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Thread: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

  1. #1
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    System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    System76 needs an Ultrabook type product and they need an Ubuntu Touch tablet and smart phone to complete and compete against Google, Apple, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Asus, Lenovo, Acer, Toshiba, etc. I see that ZaReason offers the UltraLap 430 and they have a working tablet under development right now. I view ZaReason as the more cutting edge company that sells certified Linux gear albeit at higher prices rather than System76. If things don't change soon enough, then I'll be doing business with ZaReason exclusively in the future. System76 is getting old fast. They just don't offer the types of products that interest me anymore.

    Thoughts?

    I'm probably right.

  2. #2
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    Re: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    We're lagging right now because we don't want to release a bad product. If we could put out an amazing Uultrabook at a great price, you can bet we would release it tomorrow. As yet, it hasn't proved feasible.

    Rather than put out a poor product, we'd rather wait and release a stellar product that blows away everybodies expectations.
    Ian Santopietro - System76 Technical Support.
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  3. #3
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    Re: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    It's understandable, but your weakness in your products is your graphics in terms of pixel resolution and GPU options for your laptops. Why do I have to spend $1,499 to get a Bonobo Extreme that weighs 10.6 pounds with the massive 200 watt power adapter just to get an nVidia GPU? Why do I have to spend $879 to get a Gazelle Professional just to get full HD 1080p pixel resolution and I'm still stuck with Intel HD Graphics 4000?

    This is not a quality first approach. Your competitors are stomping on you by offering high pixel resolution screens with their choice of AMD or nVidia GPUs for less money if you get a Windows 8 certified PC.

    I can easily get a 15.6" 1920 X 1080P pixel resolution screen with both Intel HD Graphics 4000 and an nVidia GeForce GT 620 GPU from Toshiba or Acer for less than $750 and I already know that it will be fully compatible with Ubuntu 13.04 64 bit and nVidia Optimus if I upgrade to Linux kernel 3.9.2 64 bit and the nVidia binary blob 319.12 Beta version.

    This is why System76, ZaReason, Emperor Linux, etc. aren't able to challenge Apple, Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc. You charge too much damn money and you offer skimpy PC hardware especially with regard to low pixel resolution screens and integrated GPUs.

    Keep this up and you'll be jogging in the same place next year and the year after that.

    I got a fair price for my Lemur (lemu4), but I'm thinking that I made a mistake and I should have gone with an Acer for value. Ubuntu 13.04 64 bit works with UEFI and Secure Boot so what's the big deal?

    When your CEO said that he wanted to induce sticker shock, it should be obvious that you'd have fewer customers than Dell, HP, Apple, etc.

    Either you guys start lowering your prices or you start upping your offerings. You need more balance in your laptop range of products because it's top heavy with the Bonobo Extreme. Very few people want a laptop that weighs more than 10 pounds with the power adapter.

    I'll be waiting for your 2013 product refresh and I hope that you'll be able to shut me up in a few weeks especially with the new Intel 4th Generation Haswell and the new nVidia GeForce GT/GTX 700x series GPUs.

    As for myself, I will be a repeat customer, but I won't do business with your company until August 2015. I'll wait a little longer until you release an Ultrabook type product because I'm done with 4+ pound laptops. I need to lighten my carrying load.

  4. #4
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    Arrow Re: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Dorner View Post
    It's understandable, but your weakness in your products is your graphics in terms of pixel resolution and GPU options for your laptops. Why do I have to spend $1,499 to get a Bonobo Extreme that weighs 10.6 pounds with the massive 200 watt power adapter just to get an nVidia GPU? Why do I have to spend $879 to get a Gazelle Professional just to get full HD 1080p pixel resolution and I'm still stuck with Intel HD Graphics 4000?
    +1, i would also like to see lower end products available (like Ivy/Sandy Bridge Pentium based w/ number keypad) SSD options for all systems also optical or ssd caddy options (both with and without a ssd)
    would also like to see variants of ubuntu offered like xubuntu
    also the option of 'no hdd/ssd, i will use my own send/download install media/image instead'
    there should probably be a show advanced options button for some of these choices, so people who know nothing about hardware don't get confused
    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Dorner View Post
    This is not a quality first approach. Your competitors are stomping on you by offering high pixel resolution screens with their choice of AMD or nVidia GPUs for less money if you get a Windows 8 certified PC.
    MS does not make drivers the chip manufactures do, system76 actually does some driver development and programmers need to be paid for there time (relative to there skill level) They also do lost of testing to be sure everything will work and ubuntu is stable on the hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Dorner View Post
    I can easily get a 15.6" 1920 X 1080P pixel resolution screen with both Intel HD Graphics 4000 and an nVidia GeForce GT 620 GPU from Toshiba or Acer for less than $750 and I already know that it will be fully compatible with Ubuntu 13.04 64 bit and nVidia Optimus if I upgrade to Linux kernel 3.9.2 64 bit and the nVidia binary blob 319.12 Beta version.
    And when a issues comes up and you need support you get sorry we don't support linux please install windows bla bla bla.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Dorner View Post
    This is why System76, ZaReason, Emperor Linux, etc. aren't able to challenge Apple, Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc. You charge too much damn money and you offer skimpy PC hardware especially with regard to low pixel resolution screens and integrated GPUs.
    Would be different if you could go into best buy/microcenter/newegg/amazon and find System76, ZaReason, Emperor Linux, etc products. Also those companies load windows full of crapware and get paid to pre-install it which lowers cost, have even head of ad-ware coming pre-installed on windows system before; Apple is a status symbol people buy them to 'be cool'
    intel gpus are pretty nice on linux, i can crank 1920x1080 out of a Pentium 4 system (windows can't do but 1366x768 on the same hardware)

