Nonetheless, there are a few that are nearly flawless, and System76’s revised Lemur Pro is as near to the ideal Linux laptop as you’re going to find. That’s partly due to the uncomplicated, elegant style, but mainly to the personalization possibilities. The software and firmware that come with the Lemur Pro are the result of extensive development by System76.
System76’s lightweight and thin laptop range is called Lemur Pro. It’s not a gaming setup, and I wouldn’t recommend it for use as a primary video editing station. Having said that, I edited a ton of footage for it. Even though it’s not video-optimized, it’s still capable.) The Lemur Pro, on the other hand, ought to be practically everything you need if you require a reliable Linux laptop that is portable, has a ton of extension options, and just functions.
The Lemur Pro is a tiny, light, 14-inch laptop designed for general use. The Lemur Pro is so little that you can forget you’re carrying it at under 2.5 pounds and 0.54 inches thick. If you require a larger, more powerful laptop, System76 has them, but the Lemur Pro is the most portable model in the range.
With new 13th generation Intel chips inside, the most recent version of the Lemur Pro was released early this year. The Intel i5 Lemur Pro, equipped with a 256-GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM, is priced at $1,150. The model I examined included a 1-TB SSD for storage, a 250-GB SSD for the operating system, a 5-GHz Intel Core i7 CPU (1355U), and 16 GB of RAM. That increased the cost to $1,474.
For the hardware, the price is fair (if a little pricey), but you’re also getting System76’s great Linux support, which is not often found in less expensive solutions. You could update the Lemur yourself if you already have some extra RAM and a couple PCIe SSDs laying around because the Lemur Pro basic model is also user-upgradable.
In spite of not having a dedicated graphics card, performance was excellent. While I had the Lemur Pro, I also happened to be testing the GoPro Hero 12, and I used that for the most of my video editing. I was genuinely surprised by the Lemur Pro’s performance, even if specialized graphics cards would be preferable for full-time video editors. The 5.3K video playing never lagged for me, and the rendering process was really quick. It has a 1920 x 1080 FHD panel with a 1080p matte screen that is also really good. I had no trouble working in the rather bright sunlight.
The Lemur Pro excels in terms of battery life. My battery lasted 11 hours in our battery depletion test (playing a 1080p video), compared to System76’s 14 hours. When using it in the real world, I often worked more than 13 hours. Compared to other Linux laptops I’ve examined recently, that one is unmatched.
Fortunately, the Lemur Pro can also be charged via USB-C, which requires 65W of power in addition to the barrel-type charger that comes with it. My Satechi wall charger was the main tool I used to charge it. In relation to connectors, the Lemur Pro features an HDMI port, a microSD card reader, a Thunderbolt 4 port, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, and one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port. Additionally, there is a 1080p webcam that provides respectable video quality for Zoom calls.
Firmware and OS
Similar to Apple, System76 manufactures both its software and hardware. The primary distinction is that System76 produces upgradeable, repairable hardware and an open-source operating system that allows for personalization. Rather than installing my preferred desktop Linux distribution, I stuck with System76’s Pop OS to test what you get out of the box. Pop OS is based on the Gnome Desktop, which I detest, but System76 has altered, modified, and repaired everything that bothers me about Gnome to make it a usable indeed, enjoyable experience. Although I did alter a few things to my preference, it’s nice enough that I didn’t feel the need to make any changes.
System76’s ability to take something I detest and make it something I enjoy using is a credit to their design skills. Despite my doubts, Arch Linux would have installed without a hitch. If you’d want, you may also get your Lemur Pro with Ubuntu Linux, though I wouldn’t advise it.
System76 collaborates with Clevo, a white label supplier, to ensure that Linux is compatible with all of its laptops. There is no closed source software in the stack because System76 boots using Core boot, an open-source firmware. This implies, among other things, that contemporary suspend systems function well out of the box. I can tell you that this is a major victory for the Lemur Pro because I have spent hours, if not days, attempting to get S3 suspend to function on Lenovo computers. To the benefit of others, the modifications made to Core boot were also given upstream. This is the main reason I would purchase a System76 laptop. The manufacturer produces an excellent laptop, provides lifetime service, and gives back to the Linux community. This is the laptop I would purchase if I were purchasing a Linux laptop right now and didn’t require a separate graphics card.