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Star Labs reveal their new StarLite, a Surface-like Linux tablet

By - | Views: 51,241

In the market for a new laptop or perhaps a Microsoft Surface-like tablet style system? Well, Star Labs have turned their StarLite laptop into a tablet. I have to admit, I love the form factor on this giving you the best of both worlds. You get a sweet fully Linux supported tablet, and you can hook it up to a magnetic keyboard to get a full laptop experience too.

This is a proper Linux system too with open-source firmware powered by coreboot and edk II with updates via LVFS.

Some tech specs for you:

Display 12.5-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit 10-point touch display with IPS technology
2880x1920 resolution at 276 pixels per inch
Processor 1.00GHz quad-core Intel Alder Lake N200
Turbo Boost up to 3.70GHz, with 6MB Smart Cache
Storage 512GB Gen3 PCIe SSD

Configurable to:
Memory 16GB of 4800MHz LPDDR5 onboard memory
Connectivity Micro HDMI
USB Type C 3.2 with Power Delivery 3.0
USB Type C 3.2 with Power Delivery 3.0
Micro SD Memory Card Reader
3.5mm Headphone Jack
HDMI version: 2.0
USB-C Interface: Display Port (DP Alt Mode)
USB version: 3.2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
Wireless Intel Wi-Fi 5 9560
802.11ac Wi-Fi; Up to 1.73 Gbps
802.11ac/a/b/g/n compatible
Bluetooth 5.1
Power Up to 12 hours battery life
38-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
65w USB-C Power Adapter

You can configure it with Ubuntu, elementary OS, Linux Mint, Manjaro, Zorin OS, MX Linux, Xubuntu, Kubuntu and more. They support and test many different configurations, and you get a decent warranty with it too allowing you to to take your computer apart, replace parts, install an upgrade, and use any operating system and even your firmware, all without voiding the warranty.

It's not available yet as it seems the store page only went live recently and it will be priced around £597, with it currently noting a discount to £416 (presumably for early orders when it is actually live to order). The keyboard is an added extra at £84 available in various layouts.

See more on the Star Labs website.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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CatKiller Aug 18, 2023
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Quote2880x1920 resolution at 276 pixels per inch
16:10 aspect ratio

That isn't 16:10, that's 3:2.

Looks like a fun machine, though, and it's always good to see hardware with Linux pre-installed.

Last edited by CatKiller on 18 August 2023 at 1:00 pm UTC
PublicNuisance Aug 18, 2023
Looks like an interesting machine. That's a nice screen and I love that it has Coreboot support. My only concern is that the wi-fi wouldn't work with the libre kernel but that can be worked around if so.
Arehandoro Aug 18, 2023
This really tickles my fancy... but I need a better excuse to purchase it. Maybe I should shell my T480s?

How easy would it be to install other distros on it? The available selection is not really up my alley :/

Last edited by Arehandoro on 18 August 2023 at 11:31 am UTC
Fishd Aug 18, 2023
This looks really good.

I've recently been trying Linux on a few Surface devices but it's really hit and miss (depending on the specific model you have) as to what hardware is supported and despite the herculean efforts of the linux-surface team stuff does seem to break, often.

Given the rumour is that the new Microsoft Surface Go 4 is probably using the N200 processor and tech sites suggest it's more powerful than an i3 10100Y suggests this should be a good choice for a low end linux device.

Really tempted by one.
grigi Aug 18, 2023
This is looking interesting, unfortunately it's not something I can see myself using much. Maybe if it had a better iGPU it would be interesting as small/cheap notebooks for the kids.
I see the N200 is a cut-down N300 where Intel disabled half the cores and reduced the clockspeed of the iGPU by 40%. That would have made this notably more capable as an office machine.

On a different topic, I'm still waiting for my Byte preorder from them. Does anyone have an idea when they will start shipping those?
Marlock Aug 18, 2023
a puny N200 lugging around a ~4K screen... what a weird choice regarding performance

12" screen? sigh... great to use with a stand, a bit cramped with a keyboard, too big to use on the go

I can imagine how a 12" makes it far easier to work with the full range plain desktop linux distros, but I'd love if they pack a FullHD screen in 8" size with those specks and let me take the new Gnome and KDE convergence UIs for a spin in a x86 device
grigi Aug 18, 2023
I also do think the full chip (The N300) would have been a better choice.
I suspect full N300's are just much more expensive as they are top-bin dies. Also since it has more cores, it probably has a higher effective TDP. Maybe the reason the price is so reasonable is because Intel has low yields on the full chips and the N200 bin is extremely common.

The size of the device is about right for a chromebook replacement, and the price is about right as well.
I mean £500 for a 12" 3K system with ½Gig of storage and keyboard is very decent.
Fishd Aug 18, 2023
Quoting: Marlock...but I'd love if they pack a FullHD screen in 8" size with those specks and let me take the new Gnome and KDE convergence UIs for a spin in a x86 device

Not quite so sure about 8" (I'm getting old and my eyes are knackered) but a 10" screen like the Surface Go would be great imho.

I tried a Surface Go with Linux but Gnome struggled on the anaemic Pentium Gold processor, so these specs would be a nice bump (plus, not having to deal with Microsofts convoluted and non-natively-linux friendly hardware).
Arehandoro Aug 18, 2023
I ended up getting it to take advantage of the discount xD. The discount was also the same with or without the keyboard, so didn't get it as to not paying so much now, hoping they will eventually sell it separately.
nitrofurano Aug 18, 2023
great seeing gnu/linux oem hardware like this around, but that about using intel cpu seems very terrible choice (intel chips are more efficient as home heaters than cpu) - would be really great if they came with amd cpu, or even better, arm cpu (just like apple is doing now)
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