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Thread: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Smile Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    I've been planning to get a new laptop for quite some time now, and I've boiled it down to three options; the Macbook Pro, Pangolin Performance, and the Bonobo Performance. Now, I was originally planning on a System76, but once I looked at the Macbook Pro that I could get for 100 dollars off, with a sleeker, sturdier case, and about 5 times the battery life, I'm not sure. If I were to upgrade a system76's RAM and processor, I'd likely get a 1,050 ish purchase price. And the Macbook Pro, which has a wonderful design and by default has 4G ddr3 RAM, would be 1,099 with my student discount (: So what I'm wondering is what kind of advantages does system76 (besides using Ubuntu, which I love) have over the Macbook Pro? The battery is really what gets me. The laptop I have now has about two hours of battery, and I hate being "chained to my desk" by the heavy weight and low battery. However, I want to have a decent enough processor and RAM to run lots of programs without lagging, and perhaps even try some WoW. I'd really like to know what you guys think would be best, and hope for some decent feedback. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    249
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    The Pangolian or Bonobo will be built for Ubuntu and have everything working with Ubuntu.

    Also, the System76 developers work on getting the hardware drivers into the kernel. They have a driver installer, which helps things along; eventually, you won't need the driver at all to reinstall.

    The Apple devs don't care about Linux/Ubuntu, so they won't even think of developing anything for the platform.

    Seeing that the Mac is cheaper, you may want to go with it; there are plenty of threads on getting a Macbook fixed up with Ubuntu on the forums.

    I'd push the System76 machines because I have two and I love them. *shrug* Satisfied customer, I guess.

    Enjoy whichever computer you decide to get.

    Amy
    about|blog|twitter
    Machines: custom built desktop (Ubuntu and Windows 7), Macbook Air

  3. #3
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    May 2010
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    Re: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    Yeah, I'm even considering using OS X. I'd love to use a system76, but a Macbook Pro seems like a better deal right now. It all depends on how much spare money I can save up, and which laptop looks best when I finally buy one. A Macbook Pro running on Ubuntu would be pretty sweet, though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Albert Lea, Minnesota
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    Nchewbacca, over the years I have owned several Mac laptops. I currently own three System 76 laptops, (DARU1, DARU3, first generation Starling.) From a hardware point of view, all of the units were top notch. They all ran reliably. So, like gamerchick2, I am also a very satisfied System 76 customer. But I am also a very satisfied Apple customer as well.

    So it really it depends on what your needs are. If you do not mind running a proprietary OS on a relatively closed hardware platform, you will be very satisfied with a MacBookPro. I still use my MacBook to manage my iTunes library and sync. with my iPod. However, if you have your heart set on dual booting with Linux, be sure to explore the Apple sub-forum on this site. There seems to be significant issues getting everything running (wireless and accelerated graphics for example.) If long battery life is critical functionality to you, the MacBook's claim of 8-10 hours of battery life is quite impressive. The only downside to the battery life is the fact that the battery is no longer user changable. When the battery eventually dies, the laptop will have to be sent back to Apple for a replacement.

    Before I get accused of being an Apple fanboy, let me repeat that I am very satisfied with my System 76 units. The way I deal with the short battery life is a bit pricy, but I have purchased an 8 cell battery for my DARU3. When I want to travel light and need long battery life I carry my Starling. Except for managing my iTunes account, I do pretty much all my other work and play in Ubuntu. I like the freedom that OSS gives me. If I need an app, I can usually find it and download it when I need it. I also get tremendous support from both System 76 and also the very smart people who frequent this forum. I can usually get my questions answered very quickly.

    So it really gets down to what you need/want the most. Good luck with your choice.

    Joe

  5. #5
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    Re: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    Thank you, your post has really given me a lot to think about. I'm definitely looking into running Ubuntu as a dual-boot OS if I get a Macbook Pro, and probably the worst thing about it is the non-removable battery. I'd really like to get a System76, but I'd like to get some more experience with linux before I opt for a laptop with only linux. Also, just the quick response to this post shows that these forums are alive and ready to help me with any issues I might encounter, so I'll have to see how things work out by the end of the summer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    Nchewbacca:

    Don't forget that System76 seems to reboot their systems in June or thereabouts, so by the end of the summer, you may find a more powerful System76 machine for a decent price. You can also see if there are any sales posted on this forum. Tom Aaron is pretty good about letting us know about computers that are reduced in price. Follow this forum for announcements of reduced price machines.

    Like jml, I feel that the quality of the System76 machines are great. I've never owned a Mac (never had the spare cash for one), but compared to my first laptop (a Gateway full of proprietary crap), the System76 machines have been awesome. The Pangolian is more powerful than my old desktop and my Starling is light and easy to work with.

    In the "auto business" (where I've held most of my jobs) the quality upon first inspection is called "fit n finish" and it means that the vehicle is attractive and well put together. Both machines I own have very good fit n finish, especially compared to the computers I've seen at a local Best Buy.

    Enjoy whichever machine you choose. It's a personal choice.

    Amy
    about|blog|twitter
    Machines: custom built desktop (Ubuntu and Windows 7), Macbook Air

  7. #7
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    Re: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    To me this is an application issue. Don't think of it as buying a computer or an operating system; think about what you want to run on your computer. If you can run everything you want on an Ubuntu computer, then that's what you should get. Whatever you're saving in hardware costs for the MacBook will most likely be consumed by software costs. On the other hand if what you want to run fits the Mac world and getting it to work in Ubuntu will be a hassle, I'd get the Mac (unless the geek in you likes a good challenge).

    Rob

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    Thanks for the help, guys (and gals). Now that I know about system76's new selection in June, I'll probably wait until early July or so, and check out the new systems. Whatever system I decide to buy, I'm just excited to get away from this old Gateway laptop that I'm using now. The laptop that no longer has an "i" key...

  9. #9
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    Re: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    One further thought: If you spring for a MacBook, spring for the extended warranty. Several members of my family use Macs and they all tell me it is a "must have" for the prompt service you will require at some point.

    Correct: The battery is not user replaceable. Think of a MacBook Pro as a battery with electronics in it. That is how they get that long battery life.

    The only way to get extended battery service on System 76 machines is to order a larger battery, which is not available for all of them. If you an learn specifically what battery a given machine uses a place like Batteries Plus probably can tell you whether or not a larger battery is available. Of course System 76 may be able to answer that question and they may sell a larger battery. If they do you will want to have it.

    Nothing is so stylish as a Mac and they are well engineered. Ordinarily a Mac user pays a sharp premium for those attributes.

    If you can buy it reasonably and it runs the software you need or want then so be it. Just make certain you buy that extended warranty.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Macbook Pro, Pangolin,or Bonobo?

    I totally agree with bill516. I have always purchased the extended warranty for my Mac laptops. Their extended warranty is very good. I only needed them three or four times over the past 8 years, but I was actually able to talk to a human being late on a Sunday afternoon to get my problem resolved. So I would recommend adding in the cost of the extended warranty if you are seriously looking at the MacBook.

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