When it was time to replace my laptop I checked out the competition, and still ended up buying an Apple laptop for the fourth time in a row. My requirements are pretty simple:
- Runs Unix.
- Everything works without fiddling.
I bought a 2020 13” MacBook Air with the following specs:
- 1.1GHz -> 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
- 256 G SSD
- 8G RAM
- $999. Add $100 to upgrade the dual-core i3 to quad-core i5 which doubles the performance (great for software development). Bumps the price to $1099.
If you want to run Linux on a laptop it needs to be certified for it otherwise your trackpad, audio, etc may not work properly. The only Linux-certified Dell laptop in 2020 was the XPS13 for $1200: the same specs as the MacBook Air but $100 more.
Can a Windows laptop run Unix? Sort of…
The Windows Subsystem for Linux is a compatibility layer which maps Linux kernel calls to NT kernel calls. It’s basically a reverse Wine emulator. Command line only—graphical apps might work but aren’t supported.
The problem with Windows machines is the build quality: cheap Windows machines last 2-3 years, Macs last double that.
The 2020 MacBook Air has the same specs as a Dell XPS13 Linux laptop but is $100 cheaper. And MacOS just works.