Star LabTop Mk III Open Source Edition: An Interesting Laptop

Star Labs Systems have been producing Laptops tailored for Linux for some time. While you can purchase other variants available on their website, they have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming ‘Open Source Edition’ laptop that incorporates more features as per the requests by the users or reviewers.

It may not be the best laptop you’ve ever come across for around a 1000 Euros – but it certainly is interesting for some specific features.

In this article, we will talk about what makes it an interesting deal and whether or not it’s worth investing for.

star labtop mk III

Key Highlight: Open-source Coreboot Firmware

Normally, you will observe proprietary firmware (BIOS) on computers, American Megatrends Inc, for example.

But, here, Star Labs have tailored the coreboot firmware (a.k.a known as the LinuxBIOS) which is an open source alternative to proprietary solutions for this laptop.

Not just open source but it is also a lighter firmware for better control over your laptop. With TianoCore EDK II, it ensures that you get the maximum compatibility for most of the major Operating Systems.

Other Features of Star LabTop Mk III

sat labtop mk III

In addition to the open source firmware, the laptop features an 8th-gen i7 chipset (i7-8550u) coupled with 16 Gigs of LPDDR4 RAM clocked at 2400 MHz.

The GPU being the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 should be enough for professional tasks – except video editing and gaming. It will be rocking a Full HD 13.3-inch IPS panel as the display.

The storage option includes 480 GB or 960 GB of PCIe SSD – which is impressive as well. In addition to all this, it comes with the USB Type-C support.

Interestingly, the BIOS, Embedded Controller and SSD will be receiving automatic firmware updates via the LVFS (the Mk III standard edition has this feature already).

You should also check out a review video of Star LabTob Mk III to get an idea of how the open source edition could look like:

If you are curious about the detailed tech specs, you should check out the Kickstarter page.

Our Opinion

star labtop mk III

The inclusion of coreboot firmware and being something tailored for various Linux distributions originally is the reason why it is being termed as the “Open Source Edition”.

The price for the ultimate bundle on Kickstarter is 1087 Euros.

Can you get better laptop deals at this price? Yes, definitely. But, it really comes down to your preference and your passion for open source – of what you require.

However, if you want a performance-driven laptop specifically tailored for Linux, yes, this is an option you might want to consider with something new to offer (and potentially considering your requests for their future builds).

Of course, you cannot consider this for video editing and gaming – for obvious reasons. So, they should considering adding a dedicated GPU to make it a complete package for computing, gaming, video editing and much more. Maybe even a bigger screen, say 15.6-inch?

Wrapping Up

For what it is worth, if you are a Linux and open source enthusiast and want a performance-driven laptop, this could be an option to go with and back this up on Kickstarter right now.

What do you think about it? Will you be interested in a laptop like this? If not, why?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • I had this since July 2019 and while i don’t miss with the host machine, i do most on VMs this machine. is not ready to carry Linux job, charger suddenly stop working, keyboard froze and users need to be very careful in booting.

  • Ha..interesting.
    We now have three competing brands of Linux-native laptops in the UK; Entroware, Station X and this StarLab. By far, StarLab *looks* the best, black is a very nice touch! But only 8GB o RAM (?)
    You should do a review of all three of them :)

  • Hi,

    Do you know a AMD RYZEN+VEGA based Linux Laptop ?
    All the Laptop i find are Intel based…(Purism, Starlabs, KDE Slimbook)…

      • Looks like a good choice, but it seems to be sold with Windows only. And the Lenovos Ideapad 530s are interesting too.

        I’m more interested by a Laptop which could be sold directly with Linux pre-installed.

        • most of the major laptop vendors won’t ship with linux installed (you can sometimes opt for MS DOS instead of windows, which will lower the cost). these same companies sometimes DO offer desktop machines with linux as an option (normally fedora or ubuntu only, and only 1 version offered), on some of their models (business edition systems most frequently).

          I am not sure as to why the laptops get no love, other than they can more easily force specific known compatible hardware on you with a desktop.

          I’ve owned/used for work 3 or 4 different lenovo machines over the last 15 years and all have worked fine with linux (although I have never gotten my finger print scanners to work…). I also have been fairly successful with Dell and HP laptops running linux; however many of the smaller distros have had minor compatibility issues with some of the hardware due to choices they made in development of holding back certain versions of libraries or apps for compatibility with their custom GUI or other custom apps.

          Your best bet if you are buying a brand new laptop off the vendor’s website (or retail store) is to get the EXACT model number (not the model “Series”) and look up the hardware, make sure the video device and network adapters (LAN/WiFi) are supported without jumping through hoops (which is fine if you want to mess around with a device you ALREADY own, but not fun at all when you buy something new and then can’t get linux to work :[ )