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Dorner View Post
    I got a fair price for my Lemur (lemu4), but I'm thinking that I made a mistake and I should have gone with an Acer for value. Ubuntu 13.04 64 bit works with UEFI and Secure Boot so what's the big deal?
    secure boot support is buggy, also secure boot is ethically wrong, you should not require a binary blob from MS in the kernel (the system core) to boot a non-Microsoft operating system

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Dorner View Post
    When your CEO said that he wanted to induce sticker shock, it should be obvious that you'd have fewer customers than Dell, HP, Apple, etc.
    really you are going to include apple in that list, have you seen there prices...

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Dorner View Post
    Either you guys start lowering your prices or you start upping your offerings. You need more balance in your laptop range of products because it's top heavy with the Bonobo Extreme. Very few people want a laptop that weighs more than 10 pounds with the power adapter.
    for the most part the prices are fair, it is just really high end hardware, there needs to be more config options (cpu/keyboard/gpu/ssd) and when 13.10 comes out it would be nice to have the option to have a caching ssd (kernel supports doing that, not sure if intel srt works for that on linux)

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Dorner View Post
    I'll be waiting for your 2013 product refresh and I hope that you'll be able to shut me up in a few weeks especially with the new Intel 4th Generation Haswell and the new nVidia GeForce GT/GTX 700x series GPUs.

    As for myself, I will be a repeat customer, but I won't do business with your company until August 2015. I'll wait a little longer until you release an Ultrabook type product because I'm done with 4+ pound laptops. I need to lighten my carrying load.
    not a customer at least not yet, i don't need hardware that high-end for on the go, as for desktops it is too much much building them to let someone else do it (also believe in the saying if you want it done right do it yourself), but as a perfectionist the cable management is can be a pain to get right
    Last edited by CharlesA; May 18th, 2013 at 04:29 AM. Reason: snipped politics
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  5. #5
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    Re: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    Ultrabook would be nice, I remember System76 had an Ultrabook type of a laptop some time ago.

    However, System76 provides Ubuntu machines, which means:

    - no phone, since there are no Ubuntu phones, there may be some in the future, but not now.

    - similarly, there are no Ubuntu tablets. The ZaReason tablet is only an unlocked tablet, there is nothing special about it.

    - latest Ubuntu only uses kernel 3.8, hence Optimus wouldn't work well, System76 shouldn't sell Optimus laptops until Ubuntu 13.10 and then only if things work well.

    The base System76 models are not among the cheapest, however, their base is much better build than the competition's cheap crap. If you get a decent Dell or Acer with higher end specs, then System76 is extremely competitive. A few years ago I needed a second laptop and I thought System76 was too expensive, I was cheap and I got a low end Lenovo. The laptop worked, except the "C" key broke down very quickly and the proprietary wireless driver was constantly giving me trouble. There is more to a computer than the CPU, GPU, RAM and HDD.

    I do wish System76 offered more choice, but I think it would be extremely detrimental if they sell something that doesn't work 100% out of the box. They are too small to afford to sell cheap and iffy hardware, only big companies can afford that.

    Also, I don't see the point of Optimus. If you want to play games, then you should get a desktop. If you want a laptop for work, Intel HD 4000 on the Gazelle is more than enough.

    PS: Ulrabooks don't have Nvidia graphics, only Intel HD.
    Last edited by 3Miro; May 18th, 2013 at 03:18 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    If you tow the line, then don't surprised if it goes nowhere fast. That's essentially the status for System76 and to a certain degree ZaReason. These companies are not innovating aggressively enough. I'd be surprised if there are more than 25,000 System76 customers worldwide at this time. I doubt that they even have half that number at this time.

    Let's get real: System76 is a low volume small market Linux reseller. They don't even make the hardware that they sell. They don't know the ins and outs of their hardware that they do sell. I had a couple of support tickets that made me scratch my head as to why I bought an extra year of warranty and support from them at this point. Their technical support is not terrible, but it isn't up to Apple Genius quality and it is not nearly as comprehensive as Apple Care.

    No, I don't want an Apple so let's just eliminate that option right now because it is not happening ever.

    Limited choices. High prices. Low sales volumes. Small market. Lack of innovation. Average to mediocre technical support. This is the way that System76 does business.

    I'll do business with them again in a little over two years from today, but do I have to wait that long to figure out what they'll be offering in the future? I know this company's strategy and it's plainly obvious that they don't want to offer a better product at a lower price given that no one has to pay for the Ubuntu operating system. This is precisely why Linux adoption is so damn low. Companies like System76, ZaReason, Emperor Linux, etc. make it infeasible to buy a Linux certified PC.

