Computers – My laptop upgrade to a System76 2021 Darter Pro darp7
Anybody else who happens to be watching well stimulus check came around during the pandemic and i always try to spend mine on an american company it’s designed to stimulate the american economy. So why not put the money back into the american economy right, so i decided to upgrade my laptop now back when i started to live in the rv i’d sold my tower and computer and accessories and bought a laptop and i went out. I found this lenovo ideapad 110.. There it is um used at a computer store. I don’t remember what i paid for it: uh it wasn’t too bad, but it was a core i5 uh, two cores, eight gig of ram a big 15.7 inch screen. That was only at um it’s, that resolution that’s slightly higher than 720p uh uh 1236 by 768, or something like that. But it got me by you, know: it’s gotten me by for two and a half years now, it’s put up with the desert dust and and all of that and it’s worked okay, but just okay. I was ready for an upgrade. I need more power, so i picked up this sleek little beauty here. This is the system 76 darter pro laptop, and this is a beasty of a machine. This is more powerful than my tower computer that i had back when i was living in a house, it’s, fantastic and so that’s. What we’re going to talk about today, let’s go look at their website first off and see who system 76 is and then we’ll.
Take a closer look at the laptop itself. Looking at the system, 76 website, it’s quite clean and nicely designed, they show all the different computers they sell, some desktops and some laptops of various types and shapes and forms pretty nice site. If we go down – and we look at about us – we can see some pictures of the team at system 76 that’s a pretty small company, a bunch of linux enthusiasts and hobbyists. I guess that got together decided to sell linux laptops. If you wanted to purchase a machine just like dell used to do, you can build it to order. So we scroll down here and we look through their available offerings, and this is the one that i had the darter pro and it gives you some information here. But if you look down here, there’s a little button design and buy if we click on that we go into where we can configure our machine and we can choose the operating system ubuntu or pop os. We can choose the processor, we can choose how much ram we want in it up to 64 gig in this case, and then we can choose the drives um that you can go with um in a second drive. If you want a second drive and there’s a few accessories, you can add on charger a cd drive bags, laptop bags, warranty options and, interestingly, they have a recycling tag here. You can have them, send you a shipping label and they will recycle your old laptop.
So a pretty nice site system 76 is an american company they’re located here on the east side of denver colorado in a small office building we’ll zoom in here and take a look at the satellite view and we’ll we’ll be able to see it so right here In the good old us, i felt pretty good about spending my stimulus check with an american company, so let’s have a closer look at the laptop itself. Here i have a picture of it side by side with the lenovo, so you can see that it’s actually taking a smaller amount of space on the desk, even though it has roughly the same size screen here. We can see the lenovo screen and if we look at the screen on the darter it’s about the same nice, 15.7 inches, i think full hd resolution. The keyboard is backlit, which looks pretty cool the ports along the side. It gives you quite a bit of interfaces on the left side. We have an hdmi port and the power plug there’s, a usb 3 port and then a usb c port next to it, and then that final port there is a thunderbolt on the other side, the ports. On the right side, we have starting from the back of the laptop the kensington, lock port, an ethernet port that little door flips down there to let you plug in an ethernet cable, the power led the power switch, the battery led, which will, i think, pulse when It’S in hibernation, another usb port, a micro sd card slot and then the headphone port, the headphone port is a headset type port.
It does both heads, headphone and microphones, and it intelligently will know that. Well, it’ll, ask you if you’re just plugging in a head headphones. Instead of a headset when you plug them in on the back, i don’t have a picture of it, but there’s just a vent on the back the power on speed of it it’s. Quite quick. Let me show you this little video clip here where we boot it up. There’S our bio startup messages. Ah i’ve got the disc encrypted don’t look. I forgot i encrypted the disk which is supposed to make it slower, but it really isn’t going to be all that slow. There. We go there’s our login right there don’t look there. We are up to the desktop so less than 30 seconds from power on i’m. Up on my desktop, i think it was more like 20., very quick to boot. Up also uh sleep and suspend and wake up times are very, very quick let’s go ahead and put it to sleep by closing the lid and i’m watching the leds over on the side. You can’t see them they’re over here and there it goes it’s now flashing. So it is asleep, of course, that’s. Not the important part. The important part is: how quick does it wake up? Are you ready and there we are okay. So, as you can see, instant on pretty much looks like a chromebook. Almost it just wakes right up so yeah.
