System76 GazellePro laptop experiences?
February 3, 2014 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone share direct experience using a GazellePro laptop or similar from System76?

Specifically I'm looking at purchasing a fairly maxed out version of the Gazelle Pro model. The system I have configured will run me about $1200-$1300, and will have a Haswell i7, 16GB RAM, 1080p matte (!) screen, a fairly sizable SSD mSATA drive and probably a big secondary drive. It's pretty close to exactly the machine specs I want, but would like to get some feedback from people who have actually touched the thing.

I think the Gazelle is the right model for me, but I'm also peripherally considering either the smaller 14" Galago Ultra Pro or the larger 17" Kudu Professional.

If anyone has experience to share with System76 branded hardware, especially the Gazelle Pro or the other two models mentioned above, I'd appreciate it.
posted by mcstayinskool to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have the gazp7, which is a couple years behind the iteration you are looking at (gazp9). It's fantastic machine. Zero issues except for 1) some minor static from the onboard sound card (I use a USB sound card for most audio work anyway) and 2) horrible battery life. Two hours max at first, about 45 minutes now. Screen is fantastic, keyboard feels good, customer service is responsive, very easy to get inside to upgrade or service, boots from the SSD in under fifteen seconds.

It's great to have a laptop that has zero hardware issues running pretty much any Linux distro with a recent kernel. I don't even need the "System 76 Driver". I would not hesitate to buy from them again, although I suspect this will last me a few more years still.
posted by quarterframer at 3:18 PM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, I'll chime in to agree with the horrible battery life. I have also had issues with suspend and hibernation. I have a gazp6 and despite a few problems it's a great machine. The onboard microphone sucks as well, but that's probably to be expected. I wish I had gone with the SSD, so definitely do that. The System76 driver quarterframer mentions is just a specialized repository for some of their my case it exists solely to provide the fingerprint touchstrip.

I had some issues initially with hardware not working properly (burnt out pixels on first boot, and the webcam (which I don't use anyway) didn't work. The webcam issue at least was addressed eventually). I'll say that their customer support was knowledgeable if not especially willing to fix my issues without a lot of complaining.
posted by Bistle at 3:56 PM on February 3, 2014

Response by poster: In true Metafilter fashion, I hemmed and hawed for too long on this, and the gazelle pro is no longer available with a matte screen, because Clevo (the OEM manufacturer) no longer offers it. That was a deal breaker for me. I did, however, buy the Galago UltraPro instead, which is 14" instead of 15", but thinner with higher end graphics.

In hindsight I'm still kicking myself for waiting literally a day or two too long to get the matte screen on the gazelle, because that form factor was much better for me, but the galago is very nice and the screen is beautiful (though 1080p at that pixel density forces you to do a lot of configuration to make it readable).

I can't handle Ubuntu Unity so I installed the LXDE on top of it, but it made configuring the trackpad (with insane defaults like tap-to-click enabled) not easily workable. This had the nice latent effect of making me try out the much-maligned Gnome 3, and it turns out I really like Gnome 3. It's like the good parts of Unity with only about 5% of the flaming bullshit of Unity. A start menu and a window list panel I still yearn for, but otherwise it's really quite great.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:34 PM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

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