There aren’t that many companies shipping Linux laptops, and often it’s either at the entry-level of the market with Arm-based Pine64 PineBook or PineBook Pro, or at the higher-end with products such as Dell XPS 13 developer edition or System76 Linux laptops.
If you’d like something in between, you could install Ubuntu on a laptop yourself, but drivers are not always working, and sometimes when the laptop is confirmed to work, the manufacturer may decide to completely redesign the hardware.
Star Lite Mk III Linux laptop may be an interesting alternative, as the Intel Pentium N5000 Gemini Lake laptop is up for pre-order for $427 US and up with delivery scheduled to start in September.
- SoC – Intel Pentium N5000 quad-core Gemini Lake processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.7 GHz (Turbo) with 4MB cache, Intel UHD 605 graphics @ 200/750 MHz; 6W TDP
- System Memory – 8GB LPDDR4 @ 2400MHz
- 240GB M.2 2280 SATA SSD up to 560MB/s; Upgradeable to 480 or 960GB SSD at the time of order
- MicroSD card slot
- Display – 11.6-inch LED-backlit matte IPS display with 1920×1080 resolution
- Video Output – Micro HDMI 1.4 port up to 4K @ 30 Hz; DisplayPort (via USB-C) up to 4K @ 60 Hz
- Audio – Stereo speakers; dual digital microphone; 3.5mm headphone jack
- Camera – 480p HD webcam
- 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 up to 433 Mbps
- Bluetooth 5.1
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 Type-C port with PD, 1x USB-C port with DisplayPort Alt Mode, 1x USB 3.0 Type-A port, 1x USB 2.0 port
- User Input – Backlit keyboard with glass trackpad supporting multi-touch gestures
- Misc – AMI Aptio V UEFI firmware (BIOS)
- Power Supply – 60W USB-C PD power supply or DC jack
- Battery – 30.4 Wh Lithium-polymer battery good for up to 7 hours battery life
- Dimensions – 28.30 x 19.20 x 1.36 cm (Black Anodised Aluminium)
- Weight – 900 grams
The 11.6-inch laptop ships with a 60W USB-C power adapter with UK, EU, US, and AU plug adapters, a 2-meter USB-C cable, a Quick Start Guide, a protective sleeve, and a screen cleaning cloth.
But what makes the laptop different from others on the market is really the choice of operating systems at the time of order:
- Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (64-bit) or later
- elementary OS 5.1.5 (64-bit) or later
- Linux Mint 20 (64-bit) or later
- Manjaro 20.0 (64-bit) or later
- MX Linux AHS 19.2 (64-bit) or later
- Zorin OS 15.2 (64-bit) or later
- Windows 10 RS3 (64-bit) or later
If you can’t find your preferred distribution in the list, you can always check the list of Linux distributions tested on Star Lite Mk III. The only downside is that you would have to install those by yourself. I wish the company had an option for larger 14-inch or greater displays, since tiny 11.6″ displays are not for everyone.