LiteBook – the Impressive $249 to $269 Linux Laptop

Linux has always been known as a more secure operating system than Windows and even more secure than Macintosh. For most installations, Linux also requires less computing power than do either of its two major competing operating systems: Windows and Macintosh. Therefore, it is interesting (to me) that a company called Litebook has released a new Linux laptop that is priced to compete with Chromebooks and other low-cost laptops. The price? $249. If you want to add the one (and only) option available, it may cost you $269. Those prices include a one-year warranty.

Even at those prices, the LiteBook has some impressive specifications.

The LiteBook includes 4 gigabytes of RAM memory, unlike the normal 2 gigabytes found in most ultra-cheap laptops. It ships with the Elementary OS flavor of Linux installed, though you can install an alternate version of Linux that uses the Linux kernel 4.8. It uses an Intel Celeron processor (the N3150) and also includes a 14.1-inch display with 1,920×1,080 full HD resolution. The LiteBook also comes with WPS Office pre-installed, including WPS Writer, WPS Presentation, and WPS Spreadsheets, offering compatibility with Microsoft Office. It weighs a modest 2.9 pounds and comes in a choice of colors (black, red, or white).

The LiteBook will run Chrome, Spotify, Skype, and Steam as well as thousands of (mostly free) Linux programs and almost anything that runs in  Web browser.

Of course, any Linux system never gets viruses. Litebooks will not attempt to invade your privacy and sell your data in the manner that some other operating systems and applications will, nor will they come with annoying and insecure bloatware. The source code for elementary OS is available to the public, and is reviewed by the eyes of thousands of developers around the world who rapidly identify flaws before they can be exploited.

If you really want to do so, you can install any version of Microsoft Windows on the LiteBook. Of course, that will require additional money to purchase a legal copy of Windows, and the system will then run slower than it does with Elementary OS Linux. It will also be susceptible to viruses.

If you are looking for a low-cost laptop that you can use on trips, you might want to look at the LiteBook at https://litebook.store/product/litebook-laptop. Also, you might want to read my earlier article, The Best Laptop for Traveling Is One You Can Afford to Lose, at: https://privacyblog.com/2017/02/02/the-best-laptop-for-traveling-is-one-you-can-afford-to-lose.

If it was me, I would spend the extra $20 to order the version with the 32 gigabyte solid state disk.

2 thoughts on “LiteBook – the Impressive $249 to $269 Linux Laptop

  1. Dick,
    I’m not much of a techie anymore, but I’m deeply unhappy with Win10 and MS in general. Linux has always seemed beyond my capabilities, but this Linux machine looks accessible to a “layperson” such as myself. I’ve always thought of Linux as something that requires a lot of fussing and coding and work under the hood that is beyond me.

    Certainly the specs, if they are true–no bloatware, endless intrusion into my private data, security–are exactly what I’m looking for now that MS has become increasingly determined to control my digital life. I’m hoping this machine will not require knowledge of Linux, beyond what one normally needs to know in order to use a MS or apple OS-based system.

    My other concern is how compatible the office software is with MS Office. My experience in sharing documents with people who use Libre Office/Open Office is that the docs look pretty funky sometimes when you open them in Word.

    I have MS Office and Dropbox installed on my main laptop. Were I to write a document on WPS and save it to Dropbox, how close will the document be to the original when I open it with the Word on my laptop?

    I’m really interested in this machine. Thank you for bringing it to everyone’s attention. I’m reading their forum now, to learn more. There seems to be a lot of European interest.

    I’ve come to the same conclusion as you about the ideal traveling computer being the one I can afford to lose, both in terms of money and security. I have to go to the US this year and will be stripping down my netbook as much as possible to remove and sort of financial or password data.

    Like

    • —> Linux has always seemed beyond my capabilities, but this Linux machine looks accessible to a “layperson” such as myself.

      Many of today’s Linux implementations are easier to use than Windows, even easier to use than a Macintosh. I often use a Mint Linux system and am always impressed with how easy it is to use.

      —> My other concern is how compatible the office software is with MS Office.

      Generally speaking, the various clones of Microsoft Office tend to be about 98% compatible but never 100%. You probably will find a few minor differences. I have Microsoft Office installed on this Macintosh I am using at the moment but I haven’t used Microsoft Office in many months. I use LibreOffice instead, both on the Macintosh and on my Mint Linux system. I find it easier to use than Microsoft Office and is faster as well. I don’t plan to ever purchase an upgrade to Microsoft Office as there are so many good, free competitors. If I ever run out of disk space, Microsoft Office will probably be the first thing I uninstall in order to free up some space.

      —> Were I to write a document on WPS and save it to Dropbox, how close will the document be to the original when I open it with the Word on my laptop?

      The fact that you are using Dropbox is not important. The file won’t change because of Dropbox.

      I don’t use WPS so I cannot comment on that. However, the reports I have read online are generally favorable. Also, if you do not like WPS after using it for a while, you can always install LibreOffice or any of the other Linux office products.

      Like

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