Laptop recommendations


I want to buy a laptop for up to 700€. I want to use it as working station at home and at work. Mostly it will be used for Office, Movies, Surfing the web, and for image rendering. As I will run Ubuntu MATE on it I am looking for a Laptop without pre-installed a Windows OS. What’s very important to me is the laptop’s quality. This has brought me to consider Lenovo Thinkpads. Any thoughts or recommendations?

As far as I know Lenovo Thinkpads always ship with Windows unless you are in India or China.

I am running Ubuntu MATE on a brand new System76 Galago Ultra pro. Everything just works as the laptop is built for Ubuntu.

Alternatively Ubuntu MATE has partnership with Entroware to ship laptops pre-installed with Ubuntu MATE.

Hope this helps.


I don’t really use laptops, but if I ever buy a new one – I’d definitely look for one that gives “No OS” as an option or at least will be willing to refund the Windows license on top of it.

But I’ve heard System76 are a good brand if you are looking for one that will be the most compatible with Ubuntu.

Compatibility-wise you certainly can’t buy any better laptop than one which comes with Ubuntu pre-installed. But what about quality? I don’t want the laptop to slowly fall apart after say 2 years, so durability for me is as important as compatibility. How about System76 with regard to that?

System76 laptops are really good in build quality.

The only downside for my Galago ultra pro is battery - will last for only about 3 hours with continous active use.

Read the online reviews available for the laptop model you are considering before making adecision

You may find this interesting (Taurinus-x-200). I found the link in the Free Software Foundation Europe newsletter.

System 76 (like Lenovo) uses Clevo laptops, These are robusts and really good to be upgradable and loaded with linux systems. F ex. the lemur one is a w540su of clevo. I don’t know where you are but you could have a look to pcspecialist in uk. They commercialize clevo notebooks with free configurations, chipset, ram, HD, with or w/o OS…

Thank you VERY MUCH. Exactly what I was looking for!

I’m also looking for a new laptop without OS or with Ubuntu* preinstalled. I’m here in Europe and my requirements are a DisplayPort (for connecting an external monitor larger than 1920x1200px), high DPI screen, long battery endurance, SSD and lots of RAM. So far only the Dell XPS 13 Developer Ddition comes to mind, but it’s currently sold out (there should be a new version coming in the middle of November) and quite pricey. Any alternatives worth mentioning?

If you’re looking for a special linux laptop and you’re in europe you might find the “linux-onlineshop” interesting (

They have a large number of standardised products but will also BUILD a laptop TO YOUR SPECIFICATION, and deliver it with your linux distribution pre-installed.

The website is only in German, but there is a “contact” page (contact-link where you can get in touch. Even if you don’t speak German you may be able to communicate in English or another language.

I have no personal experience of this company but when the time comes to renew my aging machines this will be my first port of call.

I’ve used lenovo thinkpads for more than 10 years and highly recommend them. However they are expensive. The traditional models which have a fantastic reputation are : T series and X series - for the current models look at the T450s and x250. There is also an X1 Carbon and ‘W’ series are larger but with bigger screens and more horsepower.

My first Thinkpad (T40) lasted for 9 years before I dropped it one too many times and sheared off a hinge. It still works, but doesn’t close nicely. It cost £1500, or £167/year. What I liked about it are : the keyboard is great and all the keys feel like they’re in the right place, the trackpoint is great once you get used to it (when you do you’ll find it annoying to have to move your arm to use the touchpad), they are very upgradeable and modular (except the X1 carbon), they are built tough and work great with linux.

At the moment everyone in reddit/r/thinkpads are recommending getting a second hand Thinkpad X220 with IPS display, then upgrading HD to SSD and adding more RAM.

I’ve tried other laptops, and I honestly couldn’t use anything else now.

Hello , thanks for the tips in this thread I have been researching laptops to replace my ageing asus 1225b for a couple of weeks. I followed your link to pc specialist whom I’d not heard of. Seems pretty good in terms of range of products and certainly on price. Have ordered a laptop from them so will post back once received (and Ubuntu Mate installed) on how it went.

Hi Andy
You’re welcome!

Personally, I am a little bit bored to trash old laptops and to have to spend around 600 $ to buy a new one. So I recently recycled my old w130ew clevo that was dead, removing the motherboard card and conservering only the screen, the batteries and the barebone. At its place I physically load a rapsberry Pi2 card connected with the clevo screen using a panel. I added also a bluetooth keyboard/mouse and a mini-wifi dongle.

Everything are working most that fine. I recharge the batteries of the clevo with its previous current charger.

I installed with HPLIP my HP laser color CP1025 without any difficulties (but manually only, using the procedure described by Sheldonl at the end of that post) and use the Pi2 as stamping server. I recently made a Freecad public video-presentation with, showing 3D models running, using an internet connection to present html sites and with a Libre Office drawing presentation, all running at the same time.

I use also this ‘reused assemblage’ to my car travels with a ‘G - Mouse LUY VK-162 gps antena’ well recognized and with the Navit program that works pretty fine with jessie or the raspbian on the pi2.

I easily download all the mp3/mp4 files from the net and use the OSMC program to see movies and use the raspberry as a media center.

The total cost of these elements is :
40$ for the raspberry pi 2
10 $ for the wifi dongle
4$ the the bluetooth dongle
30 $ for the bluetooth keyboard and mouse
30 $ for the sceen panel.
and with 12$ for a 64 Go microSD

I will post pictures soon on this forum.
If you would have more information and be interested, I would be very happy to give you all the links…


HI GIl, sounds fun! The only reason I’m having to replace the asus is that im on the 3rd battery, switching on takes some “gentle manipulation”, switching off is a random event the mousepad gave up months ago and it now has a tendency to overheat rapidly so it cannot be left on for more than about 2 hours…ive been nursing it along for months as i love it. I shall relegate it to being used with a windows installation to occasionally update my tom tom satnav as there is no linux software for that.

I am interested in the Pi though, have been reading a little into it as I want to try to use it for a home security system as there are cameras around my home that were from the previous owner but nothing for them to feed, so I’m thinking of (when I have time) using a pi to do this with, I have another old HP laptop (a big one) so perhaps I’ll follow your thinking in due course!



Hi again Andy
The motion program runs quite well on the pi2 and it is easily to develop, with vnc and ssh connections, a home security system. I use a second Pi2 for that precise aim with two very old web cams.
For your tom tom and linux, you could have a look on the PyTomTom or the jTomtom programs that run on linux and are used to update GPSQuickFix and some of POIs of the tom tom. But may be yours isn’t supported… like the TomtomHome2, that needs a virtual machine to work with linux… : (
A good week end

PS, I never try but it could be that Navit works well with a Tom Tom… ?