Wednesday, August 03, 2011

System 76 Gazzelle Review

My oldest son is shortly planning on attending college.  For his high school graduation his mother and I decided to get him a new laptop.  He and I are both avid Ubuntu fans so System 76 was a natural choice.

The system arrived in about a week - which is impressive considering that S76 practices "just in time" fulfillment.  That is, the systems are manufactured to meet orders as they come in.  Packaging is a plain box with really nice protection for the system.  It arrived with a simple case, power supply, and the oft mentioned sheet of Ubuntu stickers.

Initial impressions:
  • The system itself is beautiful.  If batman has a laptop it's surely a s76. 
  • The screen is gorgeous.  Rivals the best Dell or Mac monitor easily.
  • The sound is loud for a laptop. (it's THX certified)
  • There is no stinking widows key.  (It has the Ubuntu logo on it)
His system arrived with 11.04 installed even though it was ordered only a few days after Natty was released.  Just like the other S76 reviews - yes everything works out of the box.  Including suspend/resume - the webcam - and the fingerprint reader.  It's beautiful. 

My son has only briefly allowed me to touch it but my impression of the keyboard and trackpad are that they are at least as good if not better than the many Dell laptops I routinely peck away on.  The trackpad is fully multi-touch allowing you to do the goofy two finger scroll etc. Battery life is at least several (3?) hours.  We watched Dr. Strangelove in it's entirety and still showed at least a third of the battery available. 

The only problem to be had so far are the occasional display issues common to the new Unity interface.  We also never did get the HDMI output working to the one TV we tried it with.  Not sure if it's the TV or our inexperience and impatience wanting to watch our movie.  Had we been a little more determined to get it going I most likely would have called System 76 support - which I've been told is awesome.

I will definitely buy from System 76 again. 

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