    If I want to play Ubuntu or Steam games on my notebook PC, then that's my damn business. I don't need a desktop just to play games. Why the hell do you think there is a System76 Bonobo Extreme on the market now? It's catered toward high end mobile gamers. I just think that it's too damn heavy and bulky to be worth considering. The era of big desktop replacements is over. Just take a look at the current products offered by Windows and Apple and you'll see the trend quite clearly: smaller, lighter, faster, more powerful, and less expensive with better quality PC components to boot.

    I already spent my money to get my System76 Lemur (lemu4). I'd do it again, but I'd delay the purchase by another three years just to get decent quality pixel resolution and a discrete nVidia GPU for less money. In fact, I'm going to do exactly just that.

    When the GNU/Linux world doesn't give a flying crap about reality, then companies like System76 and ZaReason can't iterate innovation quickly.

    I have a HP Elitebook 17" and I installed Ubuntu 13.04 64 bit on it perfectly with UEFI and Secure Boot with Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 64 bit in a dual-boot configuration. It was simple and easy. Try doing it yourself before you spew out misinformation and deceitful lies in your feeble attempt to counter my arguments made.
    Last edited by Leslie Dorner; May 18th, 2013 at 08:26 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    Leslie Dorner, I don't understand you.

    You say that you want Apple support, but you are not willing to pay extra Apple premium, in fact you want to pay less.

    You want to play games on your machines, yet you compare System76 Intel HD graphics to GTX620, which is hardly enough to play a game.

    You complain about the size of Bonobo, yet you bought a similar size machine from HP (Bonobo will play games well).

    I don't know what you mean by innovation. Hardware comes from companies like Intel and Nvidia, and this is the case for all Dell and Apple machines.

    Windows on pre-installed machines is in fact free. MS sells the licenses cheap and then the manufacturers (like Dell) offset the cost by adding free-ware and trial applications. Freedom costs money.
    Last edited by 3Miro; May 19th, 2013 at 05:48 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    I guess it comes with the fact that I am not brainwashed into defending System76 as one of their customers to point out their obvious deficiencies.

    This would not be my preferred choice in such a limited space to get another Linux PC, but I'm happy to see that UEFI and Secure Boot issues are taken care of by now so that I am free to shop for any PC and I can load Ubuntu Linux on it. Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit will be one of the most important interim releases because it will offer official stable support for nVidia Optimus right out of the box.

    I find that ZaReason is a more appealing choice given their laptop range is more competitive. Their UltraLap 430 is especially appealing and I wish now that I had gotten it instead of my Lemur. I would have saved about $100 with a similar configuration and I would have a 3.25 pound Ultrabook.

    I'll chalk it up to life's lessons.

    ZaReason seems to be the better choice compared to System76 if product choices are important to you.

    I think that this has reached its final conclusion. I'm leaving this one to gather dust.

  9. #9
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    Re: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    A GT 620 is slower than an HD 4000. Haswell will increase the performance gap between them further.

    Until you hit the GTx cards, there isn't a real performance reason to go with anything other than HD 4000. GTX 650s mean big laptops for bigger batteries and cooling.

    When Ubuntu supports optimus, we'll take a look at it. Until then, it's off the table (With rare exceptions, all recent Nvidia cards require Optimus, ergo Nvidia is out too).

    I'd be curious to know what configuration you ordered with your Lemur (an order number would be perfect). In my comparisons, the UltraLap was unable to match price to the Lemur.
    Ian Santopietro - System76 Technical Support.
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  10. #10
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    Re: System76 needs a new product or two very soon

    That's ********. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 is an entry level integrated GPU. The ZaReason UltraLap 430 is more expensive than the Lemur, but that's due to the fact that it's a bit thinner and significantly lighter in weight.

    Then, there's the Dell XPS 13 "Sputnik" edition with Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit LTS. This is a high end configuration with 1080p Full HD 13.3" screen with IPS, Intel HD Graphics 4000, and a 256 GB SATA-3 SSD. It costs $1549. It's significantly more expensive than the ZaReason UltraLap 430 and it's 0.25 pounds lighter at an even 3.00 pounds.

    I'm finding these Linux Ultrabooks to be quite sexy and I'll probably get one in a little over two years from today. I'm just hoping that System76 will sell their own Ultrabook type device because to be honest, I'd rather get known goods. If you can produce your own Ultrabook and lower the price down to $800 or less, then I'll definitely consider it. The only thing that I would be concerned about is that everything works right out of the box especially resume from suspend or hibernation modes and 802.11 Wi-Fi can get a solid signal to a WAP or AP without losing the connection no matter what. If you can fix these issues found on the ZaReason UltraLap 430 with your own System76 Ultrabook, then I would line up and plunk down my money.

    I think that I would spend $1500 for my next System76 Ultrabook if it becomes available. That's not too little or too much money to spend for a premium Ultrabook with all of the top hardware components built-in.

    As a direct question, are you still working on new products right now that you can talk about?
    Last edited by Leslie Dorner; May 21st, 2013 at 11:16 AM.

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