I don't know if this is a weird question, but here it goes: I would like a laptop without a GUI. I want to exclusively use the command line. I want to install Linux in it. The laptop should be small, 14" tops. It should have an excellent battery life, and good wifi. Hopefully, the hardware will be supported natively, without binary blobs.

I have a Asus Transformer TF101. I installed Archlinux in it. It was a permanent "work in progress". I really liked the small form factor, and the battery lasted forever (given the fact that I had 2 batteries when using the keyboard attachment). But it died on me.

I'm not a masochist. I read Brian Lunduke's article. But I feel the GUI takes focus away. I want to use it mainly to write code (using VIM) while commuting. Listening to music (with cmus or mpv). Email (with alpine or mutt) and text based web browsing (with lynx and/or w3m). I want something that doesn't weight too much, while at it.

Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


If you're going to spending all your time in the command line, I don't imagine you're going to be needing all that much processing power, or even a dedicated graphics card. I looked up your TF101 tablet and it looks like you were happy with the performance you got out of a 1 gb of RAM and a tablet processor. To maximize battery life, I've recommended 2 4-cell Li-ion battery equipped laptops and a 6 cell li-ion battery. All laptops have 4 gb of RAM. Each laptop is an 11.6" laptop, about an inch and a half larger than your old tablet.

Acer Laptop TravelMate $161.99 + $2.99 shipping


This is the cheapest laptop that meets and exceeds the performance of you old system.

  • 3.09 lbs.
  • 32 gb Flash storage
  • Celeron N3060
  • 4 cell Li-ion battery

Acer Spin 1 $189.95


Get this if you want something that feels more like the tablet you used to have. This is one of the 360 laptops that can turn into a tablet but also has a keyboard. Slightly heavier than option 1.

  • 3.31 lbs.
  • 32 gb Flash storage
  • Celeron N3350
  • 4 cell Li-ion battery

HP Laptop EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 $377.01 + 3.99 shipping

Revolve 810 G2

This laptop is like option 2, but it's monitor can spin 360° on its axis in two directions. This option has a lot more storage and a significantly better CPU. Consider this option if you have the money.

  • 3.08 lb
  • 128 GB SSD
  • i5-4300 U
  • 6 cell Li-ion battery

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