System76 launches Ubuntu-powered 14 inch touchscreen notebook

Linux system builder System76 is now taking pre-orders for its first portable notebook with a touchscreen display. The Darter UltraThin is a 14 inch notebook with a full HD touchscreen display, an Intel Haswell processor, and a starting price of $899.

It’s expected to ship starting October 28th.

Darter UltraThin

The laptop measures 13.4″ x 9.5″ x 0.9″ and weighs about 4.6 pounds, making it a bit on the thick and heavy side for an ultrabook, but generally pretty thin and light for a laptop.

The base model features a 1920 x 1080 pixel glossy touchscreen display, an Intel Core i5-4200U processor with Intel HD 4400 graphics, a 500GB hard drive, and 4GB of RAM. It comes with Ubuntu 13.10 64-bit preloaded.

System76 says the Darter UltraThin laptop should get about 5 hours of battery life from the 44.6Whr battery.

Other specs include 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and Ethernet jacks, an SD card reader, a 1MP webcam, and mic and headphone jacks. You can also configure the laptop with options including a Core i7-4500U chip, up to 16GB of RAM, and between 120GB and 1TB of solid state storage.

The notebook ships with 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, but you can pay a bit extra if you need 802.11a or 802.11ac. And while the basic model comes with a 1 year warranty and a year of technical support, System76 offers warranty plans for up to 3 years — something which helps set this type of notebook apart from a Windows laptop you buy and install Ubuntu on all by your lonesome.

via OMG Ubuntu

  • Buttons Matter

    I don’t understand why two touchpad buttons and not three. This is a Linux laptop and X11 (we’re still with X11, not Wayland, not Mir) always used the left button to select and the middle button to paste. That’s a different thing from control-c/control-v which are managed by applications.

    Apart from that and the glossy display (I can use it to check my hairs but not to work) it looks good. Waiting for a review. How will it compare with HP Elitebook 850 which has the same form factor (but an extra inch and a matte display without touch)?

    Btw: matte finish and touchscreen can coexist. Google the Lenovo ThinkCentre M92z.

    • Mark

      It’s just a rebrand of a Clevo notebook (pretty much all of System76 notebooks are) which was probably originally made with Windows in mind and not Linux. Also, Clevos tend to get hot and bad battery life.

  • greg S

    Think I’ll buy this.

  • shaurz

    5 hour battery life on a Haswell? Terrible.

    • freechelmi

      Actually as long as the battery test is not detailed, it’s difficult to compare. usually mobile Mark 2012 is the reference Windows machine use

  • captain irrelevant

    I’m not sure why this is priced so high when you can get the same Windows laptop for the same/lower price. In which case you can just install your own Ubuntu and have something equal to this.

    • Tom

      And it really will be the same laptop since System76 just rebrands Clevo or Sager notebooks which many companies rebrand from.

      • Anonymous

        Will Clevo/Sager provide a PPA with drivers for the latest Ubuntu releases? Or give tech support for Linux? BTW System76′s other machines look much better priced.

  • sri_tech

    Why anyone would buy this for $900 when you can get touch optimized windows 8 laptop for much lesser
    prices, better specs and much longer battery life?

    Dell: Haswell Core i7, 8 GB RAM, FULL HD, 1 TB HDD, Windows 8 for $879 ($20 less and has much faster processor, double RAM, double HDD).
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-7000-series-15-6-34-touch-screen-laptop-8gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-silver/1753377.p?id=1219062804178&skuId=1753377#tab=overview

    • Tom

      Mainly due to some people’s hate for Microsoft or anything not open enough for them. Buying a notebook with Windows and installing Linux on it is still not an option for them etiher.

      • CyberGusa

        Along with whether they can expect any tech support for running a non-Windows OS on the system… many won’t help you if you’re not running the OS the system came pre-installed with…

      • ack

        Also, System76 only supports for the latest Ubuntu release. Too bad if you choose to stick to LTS.

      • Aden76

        Also, their tech support sucks. It used to be better some years ago but not now. You’re better off getting a better Windows based notebook and installing Linux yourself. You’ll get better help from Google and forums than from System76.

      • me

        Good luck getting any help if you install anything other than Ubuntu. This is overpriced for anyone who’s planning on using Linux.

    • Stu

      Well, some people don’t want to go through the hassle of uninstalling Windows 8 and putting a clean version of Ubuntu on it.

  • d_b_cooper_112471

    For the price of this abomination, anyone could get TWO Toshiba Satellite Touchscreen C55DT-A5307 quad core A6-5200, 500GB drive, six cell, dvd-rw laptops for $399.99 apiece and still have a hundred dollars in the bank.

    Just search Best Buy and other retailers for better bargains.

    • betazed

      Supporting small business is also a way to go. System76 is a small manufacturer and doesn’t have the same margins that Best Buy and Toshiba can provide. Money isn’t the only motivating factor for some people.

    • Lustful

      That is true but for linux users this is geat because System76 is built for Ubuntu. So everything Ubuntu does so will the computer. that is why Linux distrebutions have issues because not all hadware supports the software.

  • dude

    I’ve been wanting 13-14 inch System 76 laptop for a long time, but they are always too expensive.