Laptops

7 Best Operating Systems for Laptops in 2021

Last Updated on 2 August, 2021 by Sourav Roy

There are a lot of OS options when it comes to laptops. Each of these operating systems has its own advantages, disadvantages and usage scenarios. Some certain laptops also come with obsolete operating systems. Hence, it can be hard to pick the right one for yourself. Of course, Windows is a great choice, but other operating systems work much better for certain things. As such, we’ll talk about the best operating systems for laptops you can get, whether if you’re buying a new laptop or looking to try out a new OS on the one, you already own.

Best Operating Systems for Laptops

Importance of picking the right OS

If you’re an average user wanting to buy a laptop for regular use, Windows will work more than well enough for you. However, if you’re a programmer, you’ll find that Windows is too simple for you and won’t be able to do certain much more complex tasks. There are certain operating systems designed to provide you just that. Although, just like the earlier situation, this OS might not be easy to operate for a regular user. This is why picking the right OS for your laptop is an important decision.

Best Operating Systems for Laptops

1. Windows OS

Of course, we’ll start with the OS most laptops use; the Microsoft Windows OS. You’re likely very familiar with these. There are several versions of Windows you can choose from, though. In fact, there are nine versions of Windows. You can ignore the older ones. The only versions you should focus on are Windows 7 and 10. We advise going for Windows 10, but only if your laptop has decent hardware. It can be faster and more power-efficient than Windows 7 but struggles to run on lower-end laptops.

Either version is user-friendly, though, and both of them have decent security. Although, Windows 10 is much better in terms of security, while Windows 7 is lacking due to Microsoft recently stopping support for it.

Windows contains some of the best features that help both with productivity and regular use. There’s a Task View feature which lets a user conveniently switch between Windows, by putting in all open windows in one place. This OS is also extremely versatile, allowing for easy use with Mouse and Keyboard, along with Touchscreen as well. The tablet mode makes it really easy to navigate on the laptop when using the latter.

That’s not even the OS’ best features- that’s the file compression and system security. Windows security is incredibly advanced, even on a physical level- the OS even supports Fingerprint Scanning. You can also use the other security functions like PIN codes and BIN.

About the compression part; Windows compresses all its system files to provide the user with extra space. The only downside to this OS is its price. If you don’t get a licensed version of Windows with the laptop you buy, you have to pay a fairly expensive amount to get a genuine Windows license. Best laptops around Rs. 40000 are guaranteed to come with a licensed version of Windows 10, even if the rest of the hardware is weaker.

While being good for personal use and browsing, this OS is also good for gaming.

Recommended Reading: 11 Best laptops under Rs. 40000

 

2. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is also another reliable OS for regular use, though it’s aimed more towards the more advanced users. It’s great for all the normal things, like running apps, gaming or browsing. It’s also effective for Open Source Downloading.

The OS itself is a modification of Linux. If you want to go for a good Windows alternative with the potential to run Windows apps, Ubuntu is more than ideal. In fact, it’s perfect for organizations, schools and home use.

Even better is that the OS is free to download and even shareable. You can expect reliability in all aspects, as it’s an OS funded by a global software company.

It is fairly easy to navigate, but it does need a lot more keyboard usage over mouse usage, as you need to put in commands to make many things work. Once you’re used to that, navigating it is much easier. It’s also quite secure, coming with its own integrated firewall and anti-virus software. You won’t face the lack of support for this OS either, as it will come with five years of additional security patches and other improvements.

Ubuntu is also multilingual, almost being as good as Windows with how many languages it can support. This OS has translations in about 50 different languages, with the possibility of having more added. Another notable thing is that it supports all of the recent laptops and desktops.

You can easily go for it, especially if you’ve got a low budget and don’t want to spend any money on an OS. Though free, it doesn’t lack anything when it comes to quality.

Recommended Reading: 11 Best laptops under Rs. 30000

 

3. Mac OS

Mac OS is incredibly expensive, solely because it only comes pre-installed with Apple laptops. So, you have to pay at least Rs 50000 to be able to use Mac OS. We still include it because it’s one of Apple’s best creations, coming with incredible versatility and power. If you’ve got money to spare, and like Apple’s devices, you can get a laptop with this OS and enjoy maximum satisfaction.

