Best Ubuntu Laptop: 9 Top picks for 2018 (April Update) – Pick Notebook

I will go straight to the point with this one. Find the best Ubuntu laptop is not effortless – even finding a good laptop for Windows can take some time. And when wij add compatibility issues and varying degrees of Ubuntu support for 15.xx and 16.xx releases, wij can find ourselves crossing fingers hoping that the trackpad and WiFi work out-of-the-box.

On the other mitt, Ubuntu is the best Linux distro when it comes to finding a compatible laptop. There are slew of reviews and guides for the most popular guides. Ubuntu community might not have a well-maintained wiki with latest laptops (spil ArchLinux does), but there are a loterijlot more effortless step-by-step guides for Ubuntu users.

Ter this lengthy postbode, I’ll voorkant what is significant when searching for the best laptop for Ubuntu and what are the common problematic areas. Then, I’ll list out the best Ubuntu laptops with guides: best laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed, best Chromebooks for Ubuntu and the best Windows laptops and MacBooks with good Ubuntu support.

What wij should look for te an Ubuntu laptop?

Very first things very first. To find the best Ubuntu laptop, wij’ll need to know what wij’re looking for and what wij should avoid. I’ll pauze down specs one by one and outline what are our options.


Major Processor

Beginning with Kernel Four.Trio – found te Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Linux supports Skylake graphics which are generally superior to their Broadwell and Haswell counterparts. Therefore, unless you have limitations of a particular Ubuntu version, go for the latest Ubuntu release with newest Kernel and a 6th generation Intel CPU.

Speciaal from that, judging a mobile processor for Linux is fairly straightforward.

General CPU spectacle guidelines for Ubuntu:

  • Low-end: N2840 , N3050, N3150
  • Lower-mid-range: i3-5005U, i3-5010U, i3-5020U
  • Upper-mid-range: i7-5500U, i7-6500U, i5-6300HQ
  • High-end: i7-4720HQ, i7-4770HQ, i7-5700HQ, i7-6700HQ, i7-6820HK

Major Graphics card


Integrated graphics are mostly problem-free. But if you’ll be running Ubuntu (under 16.04 “Xenial Xerus”) with older kernels (below Four.Trio.x), you’ll need to apply a puny fix to enable Intel 6th-gen graphics by adding i915.preliminary_hw_support=1 to boot parameters.

Integrated graphics is a viable option for the majority of Ubuntu users. Ter brief, integrated movie chip is enough for everyone except those that truly need a dedicated graphics card – which is up next.


Ter 2018, dedicated graphics almost always means having a Nvidia movie card.

And there is one large punt with Nvidia cards – lack of decent Nvidia Optimus support. Nvidia Optimus is used to switch off Nvidia graphics card and to fall back on integrated graphics chip to preserve battery life. Without this technology, you could expect only a few hours of battery runtime because a dedicated graphics card is one of the most power-hungry components ter a laptop.

For many years, Nvidia has given little to no attention to the Linux community. That even resulted te Linus calling it “the single worst company wij’ve everzwijn dealt with”.

But there is a blessed ending – well… sort of. Nvidia’s official drivers (called Nvidia Prime) offerande welgevoeglijk manual support for switching GPUs and there are a few 3rd party solutions to the entire Optimus ineenstorting.

There are Two main ways to use Nvidia graphics on Ubuntu:

Both of thesis drivers have not bot updated for fairly some time but they work decently well however not spil seamlessly spil if you were using Windows/MacOS.

But if you want to be safe, before you buy some multimedia/gaming Ubuntu laptop, research if someone got their movie card decently working on that precies prototype.

And if you’re wondering, it is not that hard to figure out what GPU will getraind your needs. Nvidia GTX 950M is a nice step up from integrated chips but GTX 960M should be your kicking off option if you’re into gaming. Eventually, Nvidia GTX 970M and 980M are top-of-the-line cards for latest gaming releases. For professional work, even if you work with movie and your software can take advantage of Cuda cores, there isn’t much reason to go above 970M.

Minor RAM

For the cheapest models, going for Four GB is a welvoeglijk embarking point. I would not recommend going for anything less than that even if you want a budget machine.

For software developers, who make up a large part of Ubuntu and Linux users te general, 8 GB should be mandatory. 16 GB should be a requirement if you can and want to spend overheen $1000 for a Ubuntu laptop. 16 GB is best for mighty CPU multitaskers: using powerful IDEs, keeping a lotsbestemming of tabs open ter a browser, running a server with a database etc. Of course, it goes without telling that if you are working with virtual machines (VM) – 16 GB should be your commencing point.

Minor Screen

There are Two key points to voorkant when judging screens for an Ubuntu laptop: compatibility issues and general quality metrics.

Possible screen issues
High DPI

Any latest Ubuntu version supports High DPI displays but desktop environments/shells (spil Gnome and Unity) and various applications have a loterijlot of catching up to do for a good HiDPI practice.

A few resources you should check for fixing :


Touchscreens are generally universally supported ter Ubuntu. There are infrequently any problems with basic touchscreen usage. But there can be issues when there are more than Trio points of voeling (the same rule applies to many touchpads). To be certain that it will work with your laptop, you should check via Google if there are posts on various forums or blogs of people installing Ubuntu (or even other Linux distros). The official documentation Ubuntu provides is rather limited and mostly outdated.

What makes a screen good?

When it comes to displays, there are so many metrics that can be measured. But for most use cases, some can be almost fully disregarded. That includes maximum refresh rate (unless you want Nvidia G-Sync, which can work on Linux), response rates, low-level flickering and many others.

80% of what makes a screen good depends on Five metrics. Thesis are: panel, resolution, brightness, tegenstelling and color gamut coverage (ter order of importance).

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