1. 6
  1. 6

    This is less a “review” and more “a few random observations.” I get it, the speakers aren’t great. What about the screen? What about the webcam? Performance? Price and components?

    I’m iffy on the author’s assertion that all notebooks “must be compared” to Apple’s M1s – but if that’s the case, there’s a lot left to be desired in comparing the Pangolin to the M1 series. Mentions the case, but doesn’t cover a lot of other ground. (A minor nit - saying Apple “dropped the ball” on Windows VMs makes the assumption that Apple ever picked that ball up in the first place. It’s fair to say your use case requires the ability to run Windows VMs but I’m not sure that’s something that Apple has ever put forward as a selling point.)

    It’s also interesting the author says that System 76 is “hamstrung” by the Clevo OEM builds – System 76 isn’t obligated to resell those machines if they’re not up to spec. As a user I’d be looking to System 76 to be choosy and only offer quality systems.

    1. 1

      Apple has supported Bootcamp and using Windows before. That’s picking up the ball.

      Some people buying M1s are not, upon realizing that entire ecosystem is gone, going to realize why or care about the reasons.

      1. 3

        Apple has supported Bootcamp and using Windows before. That’s picking up the ball.

        Not exactly? Bootcamp was for dual-booting / supporting Windows on bare metal, it wasn’t aimed at virtualization. I believe Apple is still supporting Bootcamp on its newest version of macOS for Intel - so if you really, really depend on this you have a few more years, and a few current models of Intel-based machines, to dual-boot Windows.

        But Apple didn’t “drop the ball” on Bootcamp for Apple Silicon - it just flat out said it wasn’t going to do it. That’s fair, considering AFAIK Microsoft doesn’t sell licenses to Windows for Arm the same way it does for x86-64 machines. You can only buy Windows for Arm with a new device as a consumer. And the lift required to support x86-64 Windows natively on Apple Silicon with Bootcamp seems like a non-starter.

        Also Apple has been working with companies that make virtualization software for macOS and seems to have some virtualization support in its Arm chips. Parallels and VMware have announced they’ll be supporting Windows on Apple Silicon. You can buy Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac M1 now. I believe Qemu also has some support for x86-64 on Apple Silicon, but I haven’t followed it closely and it’s probably not trivial.

        So - in as much as Apple has ever supported Windows virtualization it’s carried that forward to Apple Silicon. Whether Apple ever made any efforts towards support for Windows for Arm natively on its hardware, I’ve no idea - Microsoft may be as much to blame as Apple, given its licensing.

        Sorry to go on about this, it just irks me when people toss out completely unrealistic expectations at a company (even Apple…) like this. It’s also silly that anybody looks at Apple’s history with hardware and thought “yeah, Apple is going to be on Intel-based systems forever, I can totally expect Apple to keep compatibility with this.” If you’re buying Apple hardware with the expectation that it’s going to be friendly to things outside Apple’s ecosystem, you should be prepared to be disappointed.

    2. 1

      The Ugly: The speakers are truly terrible. They sound like a potato inserted into the anus of a dying llama and that’s just awful. It’s so bad that I won’t watch my favorite Jupiter Broadcasting shows on YouTube on this device without headphones. Honestly the OEM (Clevo) should hide their head in shame on this one.

      Yep. The Lemur Pro I’m typing this on has similarly atrocious speakers.

      1. 1

        Yeah they’re usable but not the greatest, they occasionally sound tinny but otherwise work in a pinch.

        1. 1

          One of the first things I do when I set up linux on a new laptop is disable the onboard sound. They should just stop shipping laptops with built-in speakers, they’re all pretty bad, and pluggable/bluetooth speakers or headphone will almost always be a better experience.

          1. 1

            My T450 had alright speakers, and my (work) MacBook Pro has good ones. The S76 speakers are bad even by the standard of laptop speakers.

        2. 1

          The criticism about the fan, the plastic, the bizarre keyboard, and the speakers all apply equally to my Oryx Pro (now 1 year old). I think as long as System76 doesn’t “own” the hardware design, they’re going to have these problems, because the original hardware manufacturer clearly doesn’t care about that part – my previous Darter from 3 years ago had identical problems.

          Hopefully the company is working toward doing their own builds? But if so, they haven’t dropped any hints.