I’ve had a Galago UltraPro laptop from System76 since August of 2013, and I use it every day at work (thank you, Vivint). Overall, I love it — but would have looked for another option had I known about the bad parts.
- Ships with Ubuntu by default, including drivers for the hardware.
- Powerful: Intel Haswell processor with the Intel Iris Pro graphics chip, which means it’s fast, and it can drive a Dell 30″ monitor (using an Apple mini display port to dual-link DVI adapter), an HDMI monitor, and the laptop screen at the same time.
- Small and lightweight — easy to carry around.
- USB 3.0
- The keyboard layout and function keys are designed for Linux, and they work — no tweaking necessary.
- The touch pad works well (although it’s not as awesome as Apple’s touchpad and gestures)
- The screen is too small to use at its high resolution unless it’s sitting on my lap. So I always use external monitors when I’m sitting at my desk.
- No backlit keyboard.
- No indicators/lights for the caps lock, scroll lock and num lock keys — so you don’t know what state your keyboard is in. I hate this — it’s a huge omission.
- The ethernet jack door flips down, and it breaks off easily. When that happens, the ethernet cable doesn’t stay plugged in very easily. Inexcusable. It’s possible to use a USB-to-Ethernet device, but who wants to do that?
The Galago UltraPro is a fantastic Linux workstation, but it’s a poor laptop compared to most other laptops (with the exception of being lightweight) because the screen is too small, the keyboard isn’t backlit, and the lock keys lack indicator lights. A MacBook Pro Retina is a better laptop in almost every way. The screen is oh-so-beautiful, the keys are backlit, and the caps lock key tells you when it’s on (but the function key is in the wrong place — the control key should go there — what was Apple thinking?).
Why can’t Apple ship Ubuntu as an option on the MacBook Pro? It would be awesome, because they’d support the hardware with Linux drivers.
I can dream.