Linux

System76 Galago UltraPro: Powerful Linux laptop but not quite an ultrabook

The System76 Galago UltraPro laptop is a Linux powerhouse with elegant styling and a beautiful display, but limited battery life.

When I set out to find a new laptop, I was looking for an ultrabook --a 13-inch powerhouse with plenty of battery life and a gorgeous screen. On top of everything, it had to run Linux.

That search led me to the System76 Galago UltraPro. Although not technically an ultrabook (it's too big, doesn't have ultrabook-level battery life, and doesn't contain a solid state drive). What it does have is elegance and power to spare...to the tune of besting most currently available ultrabooks. And, like all System76 devices, it runs Ubuntu Linux.

Let's take a look at what's good and bad with the Galago UltraPro.

The good

Simply put, this baby is powerful. The Galago includes the i7-4750HQ processor -- a much more powerful heart than the more ultrabook-friendly i7-4500U. This is a 4-core, 8-thread CPU with 6MB of cache and an Intel Iris Pro 5200 Graphics chip.

Which leads me to the display. If you've not experienced the IPS display, you're in for a treat. The Galago UltraPro has a 14.1-inch IPS 1080p matt display that is absolutely gorgeous. OpenGL flies, colors are brilliant, and viewing angles are wide.

system76galagoultraprothumbnail.png
 Credit: System76

The keyboard and trackpad are also a big plus. The keyboard offers outstanding spacing, travel and layout, the only downfall is the lack of a backlighting option -- which makes for writing or programming in the dark much easier. The trackpad is large and offers two-finger scrolling and right-clicking.

The bad

There is really only one issue that could keep the Galago UltraPro from winding up on the laps of many a user. Battery life. You won't squeeze 13 hours out of this baby. In fact, thanks to the IPS display and the i7 CPU, battery life falls more in the 3 hour range. For some, that's fine. But if you're depend upon your battery to get you through the day, the Galago will fall short.

Bottom line

If you're looking for a Linux-powered powerhouse laptop that is light and offers one of the better viewable displays on the market, the Galago UltraPro is what you're looking for.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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