Sunday, July 9, 2023

Best laptops for Linux

Having owned a number of laptops over the years in my efforts to find the ideal one to run Linux I would recommend to anyone engaged in the same expensive and frustrating pursuit the following two machines/brands that firstly run Linux well, and secondly last more than 12 months before they fall apart.

Clevo L140MU or later models (also called Metabox, System 76 etc)

  • Comes without any operating system, so you can avoid the "Microsoft tax"
  • Runs Linux well
  • Is very light -- has magnesium body under 1kg
  • Very durable. I have had mine for three years still works mostly OK (see below)
  • Great 72 Wh battery
  • Great keyboard with backlight
  • Great trackpad though simple like Apple one
  • 180 degree lid
  • Can be charged from USB-C port using a generic 65W charger
  • The rubber feet eventually come off -- stuck them back on with superglue
  • Power supply hard to source and the connector failed after 12 months, had to use USB-C
  • Fan got a bit noisy after 3 years
  • Function keys only work when pressing Fn button as well

Lenovo T480, T14, P14s

  • The toughest laptops I have ever used. Still work perfectly after 5 years
  • P14s comes without Microsoft tax
  • Supports Linux well
  • Function keys work without pressing Fn
  • USB-C charging only
  • Splill-resistant keyboard
  • Rubber feet never come off
  • Heaver than the Clevo (1.6kg)
  • Battery not as good (50Wh)
  • P14s requires a patch from Radeon to support suspend/resume
  • Microsoft tax with T14
  • T480, T490 keyboard usually not backlit
  • The only major brand I haven't tried is Asus. The others I wouldn't reccommend.