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6 Preloaded Linux PCs For Your 2012 Holiday Wishlist

It may still be a bit early for the ubiquitous end-of-year story looking back at 2012, but even now, it seems safe to say that the “Linux preloaded” trend will surely go down in history as a big part of what has characterized this year in desktop computing.

Back in July, we recounted a few of the Linux-preloaded options that had emerged in recent months, and since then many more have appeared.

Sable-Complete-Linux-desktopThink Linux is just a hobbyist's platform for manual installation by experts who already know it well? Think again. As the following examples show, vendors are increasingly selling it preloaded and ready to go as a compelling Windows 8 alternative.

1. System76 Sable Complete

Fans of Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular are no doubt already familiar with System76, and late last month the company released its Sable Complete all-in-one Ubuntu desktop starting at $749.

With a 21.5-inch, high-definition 1080p display, this new desktop PC features edge-to-edge glass and aluminum trim along with quad-core, third-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and Intel High-Definition 2500 or 4000 graphics.

2. System76 Bonobo Extreme

Even more recently, System76 unwrapped its 17.3-inch Bonobo Extreme, a high-performance Ubuntu laptop featuring what the company calls the “world's fastest” mobile GPUs as well as memory capacities of up to 32GB, as much as 3TB of storage and a Emperor Penguin Linux notebook3rd generation Intel Core i7 CPU. Pricing starts at $1,499.

3. ThinkPenguin

Then, too, there are new options preloaded with Linux Mint available through that distro's new online store. Offered via a partnership with ThinkPenguin, these new desktops start at $249 while notebooks are priced from $499. Either way, 10 percent of the purchase price goes towards the Linux Mint project.

4. Asus F201E

Looking a bit further back, we've also seen Asus launch not just one but two laptops with an Ubuntu Linux option. First, there's the Asus F201E with an 11.6-inch HD display, a 1.1GHz Intel Sandy Bridge dual-core Intel Celeron 847, and an Intel HD 4000 integrated video subsystem. With 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, this device is priced at 299 euros, or about $382 -- Asus F201 Linux laptopconsiderably cheaper, it's worth noting, than the Windows 8 equivalent.

5. Asus X201E

The Asus X201E, meanwhile, is a lower-end version of the F201E that features a 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron 847, 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a 320GB hard drive. Pricing was expected to be in the vicinity of $315 and the computers are now available through select online stores

6. Diablotek

Last but not least, there's the Diablotek U310 all-in-one PC-in-a-keyboard now available for $199.99 on Amazon. Featuring an Intel Atom D525 1.8GHz dual-core processor as well as 1MB L2 cache and 2.5 GT/s DMI, this device includes 2GB DDR3 RAM along with a 500GB SATA 2.5-inch hard drive. Ubuntu Linux is the operating system that comes preloaded.

Linux-preloaded PCs may not yet be in every corner computer store, but there's no doubt the options are increasing rapidly. For those who wish for a Linux PC every holiday season, 2012 may be the year that wish finally comes true.



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  • Gavin Foster Said:

    Excellent news ! It's about time preloaded Linux machines had a larger place in the Market. Interesting to see if new format arise from this :)

  • Fred Said:

    You left out Zareason and Linux Certified, 2 vendors I have had excellent results with.

  • Mike Freeman Said:

    Don't forget these, too (also in the Mint store):

  • Helen South Said:

    Yeah I'm surprised Zareason's excellent offerings aren't included here.

  • Don Said:

    I like to find a pc preloaded with Linux Full Monty

  • Joe Said:

    I purchased a System76 Lemur Ultra back in June and it's amazingly fast. You don't have to stick to Ubuntu either. I've tried Arch, Fedora, Sabayon and countless others on my laptop. Some take more care to get working. Ubuntu of course is extra awesome on their machines.

  • Alex Cox Said:

    Another shout-out for ZaReason. Excellent company, will load your preference of GNU/Liunx - Mint, Unbuntu, whatever...

  • Mike Jubow Said:

    I reckon that's great news but how will us Aussies get connected with mobile broadband with our dear Telstra Bigpond? They refuse to support Linux in any way and I was even told by their technical service that they have an agreement with Microsoft to only support them.

  • hexbyte Said:

    Hey Joe, my System76 Lemur that I ordereda few days ago is in the assembly/testing phase. I can't wait till they ship it.

  • John Said:

    I am writing comment from a Zareason Ubuntu laptop which has run flawlessly since April 2008.

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