The interface is just as easy to learn as Windows’ so navigation is smooth and comfortable. The UI’s design also rivals the quality of Microsoft’s own OS, especially with the dark mode, which is one of the best that operating systems can offer. We still advise going for Windows when it comes to regular use, but it can be incredibly handy when used for work purposes. There’s a dynamic desktop that is very efficient at managing files using file type, date and tag.

Besides that, it’s usefulness also shines with how well it syncs with an iPhone. The most notable thing about that is the iPhones camera is synced to the OS, so you can take pictures of documents and have it on your laptop instantly.

Security on Mac OS is also top-notch, being the same strong security Apple devices are known for. There’s a feature that stops websites from extracting personal data from your profile by making it anonymous. Even the Mac OS app store comes with apps carefully checked and picked by Apple, to prevent a user’s PC from being at risk.

Alongside the excellent security and design, you also get updates, and you get them for a long time too as Mac OS is Apple’s primary computer operating systems.

Recommended Reading: 11 Best laptops under Rs. 60000

 

4. Chrome OS

Chrome OS is a common laptop operating system in more advanced countries, but India is slowly starting to incorporate it into its own laptops as well. The OS itself is another modification of the Linux-kernel. As such, it’s quite lightweight. In fact, it’s very resource-efficient, as even its primary interface is built upon its web browser, which is Google’s Chrome browser. However, this also makes it so that the OS only supports Web Applications, but you still get significant benefits.

This OS runs best on Google’s own Chromebooks, though it does run quite well on laptops with older and weaker hardware. If your laptop has the opposite of the latter, then a beefier OS might probably be more useful. In fact, Windows, Ubuntu or Mac OS would be more advisable for a regular user. If you only work on the laptop for the most part, only then will you find more use out of the Chrome OS.

It’s designed to be simple, fast and efficient. Hence, you get to be incredibly productive. The OS does have some entertainment value, though. It can run multimedia files and also run most Android applications. That’s not the end of its compatibility- with some advanced tweaks, you can even run Linux applications on it. The OS is also easy to control remotely. Hence, you can access your data even without being near the laptop.

Security is also a strong point of this OS. After all, it comes from Google, a reputed company with a lot of internets and regular computer security experience. Google is also known for providing prompt updates, so you don’t have to worry about any new viruses from affecting your laptop either.

Recommended Reading: 11 Best laptops under Rs. 50000

 

5. Android-x86

Smartphones and computers have made large strides in being able to support each other as well. There are many ways you can combine the power of one with the other. And that is the purpose of the Android-X86 project. It’s a great way to run android applications on a computer.

Of course, you can use emulators to run Android, but that doesn’t work out as smooth when the computer isn’t very high-end. That’s because the CPU has to run both Windows and Android at once. Windows itself is quite demanding, and Android even more so. You’ll have better luck booting into the Android OS directly, and you can do so with Android-x86.

It’s one of the best Android ports for PCs. Plus, you can still run Windows if you install this OS on a separate drive. In fact, it’s very lightweight so you can even install it onto a USB flash drive. Do make sure it’s a fast USB drive though.

With this port, you can do just about anything you can on an actual Android phone. The laptop’s inputs seamlessly integrate into the OS and work without any issues at all. It would be best if you didn’t try an Android OS if your laptop is a low-end one, though. Android isn’t optimized for computers, so there are still performance issues here and there.

If you want to use an Android laptop, you have to go for a laptop under 50K or above, as these come with dedicated graphics cards that can improve the OS performance. It would be best if you also tried to get an ASUS laptop, as they’re more compatible with this specific Android port.

You should avoid this OS if security is a concern, though. Android PC ports are still a work in progress, and Google hasn’t started to optimize their software to accommodate computers yet actively, so security might be a little weaker. However, this one has the best of the bunch. Lastly, you also need to install this OS yourself; you won’t be able to find it in a laptop right out of the box.

Having an Android OS on the side can give you some significant advantages, the biggest of which is access to Android exclusive apps. For instance, Android has some high-quality photo editing apps that can do modifications as well as their PC counterparts, and they’re much simpler to use.

Overall, this OS is undoubtedly something you can try. It’s not as open and flexible as the other operating systems on the list, but it’s still the best operating system for laptops if you want to try using Android with more power.

Recommended Reading: Best Gaming Laptops Under Rs. 60000

 

6. Cent OS

As we said earlier, there’s a specific OS that works better for some people than any other. If you do coding and use Windows, then you’re already well-set. However, you’ll feel much comfortable in an environment specifically tailored towards coding, and that’s what Cent OS is.

