Just ordered a System76 Darter Pro laptop with Coreboot

I “donated” my first gen Thinkpad X1 Extreme to our new bookkeeper (after restoring Win 10, of course), so I’ve been looking for a machine to replace it.

I’ve given up on getting the rumored 16” MacBook Pro anytime soon. Considered the new Dell 13 XPS and HP Spectre 360x, but finally decided to put my money where my mouth is and order another System76.

The news that they were going to start shipping their Darter Pro with Coreboot firmware instead of EFI put me over the top. I’m guessing it will only run Pop_OS for now but I can live with that. It’s my current favorite distro anyway.

  • Comet Lake 4.9 GHz i7-10510U (1.8 up to 4.9 GHz - 8MB Cache - 4 Cores - 8 Threads)

  • 32 GB Dual Channel DDR4 at 2666MHz (2× 16GB)

  • 2 TB NVMe Seq Read: 3,500 MB/s, Seq Write: 2,500 MB/s

What most interests me is the idea of using free software throughout - including firmware. The Intel ME in this is disabled entirely.

There are some downsides. It’s only crappy Intel UHD graphics but the super fast CPU is more important for what I do. Supposedly good battery life too. That was the main thing that disappointed me about the X1E1. We’ll see how bad/good the screen and thermals are.

It won’t get here until early November, but I’ll let you know how it is when I get back from vacay. In fact, expect a HOT review in late November.


How much will that set you back?

Very cool Leo. Hope it works great for you!

Less than I paid for the X1. About 2K US. The big unknown Is build quality. System 76 uses a Chinese OEM brand for the base unit. It has every port under the sun but the chassis looks a little janky.

I’ll do a full review on HOT next month.


32 GB would be my choice as well. Virtualization on a portable is so useful.

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Also lots of browser tabs. :smile:

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Just do not open Chrome while using Skype video :slight_smile:

I probably could on this machine. If Skype supported Linux, that is.


Yes, I kinda figured you could. I was just making fun of the problems that Scott keeps having on your show.

Oh I got it! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

That does look sweet. I was considering getting a System76 last year, but I decided on trying Linux on a Chromebook. Have some sound issues with it and a small problem when the BIOS reset and killed legacy Linux booting ( but dual booting with ChromeOS will fix that should it happen again).
I just could not justify the cost of a System76 laptop since I am not a power user, the most I do is ripping some Bluerays for backup to the NAS when we get a new movie on disk.

Perhaps a post-vacation gift!

Not a bad price. A company I used to work for bought Clevo laptops for their employees. They were pretty well built. Clevo’s a Taiwanese company that produced laptops to be rebadged by other firms. I remember seeing a load of local UK computer retailers rebadging Clevo laptops about 15 years ago.

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Sager and Microcenter laptops are made by Clevo. I have an Oryx Pro from System76, built by Clevo, that’s a beast still going strong after three and a half years.


I was browsing their website the other day. I have owned a fair number of laptops, but usually end up selling them because I don’t really need the portability, and I usually wish I could do more to fix/upgrade them. I did “build” a laptop (OCZ DIY, which was really more of a barebones laptop, similar to a whitebook you get from Clevo/Sager) at one point years ago that I really liked for it’s repairability, but it was for a friend, and OCZ discontinued that line not long after.

Now considering something like this, and throwing Pop OS (haven’t tried it yet) on it, or some flavor of Ubuntu, which I’m more familiar with.

Also considered a Pinebook, for a cheaper Linux notebook to play with. I’ve put Linux/used Crouton on Chromebooks, but a clean Linux laptop sounds appealing, especially for a secure system for crypto/blockchain stuff.

Don’t even bother with Chrome, try and go completely google free, Brave or Dissenter? DuckDuckGo for search. It’s possible :slight_smile:

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I’ve become a recent convert to Firefox. I think it’s very privacy forward out of the box and you can lock it down even more with the proper extensions. Unlock Origin in particular.

For search I’ve moved to Startpage. They use Google results without sending anything back to the mothership.

Thanks for that tip, I had not heard of that one before. Seems to have better results then DuckDuckGo, which I have always been disappointed with it’s results.

Yes, thanks. I will check out Startpage too

Their privacy policy is still lacking detail which means the privacy of their web services/accounts is still at risk otherwise I might agree about the software side. The IT experts I converse with also agree their privacy policy does not comply with Canadian laws.