Hello fellows,

I’m currently looking in 13-14" laptops with no immediate needs for one but just because it’s exciting. I love my Dell XPS but I feel I should support companies with which I share more common views. I could make the effort to go a with a less attractive look (especially for bezels) but I don’t want to go wrong with hardware so what are your thoughts on Framework, Starlab, Purism, and System76? I’ll be running Arch and I tend to have a preference for Framework for now.

Do you have feedback (positive and negative) to share on any of these companies?

Thanks for the knowledge you’ll bring me. That’ll be extremely useful when time comes to go with a new machine.

Update 1: Still wonderful to be part of such a great community. Thanks for all the great feedback (looking for more :) ).
So far everyone is standing behind Framework. Anyone with a less positive experience or who would like to speak for the other companies?

Update 2: Thank you fellows for the time you’ve spent to share your honest feedback! I didn’t want to influence your inputs but you all confirmed the Framework picture I had in mind. It’s a piece of mind to read real world experience so thanks again. I was surprised to not see the system76 community speaks louder. Anyway, when time comes I will (virtually) push Framework shop’s door.

Framework and ThinkPad have both been a really positive experience.

Re your update.

My framework has been great, I’ve had no issues with it and I’m quite happy. Make sure to go with the matte screen though.

In saying that, I think I was happier with my thinkpad, but I have no good scientific reason for that, I suspect the nipple and keyboard are a big part of it.

@d00phy@lemmy.world
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Something tells me OP doesn’t share a lot of values with Lenovo!

I haven’t used Framework, but I’m a fan of most of the ThinkPad line. Not as good as the IBM days, but still a solid product.

www-gem
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Thanks for the feedback.

eshep
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@wwwgem I’ve been extremely pleased with @tuxedocomputers in both product quality and support. Next laptop will assuredly be another from them.

arthurpizza
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I always recommend older (2-3 years behind) thinkpads and Dell latitudes. Most people don’t need latest and greatest, far more bang for you buck, and they’re relatively easy to repair.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to keep a perfectly good machine out of a landfill.

Matty Roses
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I haven’t loved a laptop like my 13 inch Framework since my Mac in 2004.

You can run Pop OS on it if you.like.

Novacustom or System76, they actually use open Firmware.

www-gem
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Novacustom… Never heard of it. The almost insignificant disadvantage I can see so far for Framework is that they don’t use open-source boot. Everyone so far stand behind Framework. How would you sell me on System76 or Novacustom?

Framework tried Coreboot, has problems and gave up. When buying a Laptop with coreboot you support open Firmware Development for all CPUs, many board generations etc.

Just look at 3mdeb’s Dasharo guide. Its nearly as secure as Heads, on a modern Laptop!

www-gem
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Yes, using coreboot would just have been nice to support open-source from all aspects.

@sorrybookbroke@sh.itjust.works
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Not true, firstly ‘framework’ never tried Coreboot they have provided boards to coreboot devs however, who’ve had issues including accidentally bricking the board. New boards have been shipped, and the origional fixed. They haven’t given up though completely and the work is still being done. There was a recent talk that had to be canceled due to the speaker getting sick on this subject. Work is likely still being done, but is slow, and will continue to be so.

Still though, there’s no evidence that framework has ever had or ever will have the intention of including core-boot by default. They’re simply supporting coreboot devs to make it compatable

The reasoning for why the others have it is likely due to system76 and nova customs using mostly generic parts like the shell and motherboard along with being around longer. It’s great to support a company that’s ensuring coreboot works on their system however and pushing towards a non-proprietary future

Thanks for clearing up. Frameworks are probably rather special and thus not as easy to coreboot

deleted by creator

Weirdly, my (five year old) Microsoft Surface runs Ubuntu perfectly. (Edit to clarify, after some initial hassle.)

I’m eying a Framework 16 next.

Edit: To clarify, I would not recommend purchasing a Microsoft Surface to put Linux on it. As others have pointed out, it’s not the smoothest setup experience.

If anyone already has a Surface and wants to extend it’s life with Linux, that I recommend wholeheartedly. With the disclaimer that there was some weird nerdy deep-dive extra setup needed.

@dingus@lemmy.world
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I have a 6 year old Dell laptop and was hoping Linux would make it snappier. Ubuntu ran the best on it of the distros I tried, but it still had lag issues that I didn’t experience in Windows. I was able to to troubleshoot some other issues I had to get everything running mostly pretty good, but not that one.

I feel like if you want to go the laptop route, it makes a bit more sense to buy something officially supported.

I feel like if you want to go the laptop route, it makes a bit more sense to buy something officially supported.

Agreed! I’ve had very similar experiences with trying to run Linux on Laptops.

With my Surface Go, I was desperate to get it back into a useable state, and I had a surprisinly easy time. Largely thanks to the Linux on Surface Go hobbyists I found guidance from.

But when buying a new laptop, I would one of the many better options in this thread, every time.

Certain surface models run linux fine, but I wouldn’t recommended it as a linux laptop as it requires solving several issues before you get a working computer.

That is a terrific point!

I would try to avoid any kind of brand-loyalty.

Find something that meets your specifications and try it out for yourself. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t, return it.

