Data Fidelity

Collection of System76 Laptop Reviews 2009-2014

This is a list of reviews of System76 laptop and desktop computers by different authors for five years from 2009 to 2014. We managed to collect reviews of several System76 models ranging from Serval, Galago, Gazelle, Lemur, Pangolin, to Bonobo Pro with various Intel technologies from Core 2 Duo to generations of i7 with various graphics processors from HD Graphics, Iris Pro to NVIDIA GTX Mobile. We summarized every review by its specifications, battery hour, and the author’s conclusion and linked to every original website so you can read further. We hope this really helps everyone considering then purchasing GNU/Linux-preinstalled branded computers suitable for them. Please read on and look forward for the next collection too. Happy reading!

 (Picture: a screenshot of System76 web page from February 2023)

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2009

 
This article is written by the owner of Phoronix.com, Michael Larabel, he’s a respected professional hardware reviewer well-known to GNU/Linux community. He reviewed Bonobo, the largest model of System76 laptops, and the review’s divided into 8 parts. The Bonobo Pro was an Intel Core 2 Quad + 4GB + 320GB-HDD + GeForce GTX 280M preinstalled with Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope”. The author compares this laptop with Lenovo ThinkPad T61 with various metrics. However, he did not state about battery life. He concluded “However, if the laptop will mostly be stationary, or a powerful yet portable system is necessary, there is the Bonobo Professional […] coming from System76, there is complete Ubuntu Linux support for this notebook.”
This article is also written by Michael Larabel, predated the Bonobo Pro review and had 9 parts long. This review examined Serval Pro, a lightweight high-end model of System76 laptops. It was an Intel Core 2 Duo + 4GB + 32GB-SSD + NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS preinstalled with 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex”. The author tested the laptop with a lot of benchmarks but did not state anything about battery life once again. He concluded “If you don’t mind paying more for a notebook that ships with Ubuntu and is guaranteed to run nicely with Linux” then Serval Pro “is worth considering for your next purchase.”
 

 (Picture: a screenshot of Serval Pro review by Phoronix)

Its an old model, small travelling laptop with Atom 1GB that comes with Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” 32-bit. The author stated that it worked good in general and ran with 3.5-4 hours on battery.

2010

Lemur by Jono Bacon

https://www.jonobacon.com/2010/03/10/system-76-lemur-review

Its an ultra-thin laptop with 4GB memory Intel Core 2 Duo + HD Graphics + SSD preinstalled with Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”. The author did not say a number about the battery life hour except “fine, […] but not outstanding.” He concluded “good work System76 on shipping what I consider great representation of Ubuntu” and “would happily recommend this machine to others.” Jono Bacon was Ubuntu Project’s Release Manager and a Canonical employee.

Pangolin by Rev Limiter

https://revlimiter.net/blog/2010/01/system76-pangolin-review

This is the most amusing, unique laptop review on the net we’ve ever found so read it by yourself. The laptop is called Pangolin Performance series 6 with Core 2 Duo, 4GB, NVIDIA Geforce 105M. The battery life hour was not good. He concluded after two years of use “I’d pronounce it a decent laptop with mediocre tech support.”

*) Pangolin two years later became Ubuntu 12.04 codename. 

(Picture: a screenshot of RevLimiter’s review)

2011

Bonobo by Randall Degess

https://www.rdegges.com/2011/system76-bonobo-ubuntu-laptop-review

Bonobo is the largest model of System76 laptops. At the time, it was powered with i7 8GB GeForce GTX. The author is a programmer, so he wanted the 17″ sceen for reading a lot of codes but he did not state any number about the battery hour. He concluded “It’s fast, sturdy, looks great, and has perfect Linux hardware compatibility. If you’re a Linux guy looking for a great laptop, I’d strongly recommend you give System76 a shot for your next purchase.”

 
 

(Picture: a screenshot of Randall’s review showing Bonobo)

Gazelle Pro by Gear Diary

https://geardiary.com/2011/04/05/review-system-76-gazelle-professional-ubuntu-laptop

Gazelle Pro is one large model of System76 laptops and this review is written by Joel McLaughlin. The author stated that it was an i7 8GB 80GB SSD with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M. The battery power lasted for 2-3 hours. He concluded “System 76 has done a fantastic job with the Gazelle Professional. […] No —  it’s not near as pretty as a MacBook, but it’s just as powerful in an experienced Linux user’s hands.” 

  
(Picture:  a screenshot Gazelle Pro review by Gadgetboy)

Serval Pro by OMG! Ubuntu

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/06/system76-serval-professional-review

This review is written by Benjamin Humphrey. The Serval Pro here was a new generation of its time with i7 8GB 80GB-SSD with GeForce GTX 485M preinstalled with Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”. The author stated that the battery life lasted about 2.5 hours. He concluded “Overall the System76 Serval Professional is a very beautiful and powerful laptop, ideal for a desktop replacement. […] it certainly lives up to System76’s claim of the most powerful Ubuntu laptop in the world.” 

