In the last post, we looked at whether your old laptop is suitable for Linux. You’ve found that Linux often runs great on older machines and a new purchase isn’t necessarily required. But what if you still want to buy a new device or need a second laptop for the family?

In this post, I want to help you find the right device for your needs and point out what aspects you should consider when choosing a new laptop or desktop PC for Linux. We will look at both the technical requirements and individual needs, which can vary depending on the application. So let’s dive into the world of Linux-compatible devices and find the perfect one for you together!

New computer, but which one?

The choice of laptop manufacturers and models is huge. After thorough research, it becomes clear that there is no such thing as “the right” laptop. Compatibility problems with Linux are hardly present. Therefore, the device should first and foremost meet your requirements. You should consider the following aspects when making your decision:

  • Working memory/RAM: 8 GB are completely sufficient for common applications like surfing, e-mail and office work. For editing very large files or for power users who always have many programs open, 16 GB or 32 GB make sense.
  • Hard disk/data storageIf you keep your relevant data in the cloud or on external storage, 256 GB is sufficient. An SSD hard drive is a good choice because it is faster and does not get damaged in case of shocks. HDD hard disks are cheaper, but they work mechanically and are susceptible to vibration. If you store a lot of local data, for example movies or raw images, a hybrid hard drive with SSD and HDD portions and 1 TB or more of storage can be useful.
  • Consider whether you prefer a small, handy and mobile laptop – 12” is sufficient for this. However, this is quite small, and a 16” diagonal is more suitable for larger fonts.. In addition, you should consider the possibility of connecting an external, larger monitor via HDMI or Consider USB-C, especially if the laptop is to replace the desktop. With USB-C, the magic word is “Thunderbolt” – a port that can also be used to connect monitors.
  • Other connections: USB 2 for the usual devices, such as camera and printer, and the faster USB 3 (blue) for external hard drives, memory stick – USB 2 devices also work with USB 3. USB-C for charging or with the addition of Thunderbolt for a docking station or the display. Consider which ports are necessary for you.
  • WLAN interface for wireless Internet or an RJ-45 jack for wired access. Some laptops omit the RJ-45 jack, but it is often faster and thus important for replacing a desktop computer.
  • Bluetooth for wireless mouse, keyboard or headset.
  • Built-in camera, microphone and speaker.

Depending on the intended use, other criteria may also be decisive, such as:

  • Powerful CPU for computationally intensive tasks.
  • Powerful graphics processor with high memory capacity for games.
  • High resolution or color fastness of the screen for image and video editing.
  • High battery life so that the notebook can be used for a workday without power supply.
  • Weight and thickness, easy for travel.

With these criteria, you can narrow down your search and you’ll probably still find a variety of devices that meet your needs. As a rule, Linux runs on most devices, so the operating system will not be the limiting factor. After receiving the device, you still have time to test the compatibility with a live stick and return the device in the worst case. Some Linux distributions offer so-called compatibility lists where you can check if the hardware works with the operating system. For Ubuntu, for example, there is an English-language list of “certified” hardware. But as already mentioned, even if the machine is not listed, Linux will most likely run without problems.

In my case, everything worked smoothly. After receiving the ordered laptop, I first tested it and then installed Linux. Everything has worked flawlessly. If you want to be on the safe side, there are also dealers who pre-install Linux and offer support. A search for “Linux laptop” will lead you to corresponding providers.

Conclusion

Whether you should keep your old laptop or buy a new one with Linux depends on various factors. If you mainly use your laptop for simple applications like surfing, e-mail and office work, an older model is often sufficient. When buying a new computer, it all depends on your specific needs and there is no need to worry about Linux – there are even retailers that pre-install Linux. I hope this post was able to help you with your decision. In further posts, I will go into more detail about installing and using Linux on my new laptop.