System76 Pangolin Review: A 15-Inch Linux Laptop for the Masses

Linux could not have developed (but!) into the mainstream desktop working system its advocates had hoped for, however followers of free software program have by no means had it so good. Dell, Lenovo, HP, Purism, and System76 all promote wonderful Linux-based {hardware}. Time-travel again to 2012 to shout the excellent news and you will have hassle convincing even the Linux trustworthy that the future is even brighter than they’re dreaming.

Yet right here we’re. For the previous six weeks, I’ve been engaged on a System76 Pangolin laptop computer with out ever giving a thought to the proven fact that I’m not utilizing Windows. Everything simply works. The working system is built-in with the {hardware}. The {hardware} is excellent (extra on that under), and I’m hard-pressed to search out something to complain about.

AMD Inside

Photograph: System76

System76 has been making Linux laptops longer than most of the massive names it now competes towards, and in most respects, it is manner forward. The Pangolin line launched two years in the past as the firm’s first AMD laptop computer, and the newest iteration encompasses a Ryzen 7 6800U processor, with 32 gigabytes of RAM and as much as 16 terabytes of SSD storage. 

The 16-terabyte mannequin doesn’t come low cost. The base Pangolin is an inexpensive $1,299, which will get you a single 250-gigabyte SSD (with a slot for a second). Fully decked out at 16 terabytes, you are $4,213. Most folks do not want that a lot storage, however I particularly like having two drive slots, which provides you the flexibility to improve down the street.

The 15-inch display is my least favourite a part of this laptop computer—it is simply too massive for me—however when you love an enormous display and a 10-key quantity pad, the Pangolin delivers. This laptop computer will get some main bonus factors for the matte show, because it reduces the quantity of glare, making it simpler to learn. The display has a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel decision and a 144-Hz refresh rate, which is good for gaming too. Unlike a few of System76’s different laptops, there isn’t a 4K possibility for the Pangolin, which is a disgrace.

The dimension makes the Pangolin on the heavy aspect at simply shy of 4 kilos. That’s not overly heavy for a 15-inch laptop computer, nevertheless it positively feels giant coming from a 2.5-pound 13-inch laptop computer. The construct high quality is nice. It’s not fairly ThinkPad-level nice, nevertheless it’s as shut as you are going to get with out shopping for a ThinkPad.

This Pangolin stays impressively skinny at underneath an inch, regardless of the plethora of ports that System76 has packed in. There’s Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port (with ShowPort help, however not Thunderbolt), three USB-A ports, a 3.5-mm headphone/microphone combo jack, and a full-size SD card reader (which can be utilized in addition as properly). I can not inform you how a lot I miss full-size SD card readers. Also observe that, not like the earlier mannequin, this laptop computer can cost over USB-C. System76 gives a barrel-style cost twine, however I primarily charged it utilizing my very own USB-C charger (this Satechi).

System76 has included a bodily webcam kill swap for privateness. I used to be curious how this works, and after a little bit of tinkering, I found that it does certainly fully lower off energy to the digicam. It’s a pleasant little characteristic for people who need it—saves you some electrical tape.

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