The market for Linux-equipped laptops continues to expand, whether crowd-funded or DIY or just replacing Windows on an existing notebook on your own. Another entrant has emerged that’s more powerful than the Kickstarter-backed Pinebook but less expensive than the KDE Slimbook.
A company called Litebook has released a new Linux laptop that is priced to compete with Chromebooks — if not as cheap as the $89 Pinebook. That’s because the Pinebook is bare-boned when it comes to specs, using an ARM CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage. The Litebook, on the other hand, uses an Intel Celeron processor (the N3150), twice as much memory, and a 512GB hard drive. (An extra $20 gets you a 32GB SSD in addition to the hard drive to help speed up boot-ups.) It also includes a 14.1-inch display with 1,920×1,080 full HD resolution. It’s similarly priced to the assembly-required Teres laptop, though it appears to be much better equipped.
The Litebook ships with the Elementary OS flavor of Linux, though you can install an alternate that uses the Linux kernel 4.8. It also comes with WPS Office pre-installed. It comes in a choice of colors (black, red, or white) and provides a $20 discount if you want to order it without a drive installed.
Liliputing has done some sleuthing on the Litebook and suggests that it looks like a rebadged older Chinese laptop. This might explain the lack of some of the latest components (no USB Type-C port, no 802.11ac Wi-Fi) as well as the company’s confidence that the hardware can handle a Windows installation, if you so choose. Nonetheless, the system offers a 1-year warranty on it and says it does not install any bloatware on the Litebook.
Some Linux laptops are priced like mid-tier Windows notebooks, such as the Dell XPS 13 (starting price: $949) or the new Slimbook (starting price: around $770), with specs to match. If you want a Chromebook equivalent, however, the Litebook appears to be a more appealing option.