Finding the best laptop for TAILS operating system can be a tough task especially when you’re searching in an ocean of laptops.
Fear not, we have done a ton of research to find the best notebook for the TAILS operating system￼ so that you don’t have to do the same grind we did.￼
In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best laptops for running the TAILS operating system.
We have categorized each and every laptop on the basis of budget, portability, and other factors. Without wasting any more time, let’s get into it.
Best Laptop for TAILS OS in 2020
Editor's Choice Laptop For TAILS OS - Apple MacBook Air
The Apple MacBook Air is our Editor’s choice for the best laptop for TAILS OS. This 13″ MacBook Air is a versatile laptop that comes with all the essentials you would need to have smooth user experience with the TAILS operating system.
The display on this laptop is a 13.3-inch Retina display that comes with True Tone technology. The screen does very well when it comes to color reproduction and it can get pretty bright as well. So if you’re going to work in well-lit areas like cafes and other public spaces, the screen has your back.
If you like media consumption, you will enjoy watching your favorite TV series and movies on this Mac. The speakers in this notebook are also very ￼￼￼￼ loud and surprisingly they don’t carry a lot of distortions even at very high volumes.
The laptop comes with touchID which allows you to log in to your user profile with a single touch. This is the first time Apple has introduced touchID on a MacBook Air. It was previously exclusive to the 15-inch MacBook Pro line up.
Apple has gone back to the older scissor keyboard￼￼ after having a lot of negative feedback from users and critics alike. Thanks to this decision, typing on this laptop is a pleasure. The touchpad is another excellent addition to this laptop. It is not an exaggeration if we say that this is the best touchpad on any laptop.
When it comes to performance, the MacBook Air does blazingly well.￼￼ You can run pretty much any application on this device without going through any performance or lag issues. But if you are a heavy user, then it is better to go with a 13-inch MacBook Pro as it comes with a more powerful processor.
The 8 gigs of RAM in the memory department that’s a pretty good job when it comes to handling memory and multitasking. You can run several applications simultaneously without causing any slowdown to the performance of the laptop.
There are only 128 gigs of storage in this MacBook Air model. Though you can get models with more storage, we went with this as it brings the cost of the laptop down. The device comes with a very fast solid-state drive which gives you excellent reading and writing speeds. ￼
The MacBook Air comes with only an integrated graphics card. The Intel UHD graphics 617 does a solid job when it comes to handling graphics applications. If you’re not a serious gamer, you will be fine with this setup.
The only problem we had with this MacBook Air model is its limited connectivity options. The laptop comes with only a couple of USB type C ports which means you need to get adapters if you own USB 3.0 devices.￼ However, we have to say that this port is a versatile one as it allows you to charge the MacBook Air, Connect to displays and devices, and also to transfer data.￼￼
The battery life is probably the best feature of this laptop from Apple. With normal usage, you should easily get around 12 hours of battery life which should last you an entire day without any problem. Even if you’re doing something heavy, the laptop will still give you a decent battery life any problem.
Overall, the Apple MacBook Air is the best laptop for TAILS OS as it comes with excellent hardware and offers an industry-leading battery life without any issues. If you are not a Windows user, this laptop will serve you well and that’s why it gets our recommendation.
Best Budget Laptop For TAILS OS - ASUS VivoBook 15
The ASUS VivoBook 15 is our choice for the best budget laptop for TAILS OS.
The laptop comes with an affordable price tag and also brings in an array of features that combine together to give a solid user experience.
One of the most compelling features of this laptop is the 15.6-inch display. It is a full HD display and comes with really thin bezels that offer a stunning 88% screen to body ratio. If you are used to thick bezels, you’re going to have a field the time enjoying this almost bezel-free display.
The colors on the display are quite impressive. The screen can get a bit bright but we’ve seen much brighter displays. The viewing angles may not be the best as we don’t have an IPS panel underneath the display.
The VivoBook is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor that comes with two physical cores. The processor has a clock speed of 2.1 GHz and it can clock up to a maximum of 3.9 GHz with the help of turbo speed. The processor also packs a 4MB cache memory which should be more than enough for most light and Mid-range users.
This Intel Core i3 8415U processor is a decent one and does well when it comes to everyday tasks. The chip gets a score of 5468 on CPU mark which, once again, confirms the same. The processor arrives with Intel HD graphics 620 as its integrated graphics card￼￼￼. This graphics card is way better than its predecessors and does an excellent job when handling graphics applications.