It boots up really quick. It comes out of hibernation instantly i’m, loving that the whole machine is much faster, uh, the specs on mine. Let me pull those specs up for you here. I got the um uh the one. Well, let’s see processor. First off i got of the i5, the core i5 version it’s the current 11th generation. I think i5 4.2 gigahertz four cores eight threads. I got it with 16 gig of ram and it’s uh got a one terabyte nvme um drive, which is extremely fast, i’m. Just amazed at how fast this thing is, and then you know the other usual stuff it’s got wi fi, six plus bluetooth it’s a full hd display. As i mentioned, um it’s, the embedded intel iris graphics. I could have got the nvidia but i’m, not using it. For gaming – and this will be fine for me – and i can still play some games on it – it’s fast enough and as you can see, i paid thirteen hundred and three dollars for it. So you know it’s on par with, say, buying one of the fruity apple products. The keyboard, as i said, is backlit, which looks really cool. You can set the color. They have several built in colors, but through linux you can really set it to any color. You want it’s a beautiful keyboard and the the travel is just about right. It feels very comfortable to type on. I have no problems typing on it.
Uh an interesting design feature um the feet uh under the laptop. If we look at the back of the laptop here, you’ll see these little rubber nubs sticking out and when we open the laptop you’ll see that those are actually the rear feet and they lift the rear of the laptop slightly off the desk. That was that’s an interesting design feature uh. I think that it helps to cool it, because the fan vents on the bottom get a little bit more of a gap. Now this is so so much faster than my old lenovo and that extra screen real estate really makes it nice for editing. Take a look at the editor on my on the old lenovo here. I’Ll pull the screen up and you can see how cluttered and crowded that is. Oh, it was terrible. I had to move and shift things around and scroll up and down within the areas of it. When i was editing drove me nuts and to compare here, is the editor on the darter and it’s got about the same real estate that i used to have on my huge monitor with my tower and everything is spaced out. I could see more video tracks. I don’t have to shift things around it’s. A dream to work on this screen is really nice, the rendering times i did a benchmark. I did a render using the uh lenovo and it was of the video that i did on the cage.
Dipole render time for the lenovo on that video was 36 minutes and 23 seconds now if we go and we look at the same render time on the darter uh 10 minutes and 18 seconds so a little more than three times faster wow that’s nice that’s that’s, Going to save me some time on bigger videos for sure uh, i guess i should talk about the operating system. So let me pull up a screen. Recorder and we’ll show you the system that they include is pop os, which is based on ubuntu, 20.04 or 20.10. Presently, which are the current long term support and more recent in release, it uses gnome3 as the default desktop as it comes configured from system 7.6, it’s, a fairly straightforward setup. The super user key normally called the windows key, brings up an overview of everything. That’S running, you can see, i’ve got obs running, which is recording the screen right now workspaces over here on the side, and you can define how many of those you have or want the dock over here for launching quick, a quick launching things like you know, firefox Is there you can also type in an application to search for something? So if i wanted libreoffice writer to write something, i could just start typing right and look at there’s, libreoffice writer click on it. So the super key is a nice uh fast way to get to an application, no matter what you’re doing just tap the super key type in something and you can find it system 76 adds some of their own stuff.
