The Best Chromebook for Linux
The Chromebook is essentially a converted PC running a Linux-based operating system. Many Linux enthusiasts love them as they get to sample the power of Linux at a more affordable price. And for those wanting to dip their toes in Linux land, a Chromebook is a good start.
If you’re in the market for a Chromebook for Linux, we’ve done the hard work for you. Check out some of the best Chromebooks with Linux application support on the market right now.
So, without further ado, let’s shop for the best Chromebooks for Linux users.
The ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 is an ideal choice for users who are particular about the “flip” in their machines. In addition to the ability to shapeshift into any position within a 360-degree-angle, this Chromebook is ideal for Linux users as it supports the “Google Crostini initiative” with Linux container support.
The ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 takes the Chromebook flip feature to another level.
It certainly lives up to its name with a precision 360-degree hinge that enables it to fabulously flip and rotates a full 360-degrees. It can morph into stand, tent, and tablet mode.
The 14 -inch LED-backlight with 1920 x 1080 resolution touch screen display features split-screening and permits an immersive work or gaming experience. The backlit keyboard has a comfortable 1.4 – millimeter key travel. The touchpad offers multi-touch gesture support.
This Chromebook looks good too. The NanoEdge ultra-slim (five millimeters) bezels surrounding the screen display allows you to see more of the screen. It has a stylish and classic look. The chassis is constructed from a durable but lightweight (three pounds) all-aluminum metal.
The components inside include the Intel Core m3-8100y pro processor that overclocks to 3.4 gigahertz and 64 gigabytes of eMMc solid-state storage. The ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 is portable, offering up to 10 hours of battery life with a single charge.
- Sleek premium design
- A 14-inch touchscreen with NanoEdge technology
- Solid keyboard and touchpad
- Good battery life
- Small speakers
- Slightly pricey for a Chromebook
The Google PixelBook is the daddy of all Chromebooks. It sets a precedent for what to expect from a Chrome OS device.
Its advanced features consist of the powerful 7th generation Intel Core processor, eight gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, and 126 gigabytes of solid-state storage. Perfect specs to support Linux variants, including Kali.
Other notable features include the Intel HD Graphics 615, which projects a vivid display on the 12.3-inch screen with 2400 x 1600 resolution. The 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 will connect you to other devices wherever you go.
The PixelBook is a slim, lightweight design with 360-degree hinges that rotate into a tablet, laptop, tent, and entertainment mode. It offers enhanced stylus support and comes with a Google Assistant Smartpen for handwriting, drawing, and natural design.
It charges quickly and can support two hours’ battery life after a 15-minute charge, or up to 10 hours use once fully charged.
- Thin and lightweight
- Dedicated Google Assistant button
- Lots of storage
- Enhanced stylus support
- Fast charge
- Expensive due to advanced features
- Small touch display
- Poor audio
Chromebooks from the Google PixelBook range are just perfect for supporting Linux apps. Next up, we’ll be taking a look at Google PixelBook’s younger sibling, Google PixelBook Go.
Google PixelBook vs. Google PixelBook Go
So what’s changed? Let’s take a quick look at the differences:
- Different designs, including screen size and materials used to construct them.
- The PixelBook Go is slightly faster, performance-wise.
- The PixelBook Go battery life is slightly longer by two hours.
- The PixelBook Go’s starting price is slightly lower.
PixelBook Go is obtainable in three configurations- m3, i5, and i7. With maximum memory and RAM up to 268 gigabytes and 16 gigabytes, respectively. These configurations make them the best Chromebooks for Linux.
Regardless of the set-up you choose, it’ll have a 13.3 full HD display with wide-viewing angles and vivid color for maximum immersion. It has an extra responsive, precise touchpad, an almost noiseless backlit keyboard – no matter how strongly you type – called a “Hush Keyboard.” Overall, the PixelBook Go aims to be noiseless since it is fan-less.
The fast-charging tech offers up to 12 hours of battery life.
- Dual stereo speakers
- High-quality 1080p webcam
- 13.3-inch screen
- Integrated Titan C security chip
- Very plain design
- No digital stylus support
- Still pricey for a Chromebook
Next in line in our best Chromebook for Linux collection is the Lenovo Chromebook S330. This model is Lenovo’s latest Chromebook and is currently one of the most affordable around. The Lenovo Chromebook S330 robust MediaTek MTK8173C processor caters for seamless running of Linux distros.
It’s available in two variations: 32 and 64 gigabytes of internal storage. The latter Chromebook is expandable with a reserved MicroSD slot. The internal LPDDR3 RAM allows for quick start-ups and software loads, etc.
The Lenovo Chromebook S330 chassis is constructed from sturdy plastic for quality and is a lightweight 2.64 pounds. It has a 14-inch FHD IPS display screen with 1920x1080p resolution.
The battery lasts up to 10 hours following a 1.5 – 2-hour charge.
- Strong and stylish design
- Great battery life
- Good value for money
- Multiple connectivity ports
- Wide bezels reduce screen-size
- Restricted CPU performance
The lack of broad bezels and excellent sound quality makes the HP Chromebook 14-inch perfect for big-screen entertainment and lightweight Linux-based apps.
This Chromebook has a micro-bezel on its 14-inch screen, offering more screen and less border. It has a WLED-backlit display with 1366 x 768-pixel resolution.
The anti-glare panel and backlit keyboard give this model a slight edge over the Chromebook 15 despite having a slightly smaller screen.
It offers comfortable keys and touchpad precision. It’s relatively compact and lightweight at 12.82 x 8.6 x 0.7 inches and 3.2 pounds, respectively. It has a dependable daylong battery, offering up to 13.5 hours. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Chromebook without some sort of flip; this one has a 180- degree hinge.
