Just say no to Windows 11 by taking Linux back to school with Kubuntu Focus XE laptop

While everyone is enjoying the beautiful summer weather, there is something quite terrifying for children on the horizon -- school. Yeah, summer vacation will be over before they know it, and it is already time to do back-to-school shopping. While buying pencils and three-ring binders is boring, shopping for a new laptop for school can be a lot of fun.

Thankfully, students in 2021 don't have to use an old-school Windows notebook like their dad or grandad. Instead, kids can use Linux to optimize their education. After all, Linux is more hip and cool than Windows 11 can ever be. To paraphrase now-deceased First Lady Nancy Reagan, children should "just say no" to waiting for a laptop running the upcoming Windows 11.

Today, an all-new affordable Linux laptop is announced, and it should be perfect for education -- for both students and educators. The 14-inch "Kubuntu Focus XE," as the name implies, comes with the Ubuntu-based Kubuntu 20.04 operating system pre-installed. Despite being affordable, it is powered by cutting-edge 11th gen Intel Core processors.

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"Kubuntu Focus provides the ultimate Linux systems and solutions for developers, engineers, and scientists. Save valuable time every day with carefully selected curated apps, custom tools, hundreds of UX and hardware optimizations, and high-performance premium components. The Kubuntu OS combines the industry-standard Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with the beautiful yet familiar KDE Plasma desktop," explains The Kubuntu Focus Team.

The team further explains,"Hardware highlights include the fast and power-efficient Intel 11th generation CPUs with graphics that are 3 times faster than the prior generation. Numerous high-speed audio and data ports include Thunderbolt 4 and the capacity to attach multiple 4K displays. Customers can customize their XE with up to 64GB of high-speed 3200Mhz Dual-Channel RAM, and up to 2TB of NVMe storage."

The Kubuntu Focus Team shares specifications below.

Display14.0" Full-HD IPS 120Hz Matte 14 Inch (356mm) 120Hz IPS LCD with LED Backlight Full-HD 1920 x 1080 Matte with Anti-Glare Coating View angles of 89/89/89°Open angle of 140°Color > 90% sRGB and > 72% NTSC Max Brightness > 300cd/m²Max Contrast > 1200:1Connect up to 4 concurrent displays: three external and the laptop panel. A single 3840 x 2160 (4K) display @30 Hz can connect to the HDMI 1.4b port. Up to two 3840 x 2160 (4K) displays @60Hz can connect using DisplayPort 1.4a through the USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port.
ChassisComposite Aluminum and Plastic SurfacesAluminum top and keyboard DeckCool and light plastic bottom and screen bezel3.2 lbs (1.45 kg) with battery12.8 x 8.9 x .69 in (325 x 225 x 17.6 mm)User accessible components (disk, memory, wifi, fans) with 12 standard Phillips case screws
KeyboardSingle Zone White LED BacklightUser Configurable Intensity with Function KeysKubuntu Super Key
ClickpadLarge, centered click pad supports multi-finger gestures and scroll
WebcamTop-center, 1.0 MegaPixel HD 720p (1280 x 720), integrated microphone, physical security shutter
SoundHigh Definition Audio2 x 2 W SpeakersIntegrated Microphone
Ports1 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C 4.0 Gen 3x2 (DisplayPort 1.4a, Power Delivery DC-IN 25 V/3.25 A )1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen2 (no DisplayPort or DC-IN)2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen11 x HDMI 1.4b (with HDCP)1 x 2-in-1 Audio Jack - Headphone and Microphone1 x RJ-45 Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN (10/100/1000 Mbps)1 x Kensington Lock1 x 6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC / RSMMC / SD / mini SD / SDHC / SDXC)1 x DC-IN Power Connection
Processor11th Generations Intel Core i7-1165G72.8 GHz Base, 4.7 GHz Turbo4 Cores, 8 threads12 MB Smart Cache28 W TDP (highest performance)11th Generations Intel Core i5-1155G72.4 GHz Base, 4.2 GHz Turbo4 Cores, 8 threads8 MB Smart Cache28 W TDP (highest performance)
Graphicsi7 integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics G796 Execution Units400 MHz - 1300 MHz (Boost) Shared VRRAM with System Performance is similar to the NVIDIA MX450i5 integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics G780 Execution Units 400 MHz - 1300 MHz (Boost)Shared VRRAM with System Codecs AVC, HEVC, VP9, AV1 Performance is similar to NVIDIA MX250
MemoryDual Channel DDR4 3200 MHz SoDIMM, Max 64 GB
Storage1 x M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe Gen4x4 Samsung 3,500 / 2,700 MBps Sequential Read / Write Over 5x Faster than Standard Evo 860 Pro SSD
Battery49 Whr Li-ION Battery Up To 6 Hours Typical Use with Medium Display Brightness Flexi Charger Battery Optimization Available in BIOS
Power Supply65 Watt Mini Power Supply AC90 x 50 x 30 mm, 0.46 lbs (0.21 kg)Input 100-240 Volts AC, 50-60Hz Line Frequency Output 19 Volts DC, 3.42 Amperes Power may optionally be provided through USB charging on Thunderbolt 4 port Use Flexi Charger BIOS option to maximize battery life for laptops frequently plugged-in for long periods
Network and BluetoothIntel Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 AX 200, M.2 2230 Card LAN and WLAN 802.11 AC/A/B/G/N/AX Dual-Band 2.4 and 5 GHz2x2 Communication Channels 300Mbps @2.4 GHz WIFI; 2.4Gbps (5 GHz WIFI))Dual Mode Bluetooth 5.2Built-in Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)
SecurityFull Disk Encryption No-Cost Option Kensington Lock Mount Optional Pre-Configured YubiKey 5 NFC 2FA Optional BIOS Disable TPM 2.0 chip
WarrantyOne- or two-year limited hardware with software support
CoolingTwo fans cool the chassis. Near-silent in typical office, content creation, and development use. Reduces power draw and fan noise by setting power level to low: Start Menu > Kubuntu Focus > Power Profile and select Low.
ExpansionUser expandable SSD, NVMe, and RAM under warrantyOpens with standard screwdriver

If you want to buy a Kubuntu Focus XE laptop for school (other any use, really), you can order it here starting around $1,000. As of today, the notebook is scheduled to begin shipping on August 9, so you can definitely have it before the school year starts. While the base model comes with a Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM, I would recommend upgrading to a Core i7 and 16GB of memory.

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