It offers platform management, and it offers you all the resources you need for coding and sharing the codes you create. The OS also comes with powerful networking capabilities, and the security is much stronger than you’d expect from a community-driven project. It’s also free to use, so that’s a huge plus.

The OS is also a Linux distribution, so it’s not very taxing on system resources. It’s also viable for regular and business use, as you can operate it with slightly advanced computer knowledge. While being able to use it like that, you can also take advantage of the operating system’s versatility to tweak and enhance its security yourself.

 

7. Linux Mint

Linux Mint is definitely one of the best operating systems for laptops. It’s much popular and reliable than many other operating systems out there except for Windows, Mac OS and Chrome OS. In fact, there are millions of people who use this Linux distribution.

Its main purpose is to serve as a good start when a user transitions from Windows to Linux. On the front, it has great UI design and easy to use while having good power. Under all that, it comes with all of the advanced tools offered by Linux, ready to be used when the user gains enough experience.

The best thing about this OS is that it works straight from the start- you just need to go through a simple and short setup process, unlike the other Linux distros that take several complicated commands and processes to set up. Additionally, you also get full multimedia from the start as well.

Beginner coders can find this OS to be perfect for them, as it’s also based on Ubuntu and Debian, being equipped it around 30000 packages and powerful software managers. It’s also one of the best operating systems when it comes to updates, and there’s little to no bugs you have to face after every new update.

If you want a significantly more powerful laptop and take some time to learn the basics of Linux, you can go far with Linux Mint. It’s also free to use, so that’s one more plus point.

Recommended Reading: Best Laptops for Students in India

 

Best Operating Systems for Laptops – Frequently asked questions

1. Why do I have to install the operating systems myself?

Well, you don’t. If you look hard enough, you can find a laptop with the OS you’re looking for. However, reputed manufacturers that offer powerful laptops usually tend to go for Windows. Installing an OS isn’t particularly hard either. Among all of the above, Linux Mint is the easiest to install, and the others offer additional benefits to make up for the additional effort.

 

2. What is the best OS supposed to offer?

An OS needs to be able to do a few things to be considered the best. For a start, it needs to be able to run complicated applications without a hitch. It should also excel at managing the laptop’s hardware and all the applications running on it. Lastly, it should also be able to connect to the processor seamlessly for both memory and storage allocation.

 

3. What are some of the best operating systems for laptops when it comes to Android?

Aside from Android-86x, there are some others you can try to run Android on your computer directly. A few with decent performance are PrimeOS, Remix OS and PhoenixOS. You do have to endure Ads in most of these, though.

 

4. Are there large limitations to the operating systems mentioned in the article?

For the most part, there aren’t. You can do just about anything on all of these operating systems. You can do office work or even video editing on the Linux-based ones, though you have to do so with different apps. For instance, LibreOffice is used in most Linux distros to manage documents, instead of Microsoft Office.

There are limitations when it comes to playing video games or using apps from the store of a certain OS. Both of these have compatibility problems when running in any other platforms instead of their intended one unless the developers add support for the other platforms.

 

5. What’s a Server OS?

A regular OS can run just about anything for an average person. Server OS is a type of operating system designed to run on a much larger scale. It’s not a frequently used operating system, as it’s quite expensive. The high price is justified, though.

These operating systems can take bigger loads, have unlimited user connections and a much larger memory capacity. They can also act as standalone servers to information like emails, databases and so on. A Server OS can also handle a large number of laptops, as it’s designed to be like a central hub to a large mass of users.

 

6. Which is the fastest operating system?

You might think of the answer to be Windows, but that’s not it. Windows is fast, yes, but Linux beats it when it comes to pure performance. Linus based operating systems are incredibly light, and can run on much weaker processors at full capacity unlike Windows, which needs a powerful processor to run smoothly.

 

7. Will installing an OS increase overall performance?

In certain cases, yes. If you’ve got a low-end laptop, it might be a good idea to use Linux on it instead of Windows. However, sometimes a reset of your existing OS can be enough to refresh your laptop’s performance.

 

Conclusion

There are many other options you can try when it comes to operating systems. However, you can do very well with one of the earlier mentioned ones. There’s something for everyone in the list, whether you’re a student, worker or programmer. You have choices for every budget as well. These are the best operating systems for laptops for the sake of their reliability alone; most computer enthusiasts will only have good things to say about them.

 

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