How do I Choose the Best Linux® Laptop?

Larry Ray Palmer

Choosing the best Linux® laptop for your needs requires some serious consideration of your intended use of the computer. While there are many Linux® laptops and Linux® notebook computers available on the market as of 2011, the different characteristics of these machines make them more appropriate for specific tasks. Knowing what options are available can make the process of choosing a Linux® laptop for business or personal use an easier task.

Extra memory cards add to a computer's capacity.
Extra memory cards add to a computer's capacity.

When deciding on the best Linux® laptop for your personal needs, you must first consider the flavor of Linux® distribution installed on the system. While some of the more user-friendly distributions of Linux® are simple to learn and use for the average Linux® laptop user, they may lack the power of the more robust versions of the operating system. These versions of Linux® are generally appropriate for basic personal use, but they may not have the abilities needed for business installations.

Specific needs on a Linux laptop may require adding CD or DVD drives.
Specific needs on a Linux laptop may require adding CD or DVD drives.

For the more intense home Linux® laptop user or corporate applications, more powerful operating systems may be necessary. One of the most popular mid-level Linux® operating systems is Ubuntu®. Although it is considered user-friendly, Ubuntu® has a bit of a learning curve. In exchange for this small amount of added technical difficulty, this operating system is more advanced, making it the perfect choice for office applications and software on dual-boot computers running Windows® and Linux® operating systems.

For those who need a Linux® laptop with enough power to run even the most advanced database programs and intense applications, they may be better suited with a Linux® laptop running a down and dirty distribution of Linux®. These versions are stripped of the graphical user interfaces of the user-friendly Linux® distributions in favor of command lines and more powerful computing. These systems are not generally considered user-friendly and they are designed for use by people who understand the complete workings of the Linux® operating system. These systems are commonly used for those who want to store a complete database of files that can be quickly searched and processed for reporting.

Choosing the correct Linux® distribution is only the first part of your journey to find the best Linux® laptop for your needs. Purchasing decision makers should also look carefully at the hardware options of any prospective purchase. Your specific needs may require upgrade options for the computer's display capabilities, extra memory, added storage, CD or DVD drives, and the ability to add external components and other optional hardware. By understanding what hardware is needed to accomplish the tasks you are trying to achieve, you can find the best Linux® laptop to accommodate your needs.

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