The laptop has eight gigs of DDR4 type Ram and with that, you can do a good deal of multitasking. This memory allows you to run the TAILS operating system without any hiccups whatsoever. If running multiple apps side-by-side is a part of your regular workflow then you will have a stellar time.
For storage, we have a 128GB M.2 SSD. This may not look like much but it is more than enough for most users who want to run the TAILS operating system. Moreover, ASUS has used a solid-state drive in place of a hard drive disc which means you will be getting excellent speed throughout.
The design of the laptop deserves a special mention. The ergonomic backlit chiclet keyboard offers a neat typing experience, thanks to the slightly lifted keyboard. ￼ There is also a fingerprint sensor that uses Windows Hello to log in within a fraction of a second. The touchpad supports Windows gestures and it’s a pleasure to use.
There is no lack of connectivity options in the ASUS VivoBook 15. It comes with all modern put options like USB 3.1 type C, USB 3.1 type A, USB2.0, and HDMI ports.￼￼ Since you’re going to be running the TAILS operating system off a flash drive, all these ports will surely come in handy. The laptop also has support for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as well.
The model lasts for about eight hours with a light workload. Even with some heavy use, the laptop will still stay alive for 5 to 6 hours which is pretty neat. The laptop comes with fast charging which allows it to get 60% charged in just 49 minutes. If you’re in a hurry to reach somewhere and if you’re low on battery, this feature will surely come in handy.￼￼
As you can see, the model comes with a lot of features that make sense to people who want to use the TAILS operating system and that’s why this laptop is the best budget laptop for TAILS OS on the list.￼
Best 2-in-1 Laptop For TAILS OS - Dell Inspiron 5481
The Dell Inspiron 5481 is our choice for the best 2-in-1 laptop for the TAILS operating system. The laptop cum tablet arrives at an excellent price point that it is hard for us to not add it to this list.
The design of this 2-in-1 laptop is one of its crucial elements as it can make or break the device. Here, we have a well-designed laptop and you can see that from the moment you start using that hinge. It is so smooth and converting the laptop into a tablet is a seamless process.
The laptop comes with a 14-inch HD display which also doubles up as a touchscreen. Being an HD display, you’re not going to get excellent picture quality. Though we would have loved to see a full HD display here, it would have increased the price by a substantial amount. The display is still good enough for browsing the web, sending emails, and even for media consumption.
The touchscreen is responsive and accurate when given input. It comes with support for handwriting and digital pens, so you don’t have to get yourself a separate tablet if you are an illustrator or digital artist.
The keyboard we have here is a decent one. The keys come with enough travel to make your typing experience serviceable. The touchpad is also helpful but nothing special.
The model comes with a wide selection of ports for connectivity and data transfer. You get a couple of USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, an SD card reader, a headphone jack and also an HDMI port. With the ports, loading up the TAILS operating system should not be a problem.
What powers the Dell Inspiron 5481? The laptop comes equipped with an Intel core i3 processor. This is an 8th gen chip from Intel and it comes with a maximum clock speed of 3.9 GHz. It has a smart cache of 4MB which will come in handy. The laptop is not that great for multitasking as it consists of only 4 gigs of DDR4 RAM.
You don’t get a lot of space in the 128GB solid-state drive, but it does help every bit when it comes to the performance of the laptop. Being a solid-state drive, laptop boots up in just a few seconds and you can see the performance upgrade in every single action you do on the operating system’s interface.￼
You cannot find a dedicated GPU on this laptop so you’re going to have a bad time if you’re serious about gaming with this laptop. However, the Intel UHD graphics 620 does a darn good job and it comes to dealing with graphics-rich applications.
The battery life of the laptop is above average. With a light workload, you will be able to get around 7 to 8 hours of battery life which is pretty adequate for the price. Considering that this is a 2-in-1 laptop, we have to say that the battery department does a fairly stable job overall.
Best Portable Laptop For TAILS OS - Lenovo Flex 11 Laptop
Portability is paramount if you’re planning to use the TAILS operating system for serious business. You need a laptop on the go and it should provide you with all the features you need for a neat user experience.
Based on our research, the best portable laptop for TAILS OS is the Lenovo Flex 11 Laptop. This is an 11.6-inch laptop that comes with a reasonable price tag and has all the features to make sure your TALS OS experience is fluid and seamless.
