In the midst of final 12 months I reviewed System76’s Lemur Professional, a light-weight, battery-life centered Linux laptop computer. I concluded that the Lemur Professional didn’t have any huge failings, and packed a couple of stand-out options such because the wonderful battery life and open supply firmware few – if any – different laptop computer makers can provide. Linux consumer or not, the Lemur Professional was an awesome all-rounder that would go toe-to-toe with competing Home windows laptops any day of the week.
Because the publication of that overview, System76 has launched a brand new model of the Lemur Professional, focusing fully on upgrading the internals of the machine. The casing, the keyboard, the trackpad, the show, and so forth, stay unchanged, however this time round, it comes packing with Intel’s newest eleventh Gen Core i5 or i7 processor – the 1135G7 or 1165G7 – and thus with Intel Iris Xe graphics, which ought to show to be an enormous enhance over the earlier era’s UHD graphics.
This gained’t be a full overview – aside from the a spec bump, nothing has modified relating to the remainder of the Lemur Professional. Apart from doable modifications talked about right here, the overview of final 12 months’s mannequin nonetheless applies. As such, I made a decision to make use of the time period “re-review”, which I believe higher describes this text.
Full disclosure: System76 despatched us the laptop computer as a mortgage, and will probably be returned to them after publication of this overview. They didn’t learn this overview earlier than publication, and positioned zero restrictions on something I may write about.
I opted for the Core i5 mannequin this time round, since I really feel the distinction between it and the i7 are comparatively small, particularly contemplating the meant use case for a light-weight ultrabook corresponding to this. This gave me some extra monetary room to max out the RAM at 40GB (DDR4 at 3200Mhz) and decide the 1TB SSD (M.2 PCIe gen4). The value of this particular configuration is $1613.00.
The rest of the specs are similar to final 12 months’s machine. It has the identical pretty normal 1920×1080 14.1″ 60Hz panel, which gained’t win any awards, however isn’t unhealthy in any means both. Very similar to final 12 months, I do want System76 provided increased decision and particularly increased refresh charges as choices, since when you go excessive refresh price, you simply can’t return. On the identical time, nevertheless, I do know lots of people are nonetheless utilizing 60Hz shows, and wouldn’t care one bit about sticking to it.
The ports state of affairs stays the identical as effectively, so that you get one USB 3.1 Kind-C Gen 2 port (these names…), two USB 3.0 Kind-A ports, a MicroSD slot, an HDMI port, a barrel connector for the included charger, a mixed headphone/microphone jack, and that Kensington lock factor for company or public environments. The Kind-C port can be utilized a DisplayPort as effectively, and USB-C charging is supported as effectively.
The stand-out characteristic of final 12 months’s mannequin makes a return right here, with the 73Wh battery as soon as once more delivering astonishing battery life. I can simply go over 10 hours of regular use – some shopping, some video, some fundamental doc work – and for this mannequin, they’ve mounted the difficulty I had final 12 months the place setting the laptop computer to battery-saving mode would trigger signficiant slowdowns in enjoying video. I’m certain the model new Iris Xe graphics play a giant position right here, and I simply go away the battery-saving mode on always, since I didn’t discover any downsides.
Not noticing any downsides to the battery-saving mode is certainly one of many predominant benefits of the transfer to eleventh Gen Intel processors and the Iris Xe GPU, however that’s not the one profit – the laptop computer will get much less sizzling too, which is nice for these of us utilizing laptops on our, you recognize, laps. Kicking in an open door, general efficiency is improved to, with purposes opening quicker, complicated net pages loading quicker, and fewer followers spinning up, too.
This being a full Intel machine additionally means it’s already, effectively, prepared for Wayland, with out having to resort to workarounds or hacks. Sadly, if utilizing System76’s personal Pop!_OS, you should manually allow Wayland by commenting out
/and many others/gdm3/customized.conf/. When you’ve accomplished this, Wayland is an choice in GDM and you may login. I’m taking Wayland compatibility under consideration relating to my buying choices, and I figured I’m most likely not alone on this.
I hope System76 makes Wayland simpler to allow – and even the default – on its absolutely Intel machines quickly, as a result of it undoubtedly improves responsiveness and efficiency throughout the board. That is laborious to quantify, and other people will understandably ask for proof, however on all three machines I’m at present operating in Wayland – my Dell XPS 13 9370, this Lemur Professional, and a Blackbird POWER9 machine – there’s much less stutter, much less tearing, higher video playback efficiency, and decrease warmth output when utilizing Wayland in comparison with X.org.
As I discussed in the beginning, this new Lemur Professional is a spec bump, and as such, the trackpad and keyboard are nonetheless the identical. Whereas the keyboard was already a strong one, I used to be much less proud of the trackpad, and that is still the identical right here. It’s nonetheless of the diving board kind, and its floor doesn’t really feel practically as good as that of my XPS 13 – which has a wonderful trackpad – or different opponents, such because the best-in-class trackpads discovered on Apple’s laptops. It’s not a unhealthy trackpad, but it surely’s not significantly good or nice both – simply common.
In conclusion, this new era of the Lemur Professional is by all accounts a wonderful improve, with higher efficiency, much less warmth output and fewer fan spin-ups – all with out sacrificing the wonderful battery lifetime of its predecessor. When you have one of many earlier generations Lemur Execs with the identical design, there’s most likely not sufficient right here to warrant an improve, however in the event you have been on the fence final 12 months, the spec bump undoubtedly warrants a brand new, contemporary look.
System76 took their already glorious all-rounder, and made it even higher, with out rocking the boat, with out giant modifications in pricing, and nonetheless with System76’s distinctive open supply firmware and coreboot which you’ll be hard-pressed to search out wherever else.
And that’s precisely what you need from a spec bump.