I'm looking for a laptop for work, and I will be running Ubuntu as primary OS (close to 100% of the time).

The Toshiba Tecra R840 caught my eye with its higher resolution display (1600x900). I cannot find any information on Linux compatibility however. I am looking at ordering with integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics only, no switchable graphics or anything.

Any thoughts? If there are laptops with similar specs (high res display, <1" thick, light, sandy bridge core i5/i7) that are known to be Ubuntu compatible, please point me to them.

  • Have you checked zareason.com/shop/home.php or system76.com or thinkpenguin.com/catalog/1 all of them should be Ubuntu compatible.
    – Allan
    Aug 25, 2011 at 21:22
  • The computer you mentioned is over 1 inch thick. I think you'll have some trouble coming up with something with that high of resolution and that thin, simply because it usually means the display will be larger. The one model I can come up with off the top of my head is a 17 inch MacBook Pro. But half the reason for getting a Mac is running OS X, so that's really much of a recommendation. You might have to lighten up on one of your constraints. Aug 25, 2011 at 21:27
  • The Toshiba is 1.1" thick, which is acceptable. I can't get a Lenovo. Similar Dell models are thicker than the Toshiba.
    – Corey D
    Aug 25, 2011 at 22:03
  • System 76, Zareason, and Think Penguin simply do not have thin/lightweight systems with sandy bridge processors.
    – Corey D
    Aug 25, 2011 at 22:06
  • so 33mm (=1.33 inch) is not good enough? Even if it's an 120gb ssd + 500 Gb machine with BD reader?
    – Rinzwind
    Aug 25, 2011 at 22:52

3 Answers 3


Try the Lenovo Thinkpad T510 or T520 with integrated graphics. The NVidia Optimus video hardware isn't Linux-compatible and won't be for a while (more information).

  • 1600x900 resolution
  • matte screen
  • no problems with Ubuntu
  • very high quality hardware
  • I wish I could get a Thinkpad, it was my first choice. The T420s is my ideal laptop.
    – Corey D
    Aug 26, 2011 at 13:41
  • Can you please remove the part about the graphics? You just need to install the right drivers.
    – RolandiXor
    Aug 26, 2011 at 21:30
  • @Jacob Marble: Could you confirm at the first hand that Ubuntu works out of the box with ThinkPad T520?
    – Andrej
    Aug 28, 2011 at 17:13
  • @Roland Taylor: I'll remove the part about the graphics when the Optimus video works on my laptop. Video works fine with Optimus, but the benefits of Optimus are significant, and do not work on my laptops.
    – Jacob
    Aug 31, 2011 at 16:33
  • @Andrej: I can confirm that the T510 and T420 work out-of-the box with Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10. Haven't personally seen a T520 running Linux, but I wouldn't doubt that it works fine.
    – Jacob
    Aug 31, 2011 at 16:36

The resolution of the screen for the laptop is not a problem for Ubuntu. Does not matter if it is higher, Ubuntu will just work. There is one example I can mention that I had the pleasure to test which was an Acer Aspire that was 18.6'. If I remember correctly it was 1920x1080 resolution and Ubuntu did not have any problem detecting that resolution or any of the resolutions below that one. Not even when I connected a Video Beam to it to have 2 monitors. No problem at all.

I can not say about other laptops but for the past 2 to 3 years with the many laptops that have passed me by none had any problem related to resolution or if Ubuntu could detect it or not.

Like I said, Ubuntu just works for laptops resolutions (Sounds like an Ad but is true)


cheap,but enough quality ,even in many parts leader in market is brand Acer,which give more for same amount of money comparing to others. So ,answer is,Yes ,there are plenty of such laptops& net-tops. I can recommend to you brand Acer,HP,Dell in general as they now officially support Ubuntu.

As I test Ubuntu on many laptops and desktops, I know from first hand experience. I can recommend to you any Acer (as brand) and Acer TravelMate whole series, even older systems which shipped with an OS preinitialised, such as Vista, XP, etc. You can add packages such as the travel mate package after installation and all special dedicated buttons will work. This will make you feel like those series were built to use Ubuntu. What's more, the packages is free, and that package was developed in a time when Acer was not giving official support, so it has a long, positive usage history, and with time became even better.

Even if you take anything similar from HP, or Dell, you will not miss. Best of all, describe what you need and contact some of those companies that I mention.

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