Under the bonnet, it uses an AMD Intel processor running on 4 gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of eMMC internal memory storage. The SDRAM, unfortunately, is not upgradable.
You can reliably run lightweight Linux applications effortlessly without performance glitches. But if you want a Chromebook for heavy Linux apps, perhaps take a look at the other Chromebooks.
- Dual Speakers + B&O expert tuning
- Up to 13.5 hours’ battery life
- Touchpad precision
- Not suitable for heavy Linux user apps
- Slightly heavy
Now we have the HP version of the 2-in-1 Chromebook. The HP Chromebook X360 is another 360-degree rotator loaded with software and security features. It possesses great processing power for multi-tasking and, to some extent, running demanding apps.
It has a 14- inch HD display encased in narrow bezels for widescreen screening in a smaller frame. Perfect for viewing clarity with content in-tact. Built-in are B&O tuned stereo speakers for an enhanced quality audio experience.
The components inside include an Intel Celeron Dual-Core processor, 4 gigabytes of SDRAM – upgradeable with one accessible memory slot, and 32 gigabytes of eMMC storage. It clocks at a 1.1 gigahertz base frequency with 2.6 gigahertz burst frequency.
It has a smooth metal keyboard deck for effortless typing and tracking; it also includes USI universal stylus support. For even more convenience, the Google Assistant is designed for hands-free commanding.
Its bodywork is made from sophisticated aluminum with a ceramic finish that looks great. And to create a quiet experience, it is fan-less.
The battery, on average, can last up to 12.5 hours.
- Expandable memory
- USI Universal stylus support
- Wide selection of apps
- Dim screen
- No optical drive
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 offers laptop and tablet functionality and is robust enough for Linux without breaking the bank. It comes pre-installed with Linux Apps (Crostini) and Android Apps.
The tech specs for this one includes MediaTek’s MT8183 eight-core processor, 4 gigabyte LPDDR4 Memory, and 32 gigabytes or 64 gigabytes of eMMC storage.
The hinge allows for 360-degree rotation in four different ways, including notebook and stand-up display. The 11.6-inch HD touch IPS display uses antimicrobial Gorilla Glass for protection against the occasional fall. It comes with a 15-hour battery backup, perfect for all day.
- Huge battery backup
- Responsive keyboard and touchpad
- Both USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports
- Lightweight 2.62 pounds
- Small, dim low-resolution display
- No stylus support
The Dell Inspiron 11 Chromebook supports Ubuntu (Linux distribution based on Debian) operating system. Suitable for students, this popular brand has adequate specs. It’s the perfect weight and size to pack up and take everywhere conveniently.
It has a screen size of 11.6 inches, dimensions of 11 x 8 x 0.8, and weighs just over three pounds. Now, how’s that for a highly compact and portable laptop with Linux support?
This model is equipped with a respectable Intel Celeron N3060 dual-core processor and a lithium-ion battery that allows more than 10 hours on a single charge. However, its 4 gigabytes of RAM and 16-gigabyte eMMc solid-state drive is slightly on the lower end. Hence this Chromebook is better suited for work, school, or a first-time Linux user.
The bodywork is glossy polycarbonate with a MIL-SPEC-rated case; this means it’ll be reasonably impact-resistant. Its rounded corners also help reduce damage to external or internal components through accidental dropping.
- Durable bodywork with impact-resistant design
- Spill resistance keyboard
- Comfortable keyboard
- Responsive trackpad
- No touchscreen
- Minimal storage
The Lenovo Flex 5 offers smart performance features that adapt to you for a customized, intuitive, and responsive experience.
This 2-in-1 laptop has perfectly sufficient performance with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4 gigabytes.
DDR4 onboard RAM and 64 gigabytes of flash memory. Its 13.3-inch screen displays a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution for moderately crisps and vivid text and colors.
It has a sturdy 360-degree hinge for tablet, laptop modes, and different angles. You can use your fingers or a digital pen on the screen. Lenovo was big on perfecting the touchscreen experience for this model. It features a dedicated “Stylus Tools” menu, with shortcuts to create notes and screen captures.
The casing is a unique, soft-touch, plastic coating on either side and the keyboard deck, making it a pleasure to hold. And speaking of the keyboard, it’s backlit and aids comfortable typing with 1.4 millimeters of travel distance.
The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is a lightweight 2.97 pounds and has an average battery life of 10 hours.
- Pleasing soft-touch plastic chassis
- Digital stylus support
- Webcam privacy shutter
- Impressive build quality
- Stylus pen sold separately
- Dim display
To round out this list, we’ve chosen the Acer Chromebook 14. This Chromebook is not only perfect for experimenting with Linux; it caters to fast and immersive online entertainment.
The Acer Chromebook 14 has a 14-inch, liquid-crystal display with 1920×1080 resolution. This model has 41% more pixels than HD and a LED backlight for a vivid and crisp display. The screen can be read from almost any position with an anti-glare coating and a 170-degree viewing angle.
Its technical design is perfect for multi-tasking with huge storage. The specs include a 1.6- gigahertz Intel Celeron N3160 processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM, and a 32-gigabyte eMMC drive. The 802.11ac dual-band wireless connection is up to three times faster than its predecessors for faster, reliable video streaming and online gaming.
The chassis material is a glossy metallic aluminum for a premium look that stands out from other affordable models. Durable yet a light 3.42 pounds, the charger is only an additional 0.55 pounds.
- Excellent resolution with wide viewing angles
- Good sound quality
- Sturdy and attractive casing
- 14 hours’ battery life
- No SD Card Slot
- Keyboard is constructed from slightly uncomfortable plastic