Recently, I’ve replaced my five year old 13″ MacBook Air with a new budget Linux laptop. Since I’ve been using Linux desktops more and more there was just no point in buying another Apple product. The time was ripe to go fully Linux on my to-go laptop.
When I started evaluating laptops I quickly realized that even in 2016 it’s still nearly impossible to buy a new laptop with full Linux driver support. Linux and mobile hardware support is somewhat like a good red wine, it gets better over time. One notable exception is the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition which comes with a preloaded Ubuntu Desktop operating system. I’m not sure if Dell still sells an updated version of the Developer Edition model but it was not available in my country and I didn’t want to shell out more than $800 for my new laptop anyway.
Best budget Linux laptop
When it comes to portable computers, I’m probably kinda old-school. I don’t need a touch screen (fingerprints everywhere, eeek!) or some funky 2-in-1 tablet/laptop convertible like the Dell Yoga. Just a slim, lightweight 13″ laptop with a nice display (preferably matte), a battery-friendly processor, flash-based storage and a couple of full-size USB 3.0 ports for a decent price. After looking at a half dozen or so potential candidates I’ve set my eyes on the ASUS Zenbook UX305CA with the 6th gen. Intel Skylake mobile processor.