 (Picture: a screenshot of Serval Pro review by OMG! Ubuntu)

Serval Pro by Phoronix

https://www.phoronix.com/review/system76_serval_pro_snb

This review is written by Michael Larabel. It examined System76 Serval Pro laptop with Intel Sandy Bridge & NVIDIA Fermi technologies, which consisted of i7 8GB 80GB-SSD GeForce-GTX-485M preinstalled with Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”. He linked the short review (2 parts only) with a lot of separated benchmarks. However, he did not stated anything about battery life. He did not write any conclusion in this review.
 

(Picture: a screenshot of Serval Pro review by Phoronix)

2012

Gazelle Pro by OMG! Ubuntu

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/09/the-system76-gazelle-professional-just-how-good-is-it-review

This review is written by Tom Slominski. He stated that it was an i7 8GB 128GB-SSD 750GB-HDD with Intel HD 4000 Graphics. He didn’t state the built-in version of Ubuntu but the photos seem to be 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”. He stated that the battery power lasted for 2 hours. He concluded “This System76 Gazelle Professional is an amazing laptop.” 

 
(Picture: a screenshot of OMG! Ubuntu review showing Gazelle Pro)

Gazelle Pro by Make Use Of

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/system76-gazelle-professional-laptop-review-giveaway/

This review is written by Danny Stieben, interestingly with a giveaway of the laptop to one reader. It was an i7 4GB 750GB-HDD with Intel HD 4000 Graphics. He stated that its battery power lasted for 3.5 hours “while surfing around the internet on the lowest brightness setting for the screen.” He concluded “For Linux users who may have been struggling with getting a laptop where all of the hardware works perfectly, purchasing one specifically built for the purpose is the ideal solution.”

 

 

(Picture: a screenshot of Gazelle Pro by Make Use Of)
 

Gazelle Pro by Techman’s World

https://www.techmansworld.com/2012/12/system76-gazelle-professional-review-gazp7.html

This review is written by Michael Hazell (techman). The author separated the review from the unboxing with a lot of photos. The Gazelle Pro here was an i7 8GB 40GB-SSD with Intel HD Graphics 4000 preinstalled with Ubuntu (no version specified, but should be either 12.04 or 12.10). He stated the battery life to be about 2-3 hours. He concluded “The Gazelle Professional, despite it’s flaws, is a great laptop. You can get a lot of power out of this one, and the price is in line with other high performance laptops.”

  

 

(Picture: a screenshot of Gazelle Pro review by Techman’s World)

2013

Gazelle Pro by Phoronix

https://www.phoronix.com/review/system76_gazelle_haswell

Michael Larabel reviewed here Gazelle Pro with i7 8GB 120GB-SSD HD Graphics 4600 Ubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail”. He stated abd gave a lot of benchmarks with this laptop but once again did not state anything about battery hours. He concluded “Overall, the System76 Gazelle Professional laptop performance is very commendable as expected from an Intel Core i7 “Haswell” based system.”
 

(Picture: a screenshot of Gazelle Pro “Haswell” edition review by Phoronix) 

Gazelle Pro

https://crossedstreams.com/2013/04/10/why-i-bought-a-system76-gazelle-pro-laptop

https://crossedstreams.com/2013/04/22/unboxing-my-system76-gazelle-pro

https://crossedstreams.com/2013/05/29/a-few-weeks-with-the-system76-gazelle-pro

This review is written by Paul Brabban (brabsters) and consisted of 3 parts. The author examined Gazelle Pro with i7 8GB 500GB-HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 preinstalled with Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal” and also tested with Kubuntu 12.10 (KDE Desktop) and Arch GNU/Linux. He stated in the comments about the batter life lasted for about 3 hours. He concluded “I would recommend to a friend. […] All the hardware works under all three distributions. Although I bought the lowest-spec i7 processor and the Intel graphics hardware is relatively modest, KDE is a joy to use, silky smooth through all the desktop effects. .

Gazelle Pro by Matt Turner

https://mattst88.com/blog/2013/11/17/Difficulty_in_Finding_a_Good_Development_Laptop

https://mattst88.com/blog/2014/03/19/Laptop_choices_and_aftermath

This analysis is written by Matt Turner, a Gentoo developer, in a search of good development laptop. This was divided into 2 parts with the second one (the review) published later in 2014. He compared Gazelle Pro with MacBook Pro, ThinkPad and ZenBook among other choices. He concluded to choose MacBook in the end, but the comparison and analysis worth reading. In the second part, he reviewed Galago Pro after using it after several weeks. No battery life hours mentioned at all.

Lemur Ultra by Green Horn Linux

https://www.greenhornlinux.com/2013/04/13/system-76-laptop-review

This review is written by Adam “greenhornlinux”. He examined Lemur Ultra with i7 8GB 750GB-HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 preinstalled with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin”. The author did not state anything about battery life both in the text and the video. He concluded, among others, “As far as support and everything just working, this has been the best Linux experience  Everything just works.”

