The StarLabs kingdom has a new king!

In 2019, I wrote my first Linux product review about StarLabs laptops. As a fan of Linux & open-source stuff, I consider their laptops one of the best. The StarLabs team kept working hard in developing new models and improving their hardware and software. Consequently, in the past few months, "StarBook" has been crowned as the new king of this ambitious kingdom. So what are the features of the new king? Is it worthy of this title?
 

StarBook (MK V) {alertInfo}

Image credit: StarLabs



Model
StarBook (Mk V)
Fabric (Chassis)
Type II Matte Black Anodised Aluminium (Grade 6)
Dimension/Weight
HxWxD: 1.80 cm (0.7 inches)x 32.63 cm (12.84 inches)x 22.04 cm (8.67 inches), Weight: 1.4 kg (3.08 pounds)
Operating system
Pre-installed: Ubuntu, elementary OS, Linux Mint, Manjaro, MX Linux or Zorin OS core (window 10 for extra $$).
Officially tested: Solus, Fedora, Opensuse, Kali, Deepin, EndeavourOS, Parrot OS and more. Learn more.
Display
14-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit matte display with IPS technology, 1920x1080 resolution at 157 pixels per inch, 16:9 aspect ratio, 178°viewing angle, Type: TFT-LCD.
CPU
2.4GHz dual-core 11th-generation Intel Core i3 processor (6MB Cache), Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz or 2.8GHz quad-core 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.7GHz (12MB Cache)
GPU (Graphics)
Intel UHD G4 Graphics or Intel Iris Xe Graphics (depending on processor model)
Memory (RAM)
G.Skill Ripjaws 8/16GB 3200MHz DDR4 configurable to 64GB
Firmware
AMI Aptio V (closed source), Coreboot (opensource)
Storage
240GB SATA Over-Provisioned SSD Storage or 480/960/1920GB PCIe Over-Provisioned SSD or 500/1000GB
PCIe Gen4 Over-Provisioned SSD
Battery & Power
65-watt-hour lithium-polymer, Up to 11 hours battery life,
60w USB-C Power Adapter
Wireless
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
802.11ax Wi-Fi; Up to 2.4 Gbps, 802.11ac/a/b/g/n compatible
 Keyboard and Trackpad
Backlit keyboard, Glass trackpad , Keyboard language: English (USA), English (UK)
Bluetooth
Bluetooth 5.1
Camera
720p HD
Audio
Stereo Speakers, Dual Digital Microphone
Port & Connectivity
USB Type C with Power Delivery (DisplayPort/Thunderbolt 4), HDMI 1.4, 2x USB 3.0 Type A (3.2 Gen1), 1x USB 2.0, DC Charging Jack, Micro SD Memory Card Reader, 3.5mm Combination Jack, .
Price
{getButton} $text={From £778≈1028 USD (Official store)} $icon={info} $color={#e47911}

Special Features{alertWarning}

  • Essential security features: You have the options to disable the Intel Management Engine the wireless and the webcam;
  • Firmware update made easy: The BIOS Embedded Controller and SSD receive automatic firmware updates via the LVFS;
  • Switchable firmware (bios): This means that you can switch between AMI and Coreboot firmware at any time. In my opinion, this is a killer feature:
    • Open-source Firmware: Coreboot is a fast, light-weight, energy efficient open-source firmware. According to StarLabs, it has no dedicated interface, apart from a simple boot menu. Configurable options can be changed using their coreboot configurator program which is available for Linux;
Image credit: StarLabs
    • AMI an industry-standard firmware: "It offers many features, including a graphical interface that allows various settings to be changed" clarifies StarLabs.
  • One USB-C port to rule them all: Starbook features a thunderbolt 4 port (USB-C) that permits simultaneous charging, data transfer, and video output;
  • Open warranty: Maybe you think it's a joke? No, this isn't a joke, as you have a one-year limited warranty that allows you to truly anatomize your laptop using only a tiny Phillips screwdriver without voiding your warranty;
"Take your laptop apart, replace parts, install an upgrade and use any operating system, all without voiding the warranty." claims Star Labs.
  • Fast charging and decent power adapter: "The StarBook charges via the USB-C port and comes with a 65W Power Adapter. It also features a USB-A port that supports QuickCharge, allowing you to charge other devices and power your laptop simultaneously" explains StarLabs.
A more efficient adapter in a compact design (30% smaller)    Image credit: StarLabs
 

