System76 Lemur: My Purebred Linux Laptop

As an advocate for Open Source Technology, I’ve put my money where my mouth is and purchased a purebred-Linux based laptop, the System76 Lemur.

I’m pleased with this purchase and I’ll be sharing a few bells and whistle along with the deltas that I’ve noticed over the past seven months.

 

System76, you may not have heard of this company before but they are a US based computer reseller store with their primary focus on preinstalled-Linux notebooks, desktops and servers. They partner with the electronics manufacturer, Chicony, in packaging some beautiful hardware products for their customers.

 

Why I purchased it?

First I’m not a fanboy for System76. But I do put my money where my mouth is and being a supporter of Open Source, it is incumbent upon me to support an organisation which embodies the values of the community.

The next reason was that I needed an upgrade. My old 2008 Lenovo G530 deserved to live its remaining life as a server. For my new system, I wanted same/more ports, slim form factor with the latest tech – I wanted a future-proof laptop.

Pop!_OS is popping! The company created this new Linux distribution with streamlined features which has better support and has all the capabilities of Ubuntu, its parent.

For what its worth, I was tired of seeing that “window key”. Guys it is called a super key.

 

Specification

This is where System76 machines come alive. You as a customer has the ability to configure your machine down to the keyboard (no-joke). But let me geek out for a bit, here are specs. for my build:

  • Display: 14.1″ (standard)
  • Weight: 3.6lbs
  • Processor: Intel® Core i7 CPU @ 2.70GHz × 4
  • Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 620 (Kaby Lake GT2)
  • Word Size: 64 bit
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Memory: 250GB M.2 SSD, 2.5″ with an expandable slot
  • Additional: 1 USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 USB 2.0 Type-A, SD Card Reader, VGA, HDMI, CATV, Warranty … so much more go check them out here.

As for expandability, this machine has two HD space and you can pull it apart and swap out HDs, RAMs as you please. I hope by now you understand what I meant by a future-proof purchase.

Maybe the stock image didn’t do justice so here are a few photos I took:

 

My feedback.

After using the Lemur for around seven months, overall I’m amazed with the  its performance, flexibility and some of its features. My machine no doubt has the “umph” of a small server and the flexibility of a MacBook Air. In terms of specs, that is the sweet spot for developers.

There are however a few deltas with this machine. First my battery life, it gives about 1.5-2hrs of coding (running Java server, eclipse, and a heavy angular). If I’m browsing I can squeeze out 3.5hrs with ease. That is enough time to do a quick bug fix. Another issue is the sound quality – Ugh! Having used a MacBook for work, my ears have been tuned to a higher sound quality. It plays “ok” on low volume but on high… think of an HP Envy or 2000. Another smaller issue is the blue LED next to the power button, in low lights gets really annoying. The Shift & Enter alignment is a bit unusual –  to me.

 

You Should Get One

Whether you’re a developer, business analyst, project manager, college student this laptop is a great purchase. Comparable to the traditional laptops it is a bit pricier, but there are enough features to justify that price tag.

This laptop fits well in the Caribbean as it has modern features while maintaining support for the older tech eg. HDMI & VGA. Not having to buy additional adapters or extension to perform a particular activity is what this future-proof tool provides.

Post Author: Solomon

Hi there, I'm a Software Engineer, Administrator & advocate for Jamaica Cultural Alliance, and a local farmer. Always questioning the status quo in search of better alternatives. Motto: "Love your life perfect your life, beautify all things in your life - Tecumseh" Favourite slangs: "At least am alive" & "Bless up"