Searching to buy a new laptop for Linux use, you should search very well and check for hardware compatibility to ensure that there are drivers for your hardware and it will work very well. Today most Laptops come with a preinstalled Windows OEM on them, but there also you can find laptops with Linux preinstalled, unfortunately this doesn’t mean that it’s the best laptop to use Linux. Here is some research that can save you a headache later.
Yes you can buy a laptop that comes with Linux preinstalled, this is a good option but only in case you are well known with Linux and will not have problems using it and understanding it. You can find installed Linux operating system by the manufacturer which have done the work to make sure the hardware works properly and has Linux drivers, they will take it seriously and will chose the most compatible laptops. One thing you have to pay attention, you will have to search for these laptops, because today in shops you can find laptops with Linux installed by the shop, and they don’t really care about the compatibility and drivers.
There are some Laptops which comes with Linux preinstalled
Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook which is using Ubuntu, it’s a Dell’s “Project Sputnik” designed to create a Linux laptop for developers.
Dell Inspiron 1SR a good laptop with i7 CPU, good performance.
System76 Laptops come with Ubuntu preinstalled, these laptops have a Ubuntu logo on their “Super key” instead of the Windows logo. System76 laptops come from 14? up to a 17? with a great design and good performance.
ZaReason Laptops, budget laptops which comes also with Linux preinstalled.
The Chromebook – Chromebooks also use Linux, but they work with cloud and internet, you can install any Linux over Chrome OS and you will not have problems with hardware drivers as chromebooks are designed to work on Linux perfectly. Chromebooks are budget laptops, not for gaming. Read more about Chromebook.
About installing Linux by yourself
You may also want to purchase a specific laptop you like, and think of installing Linux by yourself. The best option is to install Linux with Dual-Boot, it means not to format Partition where your Windows is installed, so in case Linux is not working well you can return whenever you need to Windows. Is it a good idea to keep Windows installed alongside your Linux.
Why to use Dual-Boot
Linux has a great compatibility with hardware today, it’s not anymore such a big problem, you only should take care about some important things, like Hybrid Graphics Card, which use switching technology. Be very careful with NVIDIA Optimus graphics-switching technology, as for sure you will have trouble installing the drivers and get them to work, also same thing with AMD ATI Radeon Hybrid switchable graphics card, same problem you will have to try very hard to make it work, here is an example of installing AMD ATI Radeon Hybrid Graphics Card drivers for some models of laptops. Here is an exampe of Dual-Boot, where you have to choose what to start Ubuntu Linux, or Windows 7.
About Ubuntu Certified Hardware
Ubuntu created a Ubuntu Certified hardware database. Manufacturers can certify their PC’s and laptops hardware as Ubuntu compatible. What you have to do is to buy a certified Ubuntu laptop and you should not have problems at all installing drivers and using it at full performance. Awesome work from Ubuntu. Also if it’s compatible with Ubuntu it should work as good with other Linux Distributions. Choose from best Linux Distros.
Before buying a Laptop for Linux, Google it
You want a specific model of laptop, here is the trick, to find what problems will you have trying to use on it Linux, give it a search on Google, type your laptop model and word “Ubuntu” or “Linux”. You will find a bunch of forums with problems or good things about this laptop using Linux. Make sure you look at latest version of Linux.
It’s easy to buy a laptop, anyway I recommend you to buy a laptop with Linux preinstalled, or better to search for laptops which come with Linux from manufacturers. In any case if you install Linux by yourself make sure you use dual-boot. Make sure you do some good research before taking the final decision.