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Thread: Dell or System 76?

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Dell or System 76?

    My friend bought a Dell n-series laptop at my suggestion, and it's been a bit of a disappointment, especially after version updates. After updating to Hardy and losing sound and wifi and Dell's insistence that I restore to the factory presets (promptly followed by an admission they don't really know what they're talking about when it comes to the OS), I've been reconsidering a planned Dell purchase. How does System76 stack up? I expect a certain amount of problems with a major release, but I'm a little fed up with Dell...
    nVidia GeForce 5200, SB Live! 5.1, Pentium 4, and 775 MB RAM kept together nicely inside a Desktop PC.

  2. #2
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    I'm new system76er. I'm really happy with my machine. And I can see that system76 staff working extermely hard on all issues. Their support is great. They even helped me out this some specific issues not related hardware or system76 drivers. I don't see this type of support from dell. When I was in grad school i had dell laptop, and their support was really terrible. Just based on this I recommend system76 over dell.

    I hope this helps in your decision.
    Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do. - B. Russell

  3. #3
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Dell or System 76?

    I Have a Serval Performance (July 2007). It is a really nice machine. The service from System 76 has been very good. I am new to Linux/Ubuntu and have been through 3 operating system upgrades (Feisty Fawn, Gutsy Gibbon and now Hardy Heron) all done automatically and with no problems. System 76 also regularly sends out updates to drivers to further tweak components when needed. I am still learning and enjoying the process. Am trying to wean myself away from Microsoft and make converts of those who have only known MS. I am a retiree and volunteer as a teacher of computer classes so am still attached to MS by virute of their dominance in the consumer marketplace. Other than that inconvenience I'm satisfied that I made a wise choice by going with System 76, an unknown (to me) up to time of purchase.

    Hope this helps with your decision and that others voice their opinion too.

    Sincerely,
    Karl Juelch

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Dell or System 76?

    I have a white Darter, and my experience with the previous upgrades were that
    there have been problems at the beginning, but they were solved rather quickly by the System76 team.

  5. #5
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    System76 has the best service I have ever seen. They are so responsive and give personalized details for your questions. I own a Daru2 (black Darter Ultra) and now a Wild Dog. They are the best for running Ubuntu. Everything is fully supported, and the performance is superb! For what it's worth, I play recent games (like Portal) in WINE on my Wild Dog, and it performs VERY smoothly.
    Code:
    while (homework > 0) happiness--;
    // Don't worry. I'm a multithreaded program. ;)

  6. #6
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    I can't speak for System76, but I can for Dell.

    Dell's Linux support seems to be an entirely different branch from all their other support, and it isn't easy to track down. But if you have a supported system (most likely only if you bought the system with Ubuntu loaded on it), their support is pretty solid. I've had to call them twice for my 530n, and it's been fantastic every time.

    The direct number for Dell Linux support is 1-866-622-1947.
    Lenovo Y510 | Ubuntu 13.10 | 1.6 GHz Pentium Dual T2330 | 4 gig RAM | Intel X3100 gfx | 250GB 5400 RPM hard drive.

    Gunga galunga...gunga- gunga lagunga.

  7. #7
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    go with dell. You will get a cheaper system (300 bucks less) with the same specifications. I bought a gazelle and no advantage in terms of support. I upgraded to ubuntu 8.04 and lost wireless. no way to get a decent solution for this. All what they say is that it has to be your router. It sucks!. And this is not a isolated problem. search the web.
    But if you decide to buy a system 76, I can sell you mine!

  8. #8
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    Quote Originally Posted by weverjames View Post
    go with dell. You will get a cheaper system (300 bucks less) with the same specifications. I bought a gazelle and no advantage in terms of support. I upgraded to ubuntu 8.04 and lost wireless. no way to get a decent solution for this. All what they say is that it has to be your router. It sucks!. And this is not a isolated problem. search the web.
    But if you decide to buy a system 76, I can sell you mine!
    I can definitely understand frustration with that. I got that "it has to be your router" runaround from an ISP who I don't want to mention but their initials are Verizon High Speed Internet.

    I have a Gazelle (gazv2) about a year and a half old now. I haven't upgraded to HH yet, but I have not been pleased with the physical strength of this laptop. As I've posted on here before the keyboard feels chincy, and the left laptop hinge has failed completely. Parts are completely unavailable for this model, (ASI Mobile, SW1) which my local mom&pop computer shop is convinced is a Gateway. I haven't found a Gateway that's built on this platform, so I'm not convinced. But anyway, this model has been discontinued from the upstream manufacturer and System76 has upgraded this line 3 times since that purchase. So my dissatisfaction with the hardware shouldn't be a factor for any future purchases.

    Aside from the hardware problems I've had, the System76 people have been OUTSTANDING to deal with. Although repair parts weren't available for the hinge, it wasn't for lack of trying on S76's part. The fact that I can't stand having a laptop that the display tilts on it, and along with how pleased I am with the service I've received from System76 both pre- and post-warranty expiration, I am going to be purchasing another machine from them very soon.

    Now, I have to say, there aren't isolated incidents of people being dissatisfied with the service they receive from Dell. Like you said, search the web. Dell has some examples right on the Ubuntu/Dell page in the customer feedback. I also have to point out that you do not have the same number of options to spec out the laptops. Not only do you have much more options for each component, you can't build as fast a machine with Dell. You can't get anything more than a 2.2GHz, anywhere, can't get more than 160GB on the 14.1" model, and you can't get anything more than a 128MB video card, anywhere. And the desktop comparison? Please. Dell's selection is a joke compared to System76, even before you get to the meager-at-best component choices.

    It isn't just Dell that System76 compares better, with a more customizable line of Linux computers. I've checked out R-Cubed and ZA Reason, and while they compare better than Dell, System76 still has more and faster options, as of the last time I checked.

  9. #9
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    Quote Originally Posted by weverjames View Post
    go with dell. You will get a cheaper system (300 bucks less) with the same specifications. I bought a gazelle and no advantage in terms of support. I upgraded to ubuntu 8.04 and lost wireless. no way to get a decent solution for this. All what they say is that it has to be your router. It sucks!. And this is not a isolated problem. search the web.
    But if you decide to buy a system 76, I can sell you mine!
    The last time I checked System76 was between $50 and $150 less expensive compared to a similarly configured dell. However, I usually look at high end boxes and I could not configure the dell options to be as good as the System76 options (and System76 was still less expensive).
    Install Pipelight (run Netflix and other VOD services on Linux)

  10. #10
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    Quote Originally Posted by compholio View Post
    The last time I checked System76 was between $50 and $150 less expensive compared to a similarly configured dell. However, I usually look at high end boxes and I could not configure the dell options to be as good as the System76 options (and System76 was still less expensive).
    Dell is great, assuming their shipping carrier happens to decide to get the delivery to you as promised - Google DHL shipping with Dell and be amazed. Overall I will say this, you will get what you pay for. Needless to say, I will not ever being giving Dell's big-box mentality my business ever again.
    Last edited by ctsdownloads; May 18th, 2008 at 09:29 PM.

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