Tuxedo Linux, Slimbook and other Linux Laptops

Hi folks

Thinking of getting my wife a new laptop in the next month or two for her birthday, and starting to do some research. She’s thinking of going back to college, but has no firm plans yet. Here in the European Union, Tuxedo Linux and Slimbook ship laptops with Linux installed - which helps avoid the Windows Tax. However, my knowledge of advancements in hardware etc are limited and I was wondering if any of you have experience with laptops with Linux pre-installed (not limited to Tuxedo and Slimbook)?

Any thoughts on these and other OEMs?

Is that a real thing in practice? I haven’t investigated pricing in the EU but over here a laptop with Linux installed carries a substantial price premium.

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A couple of years ago when I bought a Dell XPS with Ubuntu preinstalled in EU-land, it was somewhat more expensive than the same model with Windows.

To be honest, buying one with Windows isn’t necessarily a bad option. Resale value is much higher as most people see laptop with Ubuntu and pass on it since they don’t know about it.

Well, I do not want to pay for a Windows license if it is not going to be used - it’s contributing monopoly rents to Microsoft, which I object to. If I have to pay someone to install Linux, I do not necessarily mind - provided the cost is not excessive. Resale value is also not relevant, given that my wife and I both intend to use our devices for at least 3-5 years, at which point they have no resale value.

The used computer market here is slamming. My 2015 Dell 7548 is an easy $200+ laptop right now on offer up.

5 years is nothing anymore. At least not in the USA.

Last year, when I was doing research on Linux laptops sold by System76, Tuxedo, Slimbook, and StarLite, I found out that for the same hardware spec, their pricing weren’t much different than Lenovo, ASUS, and Dell Windows laptop. In fact, those Linux laptops were more expensive. In the end, I decided to buy Lenovo instead.

So it’s probably cheaper to buy Windows laptop from a well-known OEM vendors like Lenovo, ASUS, and Dell, then install Linux-based OSes on your own.

Large PC makers pay close to nothing for Windows Home these days. Microsoft cares more about getting Windows on PCs than revenue from selling Windows. I don’t have hard data for what they are paying but I would bet it is in the range of 5 euros.

The fact that Windows laptops go on sale more often than Linux laptops would make up for that even if prices were equal.

Fair enough - but wherever I’ve seen Lenovo laptops with the possibility to customise the OS, removing Windows Home can save the purchaser €100.

I’ve no idea how that works for laptops without the possibility to customise the OS.

I guess my point is that if price is the primary driver. Just look at the price and see what it is actually cheaper.

It is also possible that manufactures pay more for Windows licenses in the EU so maybe there is more savings over there.

We tried system 76 at work, the pangolin is a nice laptop and I was surprised by the nice quality. You can also find Lenovo preinstalled with Ubuntu or fedora but only certain models. I also tried the Dell XPS with Ubuntu when it came out a couple of years ago.

My overall experience is that even if a big company like Lenovo ships with Linux, it doesn’t mean everything is well supported. If you can support a company that supports (truly) Linux all the way, I think I will do that going forward.

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I’d like to know how Dell accounted for the increased price of the same model without windows.

Since the price is based on what the market will pay, I would guess Linux users are willing to pay more to get a machine with Linux.

That being said, their cost probably is higher on Linux laptop. They have to spread the cost for system integration and driver development out across a drastically smaller number of machines.

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Good to know. Perhaps, I’ll try sticking with a company that actually adds value. By that I mean, contributing back to the community (like System76).

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To me, that is one of the best reasons to buy a dedicated Linux machine.

  • To support the Linux ecosystem/community/vendors
  • To get a machine that you know is supported on Linux
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I am not sure if it is still valid but some time ago pre-installed Windows OS actually decreased the price of PC. Not by itself but often it came with other sort of bloatware (media player, antivirus, photo editor, …) which earned some coin to the manufacturer and therefore the price could be lower than the PC without OS.

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This offends both my inner tech geek and Anti-trust economist greatly.

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That particular issue isn’t really Microsoft’s fault. It is the PC manufacturer making deals with 3rd party software companies to get revenue share and that software only works on Windows.

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Good. :face_with_monocle: :sweat_smile:

You are right. I may have put it in a way that it looks like Microsoft’s fault but in reality it is mostly the hardware manufacturer’s fault.

Oddly enough, some decisions are going agains the manufacturer in the end. A few months ago my dad bought HP laptop (exceptional hardware in its price range) but he was complaining to me that it was extreamly slugish. Even more that his previous 12 year old laptop. Someone at HP got a terrific idea to preinstall 2 antivirus programs (trial versions :roll_eyes:) on top of windows defender. The computer was barely able to run anything else. That is a silly move from HP to show the world that they are selling a good hardware (or maybe that is not their intention) just to kill it with useless software.

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While I agree with this, generally, one shouldn’t fully trust company-based entities (system76, Tuxedo, etc) that ship Linux-based OS to actually contribute to the FOSS community. It’s good for casual users or beginners to FOSS world that they can get a preinstalled FOSS OSes like Linux-based OS with their machine. This contributes the spread of FOSS OSes :+1:

However, in the end, these are companies, and probably route their majority of income to their personal pocket, not to the various FOSS communities out there. They may use the Linux brand for their niche market, who knows eh.

And one should really be suspicious if the Linux-based OS vendors (like Tuxedo and not something like Lenovo) out there only provide Linux-based OSes that come from a company-based distributors (Canonical, etc), but exclude community-based OSes like Debian, OpenSUSE, etc. Pretty much it’s a web of companies for profit without community contribution as their primary motive, … or maybe me just being too distrustful with companies :male_detective:.

Not only OEM vendors, the same applies to company-based distributors. Remember the fishy fishy :fish: finance of the company that distributes a Linux-based OS with the name similar to Mt. Kilimanjaro, :shushing_face: while at the same time manage to get org domain (eh WTF) ?

Disclaimer: I’m just too distrustful with companies eh …

IMHO, the best way to support the FOSS ecosystem, including Linux, is to directly contribute to the FOSS communities itself. Like the communities that develop and maintain:

  • Various DEs, like GNOME, KDE Plasma, XFCE, etc.
  • Various FOSS software, like the GNU project, VLC, GIMP, etc.

People contribute to these actual communities, will improve the overall FOSS ecosystem, whether by its quality (great features compared to the proprietary counterpart) or by its breadth (covers a substitute for proprietary software in which the FOSS counterpart doesn’t exist yet). These communities directly drive the future of FOSS OSes like Linux-based OSes out there.

Not demonizing Linux-based OS OEM company-based vendors out there. Just make sure to know that supporting these companies doesn’t necessarily support FOSS in the big picture.

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