Uh there’s. This interesting thing up here: tiling windows, that i’ve only begun to play with, but the idea there is that you can well let’s let’s turn it on and we’ll go and we’ll launch uh, firefox again and then we’ll launch something else. Let’S go with let’s, go with libreoffice libreoffice writer and you can see it tiled. The windows on the display now i’m set to a lower resolution to make it easier for you guys to see what’s going on, but at full hd resolution there’s, actually enough space to allow you to do multiple things. This way – and you can, you know, switch between them with the keyboard, the alt tab and all that you can expand. The windows shrink them back down so it’s kind of an interesting way to work. If you have a lot of things going on at once, and you want to keep an eye on something you can tile your windows, so there’s far more utility here that i’m touching on, i have yet to learn how to use it. I come from the mate desktop i’ve used the mate or mate desktop for a very long time and i’m quite used to that so i’m, forcing myself to learn. Gnome 3.. I may install mate. Ultimately, i don’t know we’ll see other than that it’s. Basically gnome 3.. They have some of their own utilities. I think yeah pop shop popshop is their application installer, which makes it fairly easy to search for and find applications.
You can search by subject matter, communications and so on down. Here you can type in what you’re. Looking for that, you want to install nothing comes to mind, let’s, look at a ham, radio thing yeah there we go fl, digi, fl rig, you know, and so on. You just click the install button to install it. You can also check for and install updates at this position in this program installed will show you all your installed applications if there’s something you want to uninstall, you just click on it and you can uninstall it there. So yeah that’s pop shop so that’s their application store. I still like to use synaptic for most of my stuff but that’s just me so that’s pretty much the user interface i’m getting used to it. Uh it’s it’s, pretty quick and easy to work with, but it’s. Basically, gnome three, so if you’re familiar at all with gnome 3, then you’ll be familiar with this user interface. I could do an entire video on the os but that’s out of the scope of this particular video, so that’s the os pop os it’s available for download. You can install it on your own existing hardware. I have installed it on my lenovo two weeks before i got this laptop, this new laptop to get myself used to it, so it’s it’s, pretty it’s, pretty good i’m getting used to it. So that’s my new laptop – and this is the first video that i’m editing on it and, as you saw it’s much faster editing is going to be so much nicer now with the bigger screen real estate too it’s going to make my job a lot easier.
I had a lot of frustrations with that smaller pixel, wise, smaller screen on the lenovo, so anyhow, um yeah, it’s, uh there’s, probably a few people that are going to go out and hop in the comments and say well gee. You paid an awful lot of money for this hardware when you could have bought whatever um hp dell, acer, whoever’s, still making laptops for less but being an open source, focused company, which fits perfectly with me, because i’m, a strong open source advocate. I have no commercial software here at all. Everything that i do is open source. It just seemed like a good fit and i’m pretty happy with it i’m sure you pay a little bit more it’s uh on par with, like buying a macbook and it’s uh on par quality. Wise, i mean definitely probably exceeds a macbook it’s, an aluminum case which i might have pointed out earlier, so it’s all metal it’s, a really nice construction, it’s fully serviceable that’s a big point. This is fully serviceable, unlike the fruity products, where they don’t, let you fix them and they want to charge you an arm and a leg to replace a motherboard instead of fixing a simple, broken connector, as lewis rossman likes to point out, often in his videos. This one is fully serviceable, it’s easy to take apart it’s easy to upgrade. I can add ram to it. I can change things out. I could change the battery it’s a breeze.
Everything just comes apart, it’s really easy to work on so yeah. Looking looking at it from that point of view, this thing is serviceable, it’s, open source based, i may or may not have mentioned, that even the firmware the bios has been replaced with core boot, which is an open sourced, um bootstrap firmware for the hardware uh, so Yeah i own it, you know i own it that’s the thing. The only thing in here that’s being licensed, i guess you could say would be the microcode and the processor or the firmware and the processor everything else fully open i’m, not paying somebody to use it. I own it it’s mine, i can do whatever i want with it and i’m happy all right back to radio stuff. The next video might be an antenna. Video i’ve got another idea there, so until then well take care and we’ll see in the next video thanks for watching. If you enjoyed the video don’t forget to give it a thumbs up. Also, if you’re not already a subscriber click to subscribe, join us on the facebook channel for discussion about the videos and, if you’d like to help support this channel.