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System76 review request

yujiri8 profile image Ryan Westlund ・1 min read

I've recently found out about System76, and I'm amazed.

They're making laptops specifically made for Linux, which is a dream of mine: an escape from the fate of paying for a Windows license I won't use!

And it looks like you can configure the laptops quite extensively before buying them. Not just choose from a couple of predefined models, but mix and match traits!

The hardware at least on the Lemur is mostly Intel, which I know works well with Linux or FreeBSD. No proprietary Nvidia crap.

Even the firmware is open source!

And all of it at the same price neighborhood as the two Lenovo Thinkpads I've been using!

It honestly seems too good to be true. So I wanted to ask if anyone on here has used System76 laptops, especially Lemur, and if it's all as great as it sounds.

A particular question: what does the "up to" in processor speed mean? Is it the same weird TurboBoost or whatever tech that's in my Thinkpad T480? That would be mildly annoying because last I checked, that didn't work on FreeBSD, only Linux (but that might be fine because I'm currently an Artix Linux user).

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John Robertson

I've purchased at least 9 different laptops from System76 over the years for myself and my family. Except for the most recent purchase of a Kudu from 11/2018, all have been decent and reliable.
Unfortunately the Kudu would randomly crash once every several days. System76 agreed to swap the unit for another new one, which did not solve the problem. Finally they agreed to accept a return and refund my money in full.
As a company, they stand behind their product.

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Jonathan Apodaca

I was recently in the market for a new Laptop, and I chose a ThinkPad T14S as opposed to System76, although I heavily considered them. For me it came down to a few things:

  • I wanted one of the new AMD Ryzen four-thousand series processors, as they have been outperforming Intel this year (so far) and, being AMD, it drives the price down a bit.
  • Lenovo recently announces official Linux support for their ThinkPad line.
  • ThinkPad keyboards
  • I like the layout of the TrackPoint and touch-pad buttons.
  • I like the look of ThinkPads as opposed to System76.
  • The build-quality of the ThinkPad is amazing. It has a magnesium body, and feels very high-quality.

I thought about putting Pop_OS! on the laptop when I got it, but eventually chose Arch because this laptop needs a newer kernel to function well.

Incidentally, though, I am running a bit of code from the System76 team on my desktop: I use GNOME shell, and they wrote an awesome tiling window manager and released it as a GNOME shell extension: Pop_OS! Shell. So I still benefit from the System76 team even though I bought a ThinkPad. System76 really is a fantastic company, and I wish them all the success in the world!