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Star Labs introduce the small and mighty StarLite Mk IV

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Usually when we get to talk about laptops from Linux hardware vendors they're on the pricey side but Star Labs are serving the underserved here with the new StarLite Mk IV. Coming with a sleek 11-inch ARC display with fancy anti-reflective matte coating for work and play in all environments.

Star Labs was formed back in 2016 by "a bunch of geeks" and they offer something not many vendors do with Linux support out of the box, open source firmware support that allows you to switch between American Megatrends (AMI) Aptio V or coreboot any time you feel like it. They even have their own open source coreboot configuration UI, that allows you to tweak all sorts of hardware settings.

Main StarLite Mk IV specifications:

Display 11.6″ Matte IPS (1920×1080)
178° viewing angle
CPU Intel Pentium Silver N5030
1.1GHz, burst up to 3.1GHz
GPU  Intel UHD Graphics 605
RAM 8GB 2400MHz DDR4
Storage 240GB SSD
Up to 960GB
Ports DC Charging Jack
USB-C (charging + data)
USB 3.0 Type A
USB 2.0 Type A
Micro HDMI
3.5mm Headphone Jack
MicroSD card reader
Battery 30.4Wh

Expect a whisper quiet unit too with its fanless design. You also get a backlit keyboard, a smooth glass trackpad and dual speakers. You can select to have it pre-installed with Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS, elementary OS 6, Kubuntu 20.04.3 LTS, Linux Mint 20.2, Manjaro 21.0 (various desktop environments), MX Linux 19.4, Zorin OS 16 and more.

It's not exactly offering up performance for days but you can't really turn your nose up at the £400 price tag. Shopping around a bit, that price actually seems really reasonable too compared with other more well-known vendors.

Available to order now, with shipping expected in January 2022. They offer a 5% discount for pre-orders.

Check it out on the Star Labs website.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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14 comments
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natis1 22 Oct
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I feel bad for these lowend laptop makers considering the deck is about to come out. They're not bad devices and for pure productivity the larger and higher res screen is nice but I imagine if the deck gets accessories that make it more into a convertible laptop it could swallow most of this lowend market
tuubi 22 Oct
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Quoting: natis1I feel bad for these lowend laptop makers considering the deck is about to come out. They're not bad devices and for pure productivity the larger and higher res screen is nice but I imagine if the deck gets accessories that make it more into a convertible laptop it could swallow most of this lowend market
Even as someone who avoids using laptops, I very much doubt this. Tablets didn't kill the laptop market, and neither will the Steam Deck.
CatKiller 22 Oct
Quoting: natis1I feel bad for these lowend laptop makers considering the deck is about to come out. They're not bad devices and for pure productivity the larger and higher res screen is nice but I imagine if the deck gets accessories that make it more into a convertible laptop it could swallow most of this lowend market
The sector that's challenged by the Steam Deck isn't laptops (cheap or otherwise), but gaming laptops with their terrible ergonomics. There are lots of computer tasks that you really need a keyboard for, and laptops will still continue to be fine for them.
mirv 22 Oct
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Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: natis1I feel bad for these lowend laptop makers considering the deck is about to come out. They're not bad devices and for pure productivity the larger and higher res screen is nice but I imagine if the deck gets accessories that make it more into a convertible laptop it could swallow most of this lowend market
The sector that's challenged by the Steam Deck isn't laptops (cheap or otherwise), but gaming laptops with their terrible ergonomics. There are lots of computer tasks that you really need a keyboard for, and laptops will still continue to be fine for them.

Checking if I can agree more....nope, the agree-o-meter is maxing out.

For my job, laptops are now preferred. I can work remotely, bring it with me to the office, take it on-site to troubleshoot equipment, and a docking station or appropriate dongles for a more comfortable setup (larger screen, speakers, keyboard & mouse) wherever the majority of time is spent.
Gaming is great for advertising, but business is where the bulk of the industry is at.
natis1 22 Oct
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I guess I might be an enigma then because I have been a big netbook/chromebook fan since 2012 and for my usecase which is being able to do as much as I can on my desktop on the go without wasting money I've always brought my own keyboard. I can see this being good in the education sector or for light to medium work and I guess judging by the comments that market is where most stuff at this price point goes. Good luck to them.
Liam Dawe 22 Oct
Quoting: natis1I feel bad for these lowend laptop makers considering the deck is about to come out. They're not bad devices and for pure productivity the larger and higher res screen is nice but I imagine if the deck gets accessories that make it more into a convertible laptop it could swallow most of this lowend market
As others have said, a laptop is still going to be far better for a lot of things. Not only that, the Steam Deck is only going to be available in limited quantities, with many people not getting one until late 2022 and beyond due to the demand and supply. Additionally, carrying around a small portable laptop like this versus a Steam Deck with a bunch of extra accessories? For work I know I would pick the laptop. Then again, why not both even? They serve different worlds.
Geamandura 22 Oct
Pentium, lol, at 450 euros I'd rather get a Ryzen 4xxx laptop.
Many will scoff at the specs but the fact is not everyone needs to render 4K video or compile code for days. Most people are basic users mostly browsing the web, streaming music/videos, maybe some basic word processing. This laptop will be fine for that.
Samsai 22 Oct
The specs and the price-point is a bit of a tough sale if you are willing to go for the refurb business laptop option, which should do basically whatever you'd use this for just about as well, if not better. It's not super poorly priced though, and you'd also be supporting a Linux-friendly laptop vendor, so that counts for something. It's just not amazingly impressive.

With the chip shortage, I would suggest over-speccing your laptop to make it last longer though. This laptop will do your basic stuff decently well in the short term, but web stuff will probably get heavier over time and eventually you might want to use the laptop for more than you initially intended, so putting down a bit more money to avoid one upgrade cycle down the line is probably worth it.
This looks like the kind of 11" laptop I've been looking for to replace my old one.

There is a tiny bit of problem and it's not not the price, but the ram. It doesnt seem to be upgradable and thats a deal breaker for me.


Last edited by Avehicle7887 on 22 October 2021 at 11:46 pm UTC
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