Litebook laptop brings Linux at low cost
Move over, Pinebook. There’s a new cheap Linux notebook in town.
The Litebook is a low-cost laptop running elementary OS, a Linux distribution that focuses on security and optimization. According to the company behind the device, the Litebook is “the perfect combination of beautiful hardware and software.” For $249, the Litebook looks like a pretty capable Linux laptop:
- 14.1” FHD 1920 x 1080 display
- Quad-core Intel Celeron N3150
- 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM
- 512 GB HDD or 120 GB SSD
- 32 GB mSATA SSD (optional)
- 802.11n Wifi
- Bluetooth 4.0
The 2.9 lb device also sports two USB 3.0 ports, an ethernet jack, a mini HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It can also read microSD cards and has a 720p webcam. Battery life is estimated at 9 hours.
If these specs sound familiar, it’s because we’ve seen them in several Chromebooks that have come out over the past year. The Celeron N3150 is a capable Braswell processor and runs smoothly on lightweight operating systems like Chrome OS. Optimization is the name of the game with elementary OS, so we can expect good performance.
It should be noted that this isn’t a new device like the Pinebook. The Litebook is actually a Chinese laptop that’s been available through retailers like AliExpress since 2014. This isn’t anything surprising; top-tier manufacturers like Schenker source their notebooks from Clevo. Litebook (the company) most likely purchased their notebooks from the Chinese manufacturer and is reselling them with Linux and an added hard drive.
Interestingly, the Litebook is compared to the Asus C300 (which is lower-specced and runs to Chrome OS) and the Apple Macbook. While the former makes sense, the latter is strange - the premium 12-inch Macbook is in a different class than the Litebook, which is a decidedly budget affair.
The Litebook is also advertised for its office and gaming prowess. It will come preloaded with WPS Office instead of the usual LibreOffice or OpenOffice suites we see on Linux. WPS looks and feels a bit more like Microsoft Office, so it’s safe to assume that the Litebook is targeted at Windows users looking to switch. The gaming plug is unexpected, as the integrated Braswell graphics chip is definitely not a gaming beast. However, the Litebook is being touted as an emulation machine. According to the site, “with an HDMI cable and a few bluetooth controllers the Litebook instantly becomes a retro console.”
The Litebook is available for $249 for the base model and $269 for the extra 32 GB mSATA SSD. At the time of this writing, a shipping date couldn’t be found.