The Alpha Litebook is a cheap laptop with a full HD 14 inch display, at least 4GB of RAM and a Linux-based operating system called Elementary OS. The team behind the laptop launched the Litebook in March.

Now they’re back with two new computers. The Alpha Centurion is a higher-power laptop with a 15.6 inch display, an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a starting price of $429.

Alpha’s new Litebox is a tiny desktop computer with a starting price of $249. Both ship with Elementary OS.

The $249 version of the Litebox packs an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. It has an aluminum case, HDMI and DisplayPort, and three USB 3.0 ports.

There’s also a $449 model with a Core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive.

Alpha’s Centurion laptop is a bit larger than the notebooks I usually cover, but it’s noteworthy as one of a relatively small number of 15.6 inch laptops that ships with Linux.

An entry-level model features a 1TB hard drive. But you can also pay $529 for a model with a 120GB solid state drive and 1TB hard drive or $549 for a version with a 480GB SSD.

Like the Alpha Litebook, both of the Alpha Centurion and Alpha Litebox seem to be based on white box Chinese designs and the company hasn’t done a stellar job of touching up some of the stock photos to remove branding.

But the value-added proposition here isn’t original design. It’s the fact that you can buy a relatively inexpensive computer that comes with Linux instead of Windows.

via Alpha Store

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11 replies on “Makers of the $249 Litebook Linux laptop launch mini-desktop and a bigger (and pricier) laptop”

  1. I just tried to find Alpha and their URL is dead. Does anyone know what happened to them?

  2. “or $549 for a version with a 480MB SSD.”

    Didn’t know flash prices had gone up that much Brad ;D

  3. I’m always surprised that these Linux laptop makers never take the opportunity to put the Control key in the location of the Caps Lock key. A true hallmark of old Unix keyboards.

    The answer is, of course, that these laptops are really not aimed at real Linux users, but rather at people who are passively interested in Linux.

  4. Wow,that Alpha Litebook looks great. Too bad I didn’t know about this last week when I ordered a Chromebook, $299 configured with a 128gb SSD is a perfect alternative to overpriced Ultrabooks.

  5. I’m excited about the work these guys are doing, re: bang for the buck. My understanding (based on reddit threads) is that the newer models come equiped with better Linux-friendly components.

    The original had problems running off-the-shelf *buntu-based distros. The Centurion promises better compatibilty.

    It comes at a good time! Just had someone from work asking for help on a new laptop and getting Linux installed on it. The thought of providing support, when anything could go wrong… I might be able to help but could also botch the recommended laptop and/or system tweaks. Major headache for everyone.

    The Alpha guys are providing a great solution for transitioners and (lazy) people like me who still want to help.

  6. The Litebox is a little high. In May last year, I paid $229 for a Gigabyte Brix barebones PC kit. It has a i3 2.3 Ghz dual core processor. I bought 8 Gb of RAM on sale for $30 and a 500 Gb 7200 RPM hard drive for $50. A total of $310. Not much more gets you a quality processor and double the memory from a quality maker. I then could Elementary OS or any other Linux distro I like. Does anybody know anything about the company?

    1. Our company name is Alpha Universal LLC and we’re based out of Tampa, Florida. Feel free to ask any questions.

  7. The $249 version of the Litebox doesn’t make much sense for anyone who can use a screwdriver and follow instructions. The barebones Intel NUC6CAYH costs less than $150 from Amazon. It has the newer generation Celeron J3455 CPU, which is about 50% faster than the J1900 that’s in the Litebox. You can add 4GB of RAM, a 500 GB HDD and WiFi/Bluetooth card to match the Litebox for about $80 or $30 more for 8GB of RAM and a 1 T HDD.

    So for $10 more than the Litebox, you can get 50% more processing power, twice the RAM and twice the storage, and also pick your own Linux Distro.

    1. Sounds like a reasonable tradeoff. If you aren’t into DIY/don’t have the time/are religiously opposed to screwdriver ownership, Litebox might make sense.

    2. It’s a lot more than that.

      1) You have to know what parts to buy separately that will work well together.
      2) You have to choose a reliable seller with good prices and will accept returns without charging the earth.
      3) You have to assemble the parts into a working whole.
      4) You have to select, download, and install a Linux distro that will run on the box and has all the necessary driver support.
      5) If the system doesn’t boot, then how do you know what part you purchased needs replacing? All the skill in the world won’t help you figure it out if the system is DOA and you don’t have any spare parts you can test.

      Time is money, and if anything goes wrong, that’s a lot more time, and extra money to boot.

      That’s why people buy systems — they’re happy to let others do the selection, assembly, installation, and testing, and they have a single warranty from one company that will cover them if something goes wrong.

      1. YCAU and Tacitus, Thank you for replying. Those of us that are willing to DIY often lose sight of that fact that we are not the typical IT consumer. Most people want to treat their computers that same way they treat their toasters, Plug them in, Turn them on and Use them. And that is OK.

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