Pros{alertSuccess}

  • Designed and built with Linux/Opensource in mind: Starbook is fully compatible with Linux so no more incompatibility headaches;
  • Easy to set up: Any Linuxer, whatever its technical level, can set up and use the new king;
  • Fast and efficient: With the 11th generation of Intel processors, this laptop offers great multitasking performance, turbo boost and over-provisioning incredibly fast SSD (Up to 6850MB/S sequential read speed and Up to 6500MB/S sequential write speed) make it even faster and more performant;
  • Energy efficient by default: Power-efficient LED backlighting, very good battery life (up to 11Hrs);
  • Perfectly designed and manufactured screen: Narrow bezels. bright and vibrant colours, Suitable for outdoors use (thanks to ARC matte display), Solid display overlay (3H hard coating);
  • Rich in ports: The number and type of ports in Starbook is more than enough;
  • Lighting fast data transfers: With thunderbolt 4 you get a maximum bandwidth of 40 Gb/s;
  • Clear audio experience: This laptop features quad speakers that offer clear stereo audio;
  • LED backlit keyboard with function lock;
Image credit: StarLabs
  • Oversized glass trackpad:“Enabling precise tracking and elegant gesture control”;
  • Detachable plugs for everywere: UK, Europe, Australia and the USA;
  • Lightweight and Portable: With a weight of less than 1.5 kg, Starbook is very suitable for outdoor work and travel;
  • One-year limited warranty, One-year limited technical support: The Starlabs team will work to provide you with the appropriate support in case you encounter a problem with their hardware or software. All you have to do is contact them.

Cons {alertError}

  • Limited graphic card options: Compared to the previous generation of Starlab laptops, there is a significant improvement in the integrated Intel graphics card, but the GPU option are still limited to Intel only. I'm not a fan of Nvidia due to its monopoly nature so I wouldn't consider the absence of Nvidia's graphics card option a flaw (cons), but AMD is doing a great job supporting the Linux community by offering a powerful open source driver so it would be an excellent option (choice) for us "Linux users";
  • Display resolution could be better: FHD (1080p) is good, but 2K/4K resolution would be better.
  • Only black: My favorite color is black, but other color options would be great;
  • Webcam needs improvement;
  • No numpad: You may object and say that the size of the laptop does not allow this, but this does not prevent them from innovating!

My impression{alertImpression}

StarBook represents a great addition to the Linux community and truly deserves the title of the new King of StarLabs by the dint of its performance, features, and new technologies. Starbook effectively meets most of the needs of Linux users and respects their privacy and open-source culture. However, the lack of dedicated graphics card options is a flaw that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. In conclusion, we can say without hesitation that it is one of the best Linux laptops.

Shopping time{alertShopping}

Disclosure: Please note that this Blog contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you, read our full Affiliate Policy. StarLabs provides an interest-free installment payment service (Paypal pay in 3), but we do not recommend using it. For more details (including reasons) read our Ethics policy.

 ℹ️ Due to the constantly changing value of currencies, especially when converting from one currency to another, I saw the adoption of the official currency of the Star Labs in this article, which is the British pound (GBP).

  • StarBook (MK V)
 
 
 
  • SSD Over-provisioning Star drive 240/480/960/1920GB (incredibly fast)
 


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Djalel Oukid

Science teacher, PhD student, Master degree in Microbial biotechnology , Microbiologist, designer, video editor, podcaster & blogger. linkedin portfolio github

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