2017 linux ultrabook

Last topic regarding this seems to have been May 2016.

I'm wondering what advice the community has for best linux ultrabook during 2017.

Brand preference?

I'd say whatever was mentioned in the last thread plus the System76 Lemur* if it wasn't mentioned. The Lemur does run Ubuntu out of the box after all.

Aside from Nvidia stuffing their GPUs into every laptop they can get their hands on, there really hasn't been any real new stuff in the PC world recently, so the old thread shouldn't be irrelevant yet.

*The System76 Lemur, Sager NP3245, and Clevo N240BU are literally rebrands of the same thing. Whichever one is cheapest.

Im speaking to a general discussion what may be coming in the future too, not necessarily buying right this second. I am satisfied now with my Pixel C though not really excited by the tabletness of it if i can use that word..

I dont care about brand other than in the sense I am looking to retain as much privacy as possible.

budget doesn't concern me though I will weigh initial release price accordingly

I am not a gamer with this device class other than casually emulating android games on occasion. Video chatting, youtube, and emailing being the primary uses.

Dell XPS 13DE, Lenovo X1 Carbon and the Librem 13 from Purism are my top choices.

I wouldn't buy System 76 unless I was buying the top end beast, Bonobo Xtreme. The Lemur has a terrible build quality, unusable trackpad, and no keyboard backlighting.


The purism website was one I was unaware of. Any thought on how they stack up to the mainstream brands? I like the idea of privacy developed from the hardware up, and at face value they certainly seem like an enthusiast brand prior to selling out.

Can any Libram owners speak to this?

+1 for XPS 13DE. I have a Windows one (XPS 13 Skylake) with 1080 screen/larger battery than the 4k sku. Had Fedora on it since day one. Great laptop. I replaced the wireless card when I initially set it up (and larger nvme storage), but in hindsight I don't think that was necessary with Fedora. The DE model comes with a wireless card with Broadcom/Linux drivers and I think the Broadcom would've worked out of the box.

Sorry the XPS 13DE comes with a Killer wireless card.

Upon seeing Purism, I also encountered Zareason. I know these are not "ultrabooks" but now that i've been clued in, I'm happy to hear from user experiences.

XPS13DE seems great and well refined since its start

The 5300 Ultralap from ZAreason, I really like that it has a removable battery, which is more or less unimaginable on mainstream ultrabooks

Yeah, but it's not that hard to get killer to work under GNU/Linux. Also, if it comes factory installed with GNU/Linux, then you won't have problems like not having wifi after waking from sleep.

I don't think I will be in the market for an ultrabook soon. I am, however, looking forward to what comes to market offering lower end Ryzen laptops.

I have NOT used either Zareason or Librem/Purism personally. Hell, since I live and work in NZ it's nigh impossible to even get a System 76 (even though they ship here), unless you want to pay ~$400 for shipping + ~ $650 for customs (I was considering buying the Bonobo Xtreme a while back)!

Personally, I am using GNU/Linux on an Alienware 17 R3 Skylake. It was a smooth install, but took a while to get the Killer 1535 up and running. I have never had any problems with Killer wireless since, except this one weird bug: on waking from sleep the wifi card is not detected. A reboot fixes it immediately.

That being said, the general consensus from buddies in different labs in the US is:

System 76: Build quality and feature sets are crappy unless you move up the line and get one of their top end models. Then the situation is drastically different! The Bonobo Xtreme is built like a tank! Support is not very highly spoken of, and they have an addiction to the spyware known as Ubuntu (sorry, I hate Ubuntu with all my heart and soul! Anything by Canonical, really!)

ZaReason: Poor man's System 76, with less distributional reach, worse build quality and feature sets, and nowhere near as many configuration options. Support is crappy, but you may get lucky. They do let you choose distros to be pre-installed though... or at least they used to.

Librem: Excellent build quality, ultra-modern design, very refined GNU/Linux implementation, and an excellent derivation of Debian (yay!!!)! But they do not care for dedicated GPUs, and only offer three models in the ultra-sexy slim ultra-portables category. You get all the options in the way of CPUs and SSDs though... but they have a firm policy of not providing any dedicated GPUs in their laptops.

Forgot the name, so I will be back later to post it.

But here is this Spanish company that teamed up with KDE to create an ultrabook. I think for the price it may be a ripoff. But if you can find one cheap, that a different story.

I don't know where you are located or what your preference is DE (or WM) is, but KDE is putting out a Ultrabook your their developers called the slimbook. It has good specs and is guaranteed to run Linux flawlessly.

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ThinkPads are typically well supported by the Unix/Linux communities and IMHO have great keyboards. You'll probably have to pay a Windoze tax, though. : (

Ubuntu maintains a certification database for laptops and other hardware, noting their compatibility status/issues. You may want to have a look, if you can't find the hardware you want, with Linux pre-installed.

Example: T560

EDIT: It's been a few years since I bought a new laptop and I've just discovered that Lenovo no longer supplies decent, tactile keyboards. Honestly, keyboard quality and overall build quality were but two of the very few ways that they distinguished themselves in a crowded market. Between this and their Superfish debacle, I find that I can no longer recommend them.

When I get around to retiring my T420, I'll probably replace it with an XPS 13DE, or something from System76.

I suggest looking into chromebooks and putting real linux onto them
anywere in 250-550 price range

Of course if anyone is in Australia + NZ + JP + Philipines + India
its going to be 100-200 bucks MORE then USA
as usual for all consumer goods ,
as we get constantly ripped off from china made items
compared to USA

I managed to get the 2014 refribed model of the
Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35 , its 2gb ram , celery n something
16 gb ssd with ips 720p screen , i love it
sure your not going to render 4k video or cad stuff with it
but surfing , playing music, playing video , using TV Out (HDMI),
typing (libreoffice/abiword) , looking at photos from your
cameras microsd card this thing goes awesome
and I managed to pick it up for AUD$250 which
at the time was AUD$350 or USD$200

using a bit of jiggery pokery I managed to get
a new bootloader firmware onto it and get
Linux Mint 18.2 XFCE installed, even after
installing a truckload of stuff onto it
Ive still got 3gig free

now recently a lady i know bought a Hp something
for AUD$350 new this thing was 2 gig free with an
32 gig SSD with win10 Its amazing how slim linux is
stock and after installing loads of apps i wanted

Ohh btw the Toshiba Chromebook 2 laptop
(not 4gb model and not 1080p ips model)
lasts 11 HOURS on battery, its great at uni/tafe/school/study

btw the trackpad sucks , but Ive never really been
happy with trackpad over mouse and it lacks
BACKLIT keyboard for night useage

how bout the razer blade?

I'm using one of the higher-end ZenBooks and it works perfectly with Ubuntu. I'm not sure what distro you want to use but it's worked pretty groovy so far with me.

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great information everyone. I knew this was the right place to ask

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Any thoughts on the dell precision 5520 ? That 32GB of ram looks amazing. Comes with Ubuntu installed.