The laptop comes in a shade of Onyx Black and has a solid construction. When you pick up the laptop, it does not feel like it’s made up of cheap plastic which shows that they take design seriously even at this price point. You don’t hear any creaking noises when opening or closing the laptop. With a weight of just 2.75 pounds, You can easily slip this laptop in your backpack and move along.￼￼
The keyboard on this laptop is a nice, tactile one and offers a satisfying typing experience. One would expect a backlit keyboard but unfortunately, that’s not the case here. Also, You might find a few keys that are wobbly which seem to be consistent among the laptops in this model. The touchpad is a standard one and there is nothing special about it.
The laptop comes equipped with an Intel Pentium Silver 5000 processor. This is a dual-core processor and comes with a maximum clocking frequency of 2.7 GHz. There is no doubt that this is an entry-level processor from Intel, but for a laptop, at this price point, the processor handles all your everyday needs without any concerns. The Intel chip also comes with 4MB cache memory which is pretty handy as well.
There are 4 gigs of RAM in the memory department and they complement the Intel chip in a good way. To run the TAILS operating system smoothly, you should have a minimum of two gigs of memory on your laptop. Here, you have four gigs and with that, your regular use is as smooth as ever.
The 11.6-inch display here comes with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Being a portable laptop, you can understand why they went with this option. For a screen size that is just 11.6 inches, this resolution is more than enough for most users. The pixel density is not that bad and with that you get a fairly decent experience while browsing the web, sending emails, and even working on office applications.
The display is also good enough for streaming videos online. You’re not going to get excellent viewing angles but the multimedia experience is perfect for the price. The speaker is decent but nothing extraordinary.
The battery life of the laptop is around Six hours which makes this laptop a good fit for being a portable laptop. However, if you want the absolute best battery life on the laptop, then you should go with our Editor’s choice instead, as that model gives you 12 hours on the clock without any issues.
Best Chromebook For TAILS OS - Asus Chromebook C425
The Asus Chromebook C425 is our choice for the best Chromebook for TAILS OS. Though there are multiple Chromebooks on the market, this one stands out for a number of reasons discussed below.
The first thing you can’t miss about this laptop is its design. It comes in a nice shade of silver and looks super-premium. You get the same premium feel after lifting the laptop as well. It is hard to see such a well-designed Chromebook at this price point.
The display here is a 14-inch full HD display that comes with Nano Edge bezels. Thanks to these smaller bezels, you can now get an uninterrupted viewing experience on screen. The display is pretty good for media consumption and other everyday tasks like surfing the web and browsing through social media. The laptop also has a decent sound output but it’s nothing spectacular.
The keyboard on this laptop has nice tactile feedback to it. You get decent key travel which makes for a brilliant typing experience. The touchpad on this laptop is bigger and has good built-in palm rejection. It is responsive and accurate to touch making a good fit for gestures.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼The model is powered by an Intel Core M3 processor that comes with a starting clock speed of 1.10 GHz. This Intel processor can clock to a maximum of 3.4 GHz with the help of turbo boost. This is a dual-core processor and comes with the cache of 4MB.
The processor is good enough for everyday activity and can handle your daily tasks without any issues. It gets ample support￼ from the 8 gigs of RAM in the memory department. Together, they offer a neat computing experience for both light and mid-range uses. The RAM allows you to multitask without having to worry about performance issues.
The storage here is a 64GB eMMC flash drive. This is not a lot of space but we have to take into account that this is a Chromebook and Chromebooks mostly utilizes cloud storage over traditional storage methods. Also, Chrome OS does not need a lot of storage space to run well.
The laptop comes with several connectivity options. You get one USB 3.1 gen 1 type A port, a USB 3.1 gen 1 type C port, a microSD slot, and also a headphone jack. There is also support for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as one would expect.
Being a Chromebook, the laptop does not come with any dedicated graphics card. The integrated Intel graphics is more than enough for the needs of most users. If you’re someone who wants to play games then a Chromebook is probably not a good idea.
Where is the device excels is in the battery department. With regular usage, the laptop can last for about 12 hours. If you are a heavy user￼￼￼￼￼￼, the laptop lasts for a minimum of eight hours which is very impressive. For someone who travels a lot, this Chromebook is an ideal companion.
What to look for in the best laptop for TAILS OS
TAILS is a Linux-based operating system that runs off a flash drive or from a CD or DVD. Though this is not like your usual operating systems, you still need a minimum set of requirements to run this operating system properly.
In this section, we will discuss the minimum and recommended requirements in order to run the TAILS operating system without any hiccups.
The memory of your laptop is one of the most crucial requirements when running the TAILS operating system. The operating system loads itself into the RAM of the laptop rather than taking space in the laptop storage.
