An affordable and portable new Linux laptop has gone on sale from Slimbook, the Spanish hardware company.

The suitably-named Slimbook Essential packs a fair bit of power for a low starting price of just €499. This makes it the cheapest Linux laptop this company has produced to date.

In this post we dive in to the Slimbook Essential specs, price, and release date. We also ask if the device is a better buy than pricer portable, like the phenomenally powerful Slimbok Pro X.

Ready? Let’s go!

Slimbook Essential Specs & Price

Slimbook Essential

Display: 14 or 15-inch
(1920×1080)
180 degree hinge
CPU: 10th Gen Intel i3, i5 or i7
RAM: Up to 32GB
Graphics: Integrated
Storage: Up to 2TB NVMe
Ports: USB Type A
USB Type C
HDMI Out
microSD
Other: 720p webcam
3.5mm audio jack
Intel Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0
Battery: 49 Whr Li-Ion
(Up to 7 hours)
Price: From €499

The Slimbook Essential is actually two laptops, each with slightly different specs. This means the info-box (floating somewhere on this page) with specs in isn’t as concise as I’d like.

First up, the 14-inch Slimbook Essential. This is available with an 10th gen (10nm, Ice Lake) Intel i3-1005G1, Intel i5-1035G1, or Intel i7-1065G7 processors with Iris Pro graphics. This model has a white backlit keyboard.

Next, the 15-inch Slimbook Essential. This is powered by a choice of 10th gen (14nm, Comet Lake) Intel i3-10110, Intel i5-10210 or Intel i7-10510. These chips are paired with Integrated Intel UHD graphics. This model has a RGB backlit keyboard.

Both devices come with a pair of (unsoldered) RAM slots supporting up to 32GB RAM; can handle storage of up to 2TB SSD NVMe; and touts a 49 watt-hour battery good for “up to” 7 hours of use under Linux.

But while the Slimbook Essential is low cost it’s not low quality. The laptop is built using aluminium (aka aluminum) and ABS, and is finished in a classy titanium grey (aka gray) colour (aka color).

On paper the Slimbook Essential offers the best price to quality ratio of any model in the Slimbook lineup (which is crowned by the terrific Ryzen-powered Pro X).

For the lowly base price of €499 (14-inch)/€549 (15-inch) buyers get an Intel i3 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 250GB SSD NVMe preloaded with a choice of Linux distro (and options to expand and configure thereout, obviously).

Performance should be a considerable step up from the lowly Celeron-based laptops that common in this size and at this price point.

If the amount of base RAM on offer was a tiny bit higher I’d find the Essential a no-brainer recommendation for regular users who want a machine that’s capable but not costly.

But it’s important to stress the price here,

Despite the ‘free’ cost of Linux it’s actually quite hard to find an entry-level budget Linux laptop that isn’t terrible. If these this model had been before I’d bought Ryzen-based laptop last year I’d probably have been very tempted to get one!

In short, I think users have been crying out a laptop like the Slimbook Essential. Something affordable, portable and capable combined with a great battery life.

Want to see the device a bit better? Here’s a gallery of product photos and hero shots for you to pore over

You can learn more about the device on the Slimbook website, or skip straight to the store page to customise your dream machine.

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