Looking for a good Linux Laptop

For years, I’ve ran some flavor of Linux on all my hardware. Lately, however, I awoke to discover that I’ve inadvertently factored out all my Linux boxes. It was innocuous enough. I’ve lent out my Linux desktop to a friend in need, and have mostly replaced it with a Microsoft Surface running Windows 10 and my newly acquired work laptop. My desktop at work was a bit of an anchor to a desk I no longer wanted, and so I traded in my two monitor Fedora box for a shiny new Macbook Pro. I might have gotten a Linux laptop, if the only thing on offer wasn’t an offensive MSI gaming laptop with rainbow backlit keys. Ick. I’m a web developer, so the Pro has mostly been a good experience for me. I experimented with Magento and PHP7 after about six minutes worth of work, I have most of the toolset I’m used to on Linux, and the battery life is truly outstanding compared to comparable Linux-running laptops I’ve seen.

There’s some drawbacks, however. While the much lauded industrial design and finish of the hardware has yet to be matched, and the battery life genuinely lasts for a full day of meetings and straining my MySQL instance, it’s just not Linux. OS X (or should I call it macOS), is Linux’s lame sister with the bright clothes.

If you tend to run other people’s bash scripts on your system, be prepared to rewrite some. If you’d prefer to run Gnome Shell or run a GTK application with odd dependancies, prepare to be let down. There’s nothing quite like KDEConnect, just the i devices I’d prefer not to use. Just google ‘Fedora 23 2015 Macbook Pro’ and watch your heart sink.

I’ll probably start scrap-booking some of my favorite picks on this blog, but I’ve been pretty disappointed in my search so far. Everyone always says System76 is the pinnacle, but their laptop is thick and cheap looking in person with a weak battery. Dell has a nice Developer Edition, but it’s 13 inches and the hardware is in need of a refresh. If you go through the Canonical and RHEL hardware compatibility lists, you’re left with a bad taste in your mouth.


Doug Hatcher

I'm a developer from Charleston, SC. I like technology, movies, and dabble in Star Trek fandom.

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