I don’t know what it is with technology that makes you hunger for more. When you get a kick-a** machine today, by tomorrow, you just have to have it replaced for amped-up specs.
It’s all a matter of choice. While us Apple Fanboys and Fangurls (yeah, I’m “coming out” and finally admitting it. :p) are loyalists for Apple machines, consumers who want freedom of choice want customizability. In my observation, the average Windows users like their machines pre-configured and pre-loaded with the operating system in vogue at the moment, while the Windows and Linux power users want to go crazy with their machines.
But since in the US and elsewhere in the world the number of “average” Linux users is on the rise, there is a need for computer manufacturers to carry lines of their products that are pre-installed with an easy-to-use Linux distro.
Dell has started to open its product lines to Ubuntu Linux after inking a contract with Canonical, Ltd. HP also has started to cater to the Open Source consumer base, while Lenovo had released the ThinkPad T60p (said to be the first laptop pre-loaded with Linux) last August 2006.
Sure, you can always get an OS-free laptop and stick your favorite Linux distro in it. I, however, wouldn’t trust that method, especially with laptops. Before I decided that I needed one, I had been an avowed laptop hater, with my past with my dad’s ThinkPad 365. When I was around laptop users, their common complaint was that the keyboards would conk out after a while. Later, when I got online and crawled the Web for tech articles just for the heck of it, I was assaulted with horror stories of laptops burning up because they don’t want to sleep well on Windows or even on Linux. So I was scared for a while. But the MacBook redeemed that notion: I let Sayuri just sleep on me for days, heck I haven’t shut her down in more than a month I think, and still, she hasn’t burned up. But that’s another story.
If ever I would want a Linux-run laptop, I wouldn’t, I never would, just go ahead and stick it into an Acer, Toshiba, heck, and never, ever, ever on a MacBook, unless it’s been pre-loaded or on a Virtual Machine because I wouldn’t want to risk burning up my machine.
But cheer up, there is a safer solution! System 76!
What makes this company so special?
I like the fact that you can fully customize your laptop as you buy it from them. They have a form you can tick off to create a laptop to your specs. Note however, that the price goes up as you pack more into your baby-to-be. But of course. But still, it’s all good, as Ubuntu Linux, despite having the reputation being “bloated,” runs on less hardware resources than Windows. Even if the startup may take quite a while, once you get the system up and running, the system is fast, and in my experience of it, crashes are minimal. With this fact, you can actually get a System 76 laptop with less glamorous specs, and you really won’t need to salivate for more, unless you really want an amped-up system and you have the budget to throw on a top-of-the-line machine.
System 76 has had good to great reviews on the Ubuntu Forums, and reading them will just make a Linux+laptop aficionado just salivate. Actually, System 76’s Darter model has been compared to the iBook by the Ubuntu Forums user JML:
From an aesthetic point of view its every bit as good looking as my old iBook.
I believe that with System 76 striving to make its laptops as pretty as the mainstream machines, and endeavoring to make them function as seamlessly as any old Acer or Dell, there is no doubt that they will catch the please-make-my-machine-work-out-of-the-box consumer base.
Do click on the links and salivate on the Darter. It’s almost as pretty as Sayuri. Honest.
Now if only these babies were available for shipping to the Philippines. But as HappySlip said, “I can dream, can’t I?” 🙂
Salivate and save on, who knows, we just might be able to turn our tech and gadget dreams into reality. 🙂
note: System 76 machines are more expensive because they are a relatively small company. But the price tag is more than compensated for by their excellent service and by the excellently-built machines. They have been pre-configured and the drivers are in place. They also ship with Windows drivers, as needed.