Zorin OS 16, one of the most anticipated Linux distros, based on Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS, has arrived.

With the latest release, they now offer a new “Pro” edition replacing the “Ultimate” edition that comes loaded with a few applications pre-installed and a couple of extra layouts.

Moreover, you get technical support for installation if you get the Zorin OS 16 Pro to support the developers.

The base edition is Zorin OS 16 “Core,” is free, which includes all the essentials.

In this article, I shall highlight the key new additions along with my initial impressions of Zorin OS 16.

Zorin OS 16: What’s New?

Zorin OS 16 may not be as big of an upgrade compared to elementary OS 6, but there are significant improvements across the board. Let us take a look at them.

Refined User Interface

The user interface remains familiar, but they have revamped the default theme and worked on the animations to present a polished look.

Subtle differences to the default transparency setting, theme, icons, and animations impact the overall user experience.

While you can notice the differences with Zorin OS 16 Core, the Pro edition takes it up a notch with the stunning new wallpapers and premium layouts available out-of-the-box.

Flatpak Enabled

Previously, Zorin OS supported snap right out of the box with its Software center. Now, with Zorin OS 16, Flathub has been enabled by default.

So, you can find plenty of applications available, including Flatpak packages in the Software manager.

You can even select a different package (if it is available) from the dropdown menu available in the top-right corner (as shown in the screenshot above).

Improved Tour Screen

They have also revamped their welcome screen to help you set up all the important things right from the start.

You get to configure online accounts, connect your smartphone with Zorin Connect, and get a head start on the available layouts to choose from.

Windows 11-like Layout

In my previous Zorin OS 16 beta coverage, I mentioned a potential Windows 10X-like layout was in the works.

Considering that Windows 10X no longer exists, the new layout is an alternative to Windows 11 experience.

Do note that you need to purchase the Zorin OS 16 Pro if you want to access Windows 11-like layout on your system.

New Touchpad Gestures

For laptop or touchpad users, you can now swipe up/down with four fingers to move between workspaces and pinch using three fingers to open the activities overview.

New Sound Recorder App

A clean sound recording app to help you quickly record voice notes or podcasts without worrying about 3rd party applications.

Performance Improvements

Even though I don’t have a figure, I observed some noticeable performance improvements compared to my experience with Zorin OS 15.

For instance, switching between different layouts is an entirely seamless experience.

As a side note, I tested Zorin OS 16 Pro on my desktop with i5-7400, 16 GB RAM, and a GTX 1050ti graphics card.

I always have my doubts when it comes to Nvidia driver compatibility. But it worked like a charm.

The boot menu when installing Zorin OS 16 offered a different option for modern NVIDIA drivers, which is what I chose to install.

So, yes, Zorin OS 16’s ISO comes with Nvidia driver support out-of-the-box.

Other Improvements

There are several other additions to the animation, customization settings, and more with Zorin OS 16. Some of them are:

  • Jelly mode to enable a macOS-like animation when minimizing or opening applications.
  • Improved taskbar
  • Introduction of fractional scaling
  • Active directory domain option in the installer
  • New photos app
  • Disabled telemetry and tracking in Firefox browser for better privacy

To explore more, you can check out our Zorin OS 16 features list or go through the official announcement.

Get Zorin OS 16

You can download Zorin OS 16 Core for free. If you opt for the Pro edition at $39, you also get access to a Pro-lite edition, which will be available to install for old computers.

The free lite edition and the pro lite version is not yet available and should be coming soon.

What do you think about Zorin OS 16? Share your thoughts in the comments down below.

Ankush Das

A passionate technophile who also happens to be a Computer Science graduate. You will usually see cats dancing to the beautiful tunes sung by him.