The new Darter Pro isn’t the smallest laptop from Linux computer company System76. But it is the thinnest and lightest model the company offers with a 15.6 inch display.
Weighing 3.6 pounds and measuring about 0.8 inches thick, it’s bigger and heavier than the company’s 2.9 pound, 0.7 inch Galago notebooks. But it has a bigger screen, a bigger battery, and room for a numeric keypad on the right side of the keyboard, among other things.
First announced last week, the System76 Darter Pro is now available for $999 and up.
The starting price gets you a 14.2″ x 9.6″ x 0.8″ laptop with a 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel matte IPS display, an Intel Core i5-8265U processor, 8GB of DDR4-2400 RAM, a 120GB M.2 SSD, and a 54.5 Wh battery.
Connectivity features include 802.11ac WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort and HDMI ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB 2.0 port, and an SD card reader.
The laptop has a backlit keyboard, stereo speakers, a 720p camera, and mic and headphone jacks.
It ships with a choice of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or System76’s fork of that operating system — you can opt for Pop!_OS 18.04 or 18.10.
Upgrade options include support for up to an Intel Core i7-8565U processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of PCIe NVMe storage.
Theoretically you could probably save some money by purchasing a different laptop and installing Ubuntu or another GNU/Linux distribution on your own. But it’s nice to have the option of buying a relatively notebook that ships with a Linux distribution pre-installed and which comes with official support from the PC maker.
Aside from System76, there are a few other companies that sell LInux laptops, including ZaReason, Dell, and Purism.
I love that there are dedicated Linux hardware companies like System76.
However, their prices are quite off-putting. They should at least sell at similar prices as Dell’s comparable offerings (which are also very expensive).
I understand that they have much fewer economies of scale than Dell but seeing the (planned) prices of the Pinebook Pro, the 5x price is hard to explain even with the hardware differences (lower power ARM-vs-x64, half the RAM, emmc vs ssd) and the seeming non-profit nature of Pine64.
Let’s hope Pine64 one day decides to create x64 laptops as well.
Have you tried the $100 Pinebook? It exists. But you will quickly realize how quality control and customer support (in particular good enough support for business machines) can be worth much more than the hardware itself. Compare 76 to Purism’s Librem. If price is you’re main concern, and/or you’re looking for a gaming machine, than you’re not the demographic that would buy from System76 in the first place.
I really don’t understand why you need to buy a “linux” laptop. Just install it. I have been using linux on laptops since 2009, although AMD installs can be a little bit challenging, intel works with all the major distros, first time – every time.
Both you and Ryan are missing a trick. As a consumer, sure, buy whatever you like and shove linux on it. For work though you want a laptop that’s guaranteed to work out of the box and that you can get a support contract on. That’s the reason why so many company laptops are macbooks.
Unfortunately having a macbook has downsides, in particular running linux containers under docker is painful as it’s all run within a classic VM. I’ve specifically asked my new workplace for a company laptop that isn’t a macbook, something that runs linux out of the box, but there aren’t many of those in existence. A Dell XPS 13 Developer edition would be my preference but there’s only one configuration of that available in the UK and it has 8GB of RAM not 16GB.
That’s a brilliant analysis, as far as naming the demographic and their requirements. This was true for in-house developers at Google and a major reason they started making advanced Chromebooks that were more than “netbooks”. It was a little embarrassing that their developers were consistently choosing Macs. On a different note, I believe a new XPS DE 15′ is coming out soon.
Those prices are ridiculous. This company is just ripping people off that dont want to be a part of the Windblows eco system any longer. NO ONE SHOULD BUY THESE. You can get better at walmart for cheaper and put whatever version of linux you like, on it.
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