This means you need more memory to run TAILS smoothly. But it doesn’t have to be an exorbitant amount of RAM. The minimum memory you need to run TAILS is 2GB. Just to be safe you want a laptop that has at least 4 gigs of RAM. You can get the best performance out of this operating system if you have 8GB or more memory.
If you’re on a budget, I wouldn’t worry about getting a laptop with a lot of memory. Most laptops run the OS well with just 4 gigs of RAM. However, be sure that you’re not using the OS on a laptop that has two gigs of RAM as it can lead to very disappointing user experience￼￼.
Battery life is one of the most important factors you should consider before getting a laptop for TAILS.
The battery life of the laptop on which you want to run TAILS should be determined by your use case. If you’re someone who is going to be on the run, then you need a laptop with all-day battery life. If you’re going to have access to a power socket most of the time, then you don’t have to stress much on this section.
Most people who run TAILS would like to have a laptop with a good battery life as it gives them the freedom to move around. So as a general recommendation, get a laptop that has a decent battery life so that you can be prepared for traveling even if that is something you rarely do.
TAILS is an operating system that runs off USB drives. So it is only essential that you need a USB port to plug in the flash drive onto your laptop.
Always look for a USB 3.0 port or newer as they are much easier to work with. In this age, it is better to avoid laptops with only USB 2.0 ports as it could negatively affect the performance of the OS.
If you want to completely future proof your device, you can go a laptop that has USB type C port which is super fast for both connectivity and data transfer.￼￼￼
This is completely dependent on what you need from the laptop.
If you’re going to use the operating system for simple tasks like browsing the web, emailing people, and other simple tasks then you’re not going to need a lot of processing power. A laptop with an Intel Atom or Celeron processor will be more than enough.
But if you’re planning to do some serious work on your laptop then you’re going to need a solid processor to handle the workload. Depending on your needs, you can go from an Intel i3 processor to even an i7 processor. If performance is paramount to your user experience, we would suggest you go with an i7 chip as you can get a seamless experience with the TAILS operating system￼.￼￼￼￼
The TAILS operating system runs very well even on an integrated graphics card so there is no need for you to get a dedicated graphics card just for the sake of the operating system.
On the other hand, if you’re going to do some graphics-heavy work using the operating system, then you’re going to need a dedicated GPU on your laptop. This is true even for gamers.
The display is not as important as some other factors we discussed above.￼￼ It is purely is dependent on your personal preference.
If you are someone who enjoys watching a lot of media, then go the laptop that has a decent screen size. A minimum screen size of 13.3 inches is what we would recommend if you love media consumption. Also, make sure that you have a nice screen resolution so that you get a wholesome media experience on your laptop.￼￼
But if you don’t care about the display, then you can go with a simple 11.6-inch laptop which also gives you a lot of portability.
The TAILS operating system is loaded on an external flash drive or DVD which means you’re not going to need any storage from the laptop in order to run the OS. But hey you are going to use some other OS in conjunction with TAILS, Then you will need quite a bit of storage.
TAILS also gives you the option to create an encrypted storage volume on your USB drive with whatever space that is left. So if you have loaded the operating system on a 32GB flash drive, you can also create an encrypted storage volume which is super handy if you are trying to stay off the grid.
Portability is an important criterion if you’re going to be on the move all the time.
If you’re looking for a portable laptop, you should go for a laptop with an 11.6-inch display. Even Ultrabooks with the 13-inch display wouldn’t be much of a problem as they don’t add a lot of weight to your baggage.￼￼￼
If you plan to use this laptop in public places, then going with a laptop that is lighter than 3 pounds is probably for the best.
Something to note:
Since you’re planning to use TAILS OS on your laptop, we can understand that you want to have an anonymous experience while browsing the web. The TAILS operating system is a secure one and gives you all the anonymity you want, only when you know what you’re doing.
If you are using the operating system to shield yourself, then it is better to get a laptop that you can easily dispose of without leaving a trace. We call this a ‘burner’ laptop. Also, be sure to not have any personal information on this laptop so that it cannot be traced back to you.
All this might sound very serious but if you’re just looking to get your privacy back in your own hands then you don’t have to worry about all this. Just get a good laptop with good screen size, dedicated video card, and other￼ bells and whistles to have a good user experience.
That brings us to the end of this huge buying guide. We hope you found information on this article useful.
If you’re still not able to find the best laptop for TAILS operating system then do shoot us an email so that we can see how we can help you out.
If you have any questions, comments, or anything to say just be sure to use the common section below and will get back to you right away.￼￼