Galago UltraPro by Phoronix

https://www.phoronix.com/review/system76_galago_ultrapro

Michael Larabel reviewed and benchmarked Galago UltraPro with i7 (RAM unclear) Iris Pro 5200. He linked many benchmark results in this review. However, once again no battery life information mentioned. He concluded “Overall, I’m very pleased with the performance of the Galago UltraPro” but with “keyboard issues”.

Galago UltraPro by Troy Pavlek

https://tpavlek.me/blog/2013/09/14/system76-galago-ultrapro-review

This review is written by Troy Pavlek. He examined Galago UltraPro with i7 and Iris Pro Graphics and 1080p screen. He experienced very negative experiences with it as the machine was “badly designed” and the technical support was “horrible” so the laptop had been returned and refunded.

2014

Bonobo Extreme by Couch Change

https://couchchange.blogspot.com/2014/01/bonobo-exteme-laptop-from-system76.html

This review is written by Couch Change. He examined a Bonobo Extreme, the largest model of System76 laptops, without stated the full specifications. He said the battery life was short with a 45 minutes before warning (this is the lowest report on battery in this list). He concluded “I like my bonobo extreme linux installed laptop. It does the basic things I need it to do, but there are some things I still haven’t got it do well yet. System76 is not a bad company but they are overpriced.”

Sable Touch by CPBL

https://cpbl.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/review-system76-and-their-sable-touch-desktop-computer

https://medium.com/@profcpbl?source=post_page—–ad0f9e64cfa9——————————–

This review published in two places is written by C Barrington-Leigh. He reviewed Sable Touch, the all in one desktop PC model (similar to Apple iMac) from System76 and not a laptop. He concluded “Now, I have a quite-nice desktop on my hands, and the belief that its hardware will be well supported for my operating system” with several criticism to the company’s support.

Galago Pro by Abhay Rana

https://captnemo.in/blog/2014/07/04/galago-ultra-pro-review

This review is written by Abhay Rana. He reviewed Galago UltraPro with i7 8GB 500GB-HDD Intel Iris Pro 5200 preinstalled with Ubuntu (no clear version stated, he did say about using 12.04 from external storage and reinstalling with 14.04). He showed no photo, said nothing about battery life. He concluded “Despite its few quirks, I’m liking my new laptop. I’m enjoying gaming on it …”

Gazelle Pro

https://lessthantwelveparsecs.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/system76-gazelle-pro-review

This review in 2 parts is written by Ryan Denzer-King. He examined Gazelle Pro without stating full specifications at all (however, it should not differs too much to the other Gazelle Pros in its time). He did state the battery life lasted for 4 hours or 2-3 hours depending to workloads. He concluded “Overall I’ve been very happy with this laptop so far.  Despite a few things I consider imperfections, I absolutely plan on going back to System76 for any and all future prebuilt systems.”

Galago UltraPro

https://kylealanr.blogspot.com/2014/06/system76-galago-ultrapro-review.html

This review is written by Kyle Riedemann. He examined Galago UltraPro with i7 8GB 500GB-HDD Intel Iris Graphics 5200 preinstalled with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS “Trusty Tahr”. He did compare this with MacBook Pro but not state clearly about the battery life hours. He concluded ”  I really like the Galago UltraPro overall, and I like System76. […] I would recommend this hardware and this company to anyone with similar interests and tastes as myself.

Galago UltraPro by Aychedee

https://www.aychedee.com/2014/01/04/galago-ultrapro-review

This review is written by Hansel Dunlop (aychedee). He examined Galago UltraPro with i7 16GB SSD (capacity unclear) Intel Iris Pro preinstalled with Ubuntu (version unclear, but at the time it should be around 13.10). He said the battery life lasted for about 3 hours. He concluded “Overall this is a very powerful, small, light, quiet laptop that I’ve been enjoying developing on with some small problems.”

 (Picture: a screenshot of Galago UltraPro review by Aychedee)

Comparing MacBook Pro and Galago Pro

See (Matt, 2013) above.

Pangolin

https://www.ipreferjim.com/2014/08/system76-notebooks-are-they-worth-the-money

This review is written by Jim Schubert (and this is the last in this collection list). He examined Pangolin laptop with Pangolin operating system, that was, an i7 16GB 750GB-HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 preinstalled with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin”. He had issues with the machine and company’s support, with constructive criticism he wrote. He reported about battery life being good for 2 years and needed to be replaced but it was living for 2.5-3 hours. He concluded “My own resolution was to purchase a 13″ Macbook Pro. […] I will be selling my System76 machine […] To answer the question “Are they worth it?”, I would have to say “It depends.”

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You’ve reached the end of this big list 2009-2014. Look forward for the next collection lists here at Ubuntu Buzz. We hope this big list will help everybody choose the best laptop preinstalled with Free Libre Open Source Software (FOSS). Happy reading!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless stated otherwise.

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