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Thread: Buy new laptop: lots of questions

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  1. #1
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    Buy new laptop: lots of questions

    I'd like to support a company that sells pre-installed linux, but.....

    I'm not a gamer, so the integrated Intel graphics is fine with me. I don't think I would notice a big difference between the i5 and i7 processors, and would prefer longer battery life. I haven't yet searched to see how big a difference in battery life there is between the two.

    The System76 batteries seem to be weaker than others. I am seeing battery lives of 6 hours on forums for other brands of laptops. These are users and not marketing claims. Since the hardware is similar, I assume its the batteries. Posts on here are saying 3 to 4+ hours for general use, with a fresh battery. That doesn't seem very good for a 14" with integrated graphics. Are there 3rd party batteries with more power for the System76? The other reason for asking is if System76 went belly up, I'd still be able to get batteries in the future.

    Is there significant differences in battery life between the Lemur and Gazelle?

    I am leaning toward the Lemur, or possibly the Gazelle. I think the Lemur's resolution is ok for a 14" but would want the higher resolution of the Gazelle for the 15".

    How high of a resolution is possble on the VGA port to an external monitor? I'd like to see 1600x1200 or better. I will be connectint to an external monitor at times.

    Can the Lemur put out 1080p hdmi to a TV?

    How's the WIFI reception with the bluetooth option card?

    I heard lots of good things about System76 and the quality of the laptops seem to be very good.

    Thanks in advance for any help with these questions.

  2. #2
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    Re: Buy new laptop: lots of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by oakhilltop View Post
    The System76 batteries seem to be weaker than others. I am seeing battery lives of 6 hours on forums for other brands of laptops. These are users and not marketing claims. Since the hardware is similar, I assume its the batteries. Posts on here are saying 3 to 4+ hours for general use, with a fresh battery. That doesn't seem very good for a 14" with integrated graphics. Are there 3rd party batteries with more power for the System76? The other reason for asking is if System76 went belly up, I'd still be able to get batteries in the future.
    I'm not aware of any 3rd parties making batteries for our system, and even if there were, we don't do any testing with them. That said, we're not in any danger of going belly up any time soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by oakhilltop View Post
    Is there significant differences in battery life between the Lemur and Gazelle?
    The Gazelle will get around three hours per charge. The Lemur gets four.

    You might check those other users and see if they're testing Windows. Windows battery times of around 6 hours will translate to about four in Ubuntu, due to less efficient power management.

    Quote Originally Posted by oakhilltop View Post
    How high of a resolution is possble on the VGA port to an external monitor? I'd like to see 1600x1200 or better. I will be connectint to an external monitor at times.
    VGA has no technical limit on maximum resolution, since it's an Analog standard. That said, the picture will begin to degrade around 1280x1024, and 1920x1080 is really the maximum usable resolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by oakhilltop View Post
    Can the Lemur put out 1080p hdmi to a TV?
    Absolutely!

    Quote Originally Posted by oakhilltop View Post
    How's the WIFI reception with the bluetooth option card?
    Pretty standard for a laptop. Our testing indicates good signals out to about 100 feet.
    Ian Santopietro - System76 Technical Support.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Buy new laptop: lots of questions

    I would like to ask a question to isantop. Has System 76 ever thought about offering SSD in their laptops? I know it would add cost to the units, but it really improves performance and increases battery life, up to and over an hour longer on some models.
    Also they run cooler and would add longer life to the laptop. We all know that heat and dirt can be harmful to computer.
    Thanks isantop.
    My hometown on the Mississippi River.
    Using a Asus 3632QM laptop with 8gig RAM, 750gig Hybrid.
    Machine Registered 366271, 366273, 366275.
    Registered Ubuntu user number 18630. Registered Linux user number 458093.

  4. #4
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    Re: Buy new laptop: lots of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by irv View Post
    I would like to ask a question to isantop. Has System 76 ever thought about offering SSD in their laptops? I know it would add cost to the units, but it really improves performance and increases battery life, up to and over an hour longer on some models.
    Also they run cooler and would add longer life to the laptop. We all know that heat and dirt can be harmful to computer.
    Thanks isantop.
    We offer optional SSDs on all of our systems. Our testing suggests they don't significantly affect heat or battery life. You're looking at maybe fifteen minutes, tops.
    Ian Santopietro - System76 Technical Support.
    Open a Support Ticket!
    Ask a Sales Question!

  5. #5
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    Re: Buy new laptop: lots of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by isantop View Post
    We offer optional SSDs on all of our systems. Our testing suggests they don't significantly affect heat or battery life. You're looking at maybe fifteen minutes, tops.
    Thanks for the quick responds. The comments I made were based on reviews I saw from other manufactures. Goes to show you can't believe everything you read. I would think SSD's would improve performance?
    My hometown on the Mississippi River.
    Using a Asus 3632QM laptop with 8gig RAM, 750gig Hybrid.
    Machine Registered 366271, 366273, 366275.
    Registered Ubuntu user number 18630. Registered Linux user number 458093.

  6. #6
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    Re: Buy new laptop: lots of questions

    Thanks for the quick answers.

    Yes, they were running windows when they said they got 6 hours. I thought of that after I made the post. Hopefully the kernel will improve the power management.

    I can't decide between the lemur and a i5 based pangolin. I like the battery life, and portability of the lemur but wonder if I would wish I got the 15". I'm guessing the battery life of the pangolin is in between the lemur and gazelle.

    A pangolin with a higher res screen option would be nice. I'm not sure if the Intel graphics can drive the higher res though.

    Maybe I'll go look at some 15" 1376 x 768 laptops in a store.

    Anyway, thanks again, and I will have to think it over for awhile.

  7. #7
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    Re: Buy new laptop: lots of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by irv View Post
    Thanks for the quick responds. The comments I made were based on reviews I saw from other manufactures. Goes to show you can't believe everything you read. I would think SSD's would improve performance?
    I got an i5, 8 GB RAM, and a 60 GB SSD-20.49 second boot time. My powerhouse computer sporting a 1 TB HDD with an equally powerful AMD processor (plus the same amount of RAM), and an even better ATI graphics card boots in 63.20 seconds.
    And, everything is snappy with the SSD-no hangs or anything like it once I upgraded my kernel to fix the Intel graphics issue.
    So, to answer your question, yes, SSDs do, in fact, increase performance.
    Plus, they also stay extremely quiet and produce very little heat compared to HDDs, thanks to not having any moving parts (the only time the fan is noticeable or not muted by my typing is during a kernel hang or if I'm doing something like importing thousands of photos at the same time in Shotwell).
    Backups are amazing. 99% of data loss can be prevented by spending less than $100 on an external drive.
    If you have seen an error, there is a good chance someone else has, too. Google is your friend.

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