Finding a decent Linux laptop is easy these days, but finding one that doesn’t cost the earth is a little harder.

Star Labs Lite Mk III

Display: 11.6″ IPS display
(1920×1080)
CPU: Intel Pentium N5000
1.1GHz (Quad-Core)
RAM: 8 GB
GPU: Intel UHD 605
Storage: Up to 960 GB
Ports: USB Type-C
USB 3.0
USB 2.0
micro HDMI
microSD
Battery: Up to 7 hours
Price: From $426/£399

Big-name brands like Dell and Lenovo serve up hard-to-beat, high-end powerhouses. But a growing club of Linux-specific laptop vendors sell affordable and equally attractive devices.

Companies like Slimbook, Entroware, and Star Labs offer competitively priced, well spec’d Linux powered PCs, notebooks, and convertibles that cater to needs other than “workstation”.

Such as the new Lite Mk III from StarLabs.

If the name ‘Star Labs’ sounds familiar it might be because you read my guide on using the Star Labs GTK and icon theme to give regular Ubuntu an electric new look.

Star Labs Lite Mk III Specs & Price

The Star Labs Lite Mk III is a small, full-formed Linux laptop perfect for on-the-go computing or sofa-based productivity.

The Lite Mk III specs are pretty decent (see the table opposite, which you won’t see if you’re reading from a scraper site).

The Lite Mk III boasts a 11.6 inch IPS display with antireflective coating (ARC) and a full HD resolution.

There aren’t many Linux laptops with a 11.6-inch display these days, much less ones at full HD. While sub 13-inch is (generally speaking) considered small the snug form factor does make for a unique differentiator, if nothing else.

An Intel Pentium N5000 processor sits at the heart of this diminutive device. This 14nm quad-core chip is speedy enough, boasts a burst frequency of up to 2.7 GHz, and touts integrated Intel UHD 605 graphics.

star labs lite mk iii laptop open
Eminently portable

The 8 GB 2400MHz RAM will deliver a snappy all-round experience — yes even on Ubuntu 😉. The base config ships with a 240 GB “over provisioned” SSD card with a sequential read speed of up to 560MB/s, though you can max storage out with a near 1 TB SSD for more money.

You get a versatile USB Type C port for charging, data transfer and video output; a pair of traditional USB ports; a micro HDMI out; 3.5 mm Headphone jack; and flush MicroSD card slot. There’s apparently a webcam too but I can’t find any details on the resolution of it.

The roomy keyboard is backlit and lacks a de-branded super key. The touchpad is glass for tactile, precise input.

star labs lite mk iii laptop keyboard
A spacious backlit keyboard

Star Labs also the LVFS to distribute BIOS, Embedded Controller and SSD firmware updates. Their laptops also allow you to disable Intel Management Engine (yay), plus Wi-Fi and the webcam if you’re super privacy-conscious.

This $426/£399 Linux laptop is available to buy with a choice of pre-loaded Linux distro, including Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Linux Mint 20, and Zorin OS 15.2.

For more details, or to pre-order the device for yourself (starts shipping August) check out the product page on the Star Labs website (not an affiliate link btw. I’m writing about this because it genuinely looks good, not cos I get a kickback).

Hardware News featured-selection linux laptops starlabs