-6700HQ is one of the fastest processors for laptops
  • Offers a great mid range graphics card that should be able to handle all kinds of gaming.

Cons

  • Although slim, it is a bit heavier compared to the rest of the laptops listed here.
  • Lack of an SSD can break the deal for some enthusiasts.

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17.3 inch Best Ubuntu Laptops

This is the screen size that is preferred by those who use their laptops as a workstation.

If you don’t move about much, then you will value these machines. 17.3 laptops offer better performance/dollar, but at the sacrifice of mobility and portability.

8. Acer Aspire 17.3 Full HD Laptop

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There are many 17.3 inch laptops in the market. In fact, if you are looking for a workstation machine, then it is better to go for 17.3″ laptops.

This is not the most powerful 17.3″ laptops, but it does have a great hardware at a reasonable price tag making it top of our list.

It boasts an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8 GB of DDR 4 RAM and 256 GB of SSD. These are the core requirements for any developer and programmer. A fast configuration like this should help you work seamlessly.

The only relative drawback, which is quite obvious, is that this laptop is thick and heavy. Plus it does not have a long battery life. So if you are looking for portability, this is not the wisest option.

Moreover, this laptop also manages to have a NVIDIA Geforce 940 MX graphics card. This is a mid-range graphics card that is capable of performing gaming at moderate graphics.

However, most importantly, you can use this graphics card for works that require graphical rendering or simulation.

Specs at a glance: 17.3 inch FHD, Intel Core i5-7200U, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 940M, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD

Pros

  • Large and comfortable screen.
  • Features the latest generation of hardware including 7th gen processors, DDR 4 RAM and SSD.
  • A dedicated graphics card enables gaming.

Cons

  • Heavier and thicker than most laptop. You will mostly be using it as a workstation.
  • The battery life is lacking. Therefore, this is not the most portable laptop.

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An Essential For Programmers and Developers

Although you can develop and program on any laptop and environment, i.e., Windows, Mac, or Linux, most of the professionals out there prefer Linux Ubuntu. Therefore, it is important you get familiar with this operating system.

Other than the various amount of tools Ubuntu provides, having the knowledge of using this OS makes your CV stand out from the rest. It tells the employer or the contractor that you know what you are talking about and that you can take your work seriously. Seriously enough to learn how to use an entirely new operating system.

Just a small fact,

The Ubuntu project is publicly committed to the principles of open-source software development; people are encouraged to use free software, study how it works, improve upon it, and distribute it. – Wikipedia

This goes to tell that programming and software development is at the heart of Ubuntu operating system.

All the applications and critical programs will be found in the Ubuntu software center. Ubuntu, being one of the most secure operating systems, is easy to download and install for use.

FAQ

Should I Buy an Ubuntu Laptop Instead of Windows?

There are many laptops that come pre-installed with Ubuntu Operating. An example of this includes Dell XPS Developer EditionSystem 76 Oryx Pro, etc.

The idea behind this is that if you get a laptop with Ubuntu Pre-installed, you can save yourself from the hidden cost of a Genuine Windows.

However, we are of the opinion that you should always invest in a Windows laptop first and then install Ubuntu on it. Here is why:

  • Laptops that come pre-installed with Ubuntu cost always the same as compared to Windows. (A simple search in the market can reveal this to be true).
  • If you are new to Ubuntu, you will actually benefit from having Windows side-by-side.
  • Things that are not compatible with Ubuntu can be used on Windows.
  • If gaming is also on your list, then you must have Windows.

Should Ubuntu be the Linux OS of your Choice?

If you are starting out, then by far the majority of the opinion is with using Ubuntu or Mint. Mint is basically a version of Ubuntu Itself.

Ubuntu is one of the most powerful, well supported, stable, and compatible Linux OS in the market. Therefore, this should be your starting choice.

Resources

How to Install Ubuntu On Windows Laptop

How to Install Ubuntu On Macbook