Thanks to Windows 8's Secure Boot, it's getting harder and harder for a non-technical user to just get a new laptop and run Linux. System76, along with other Linux PC vendors such as ZaReason, have a better idea: Just buy a laptop with Linux already installed.
System76, which specializes in Ubuntu Linux laptops, desktops, and servers, is introducing two new Ubuntu laptops for gamers and office and home workers: The Galago UltraPro and the Gazelle Professional.
Gamers? Yes, gamers.
Games have always been available on Linux, but with Steam now supporting Linux, gaming has never been bigger on Linux.
To power up those games, the UltraPro comes with a fourth-generation 2GHz Intel Core i7-4750HQ processor with four cores. For graphics, the powerful laptop comes with Intel Iris Pro graphics backed by 128MBs of eDRAM.
Iris is Intel's answer for AMD and Nvidia's graphic processors. Intel claims that Iris boosts CPU performance by 10 percent and GPU performance by 50 percent over previous generations of Intel graphics subsystems.
This, in turn, backs up a 14.1-inch 1080p HD LED backlit in-plane switching (IPS) display with 1,920x1,080 resolution. The laptop also comes with Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, HDMI, Display Port, three USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, and headphone and microphone jacks.
At the minimum, the Galago UltraPro comes with 4GBs of RAM and can handle up to 16GBs. For storage, the low-end begins at a 500GB 5,400 RPM SATA II drive. From there, you can move to a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) or a single TB SATA II hard drive. The low-end configuration will cost you $995.
The workday Gazelle Professional comes with your choice of fourth-generation Intel Core i7-4700MQ CPUs. These range in speed from 2.4Ghz to 2.8GHz. In this system, graphics are powered by Intel's older integrated HD Graphics 4600.
The graphics power a minimum of a 15.6-inch 1080p HD LED backlit display with 1,920x1,080 resolution. Like the UltraPro, this laptop comes with Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, HDMI, Display Port, three USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, and headphone and microphone jacks.
Also, like its faster brother, the Gazelle starts with 4GBs of memory and you can push it up to 16GBs. The Gazelle also offers a wide variety of storage options. These start at a 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA II hard-drive and end at a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) or a one TB SATA II hard-drive. You can get this laptop, with a minimum configuration, for $799.
These systems all use the latest version of Ubuntu Linux, Ubuntu 13.04. You can order and configure them today, but, alas, you'll have to wait until late July before you can expect to find it on your doorstep.