Just about every retailer has guaranteed returns for 30 days on computers.

Check out https://old.reddit.com/r/LaptopDeals/ daily until you find something that meets your needs and budget.

www-gem
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Thanks. That does not not really address my question but I certainly share your view as to not be married to a brand. My personal history and this post question are actually going that route.

Mainstream? Avoid anything other than Lenovo ThinkPads. Rather than trying to buy the freshest budget model, try for 1-2 generations old T serie flagship, or even L serie. Search <modelname> PSREF and check if a WWAN M.2 slot is available, so you can buy a $30 2230/2242 SSD for Windows, and make your machine have both Linux and Windows. ThinkPads have the best aftersales support and third party parts support, with open schematics and warranty that allows user tinkering.

Other boutique Linux catering brand options are already discussed so pointless.

@CrabAndBroom@lemmy.ml
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Yeah Lenovo have always been really good for me with Linux. I think if I had the money I’d still go either Framework or System76, but my current laptop is just a mid-range Lenovo Ideapad and it seems to run any Linux thing I chuck at it quite happily.

You will not have troubles with Lenovo aftersales or parts support, that is the greatest benefit I think. It means basically you can hack through and run a laptop down to the ground.

Framework and System76 are both pretty good and user-serviceable. I know System76’s customer service is particularly really good.

www-gem
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Looks like Framework receives a ton of support. System76 has been surprisingly almost not mentioned and not always in the best terms.
Thanks for your feedback!

FartsWithAnAccent
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Framework

www-gem
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Any more details to share?

FartsWithAnAccent
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My favorite drink is water.

FartsWithAnAccent
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Also, I have heard that Linux runs pretty well on them and they are upgradeable.

www-gem
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I agree. Have you ever owned one?

@wewbull@feddit.uk
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His accent is Lithuanian.

FartsWithAnAccent
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True: Only when I eat Lithuanian food though.

Pogogunner
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I have a framework, pretty happy with it - Arch installed without any hitches and runs well. Only downside is how long it took to go from deposit to actually paying/shipping.

I’ve been wanting a Framework so bad. When I start working again (which should be soon), I’m going to save up for one.

www-gem
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The modularity, repairability, and price for specs are what attracts me compared to the other companies mentioned in this post.

Shertson
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I love my Framework. It may not feel as polished physically as the XPS. If you can find one in the wild to touch and try, I would recommend doing so.

www-gem
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They’re unfortunately harder to find in the wild than pokemons 😂 Have you experienced long delivery time as mentioned above?

Shertson
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I lucked out. When I was ready to pull the trigger it was just a couple of weeks before the next batch shipped. Got mine in just a few weeks.

Will not touch if they don’t support Coreboot/Libreboot (they have the profit margin to do it)

www-gem
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How long have you been waiting? Was it during the pandemic (when everyone was using this as an excuse)? Do you know if it seems to be a current issue?

Pogogunner
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Ordered on August 2nd, Shipped November 17th of 2023

www-gem
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If that’s something usual I’ll definitely avoid Framework. When I order a laptop it’s because I need a replacement very quickly for work.

If you’re in the US, the 13 is fully in stock and should ship on a week. OP may have preordered his

www-gem
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I didn’t think about that. If the usual shipping delay is reasonable then I feel better.

Most of the delays are effectively from pre-ordering. I ordered mine just after last Christmas, got it the first week in January. Would have probably been faster without the holidays. Also, get the AMD model if you can, it’s much better than the Intel offerings.

www-gem
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Great to hear! Going with AMD is something I’ve tried to do for a long time but I was not lucky with availability, I’ll definitely take the opportunity to do so with the next laptop!

@sorrybookbroke@sh.itjust.works
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If you’re willing to import, tuxedo computers is another great choice. I can personally vouch for framework but I’d caution if you’re looking for the 16, it’ll be a bit before they’re available. 13ish batches pre-ordered, with batch one shipping in a few weeks, it may take quite a bit to get. The 13 though is in stock and shouldn’t take too long to recieve

Edit: oh sorry, 13 inch is your preference. I’d strongly vouch for framework. I’d also say stay away from purism due to their scummy history on the phone if you care about that.

Do you have any links for the bad marks on Purism?

@sorrybookbroke@sh.itjust.works
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Sure do, though not for all the claims I’ll make here as that was from me obsessively watching the purism forumns and reddit over the 5 or so years this was going on. They promised a phone which most people didn’t get for five years. When it shipped the specs were not great especially for the already pricy cost they had it at. This, after quite heavily suggesting they were nearly good to go. When it came close to the end of waiting, they added a second option (no phones were in hands yet) to upgrade their order, at a cost, to skip the line and get it quicker. Suggesting that if it didn’t sell the company couldn’t ship the original either after taking money both from a crowdfunding campaign and their site. Though a few were eventually able to refund, they sneakily changed their policy to include “no refunds” when at time of purchase they stated clearly refunds would be available at request. There’s also been an issue with their laptops which were advertised as fully FOSS, etirely non-proprietary before eventually shipping with some proprietary software. All around, their customer service is terrible and their responces to allagations and critisism has been childish threats and legal attacks. All around bad group.

here’s some blog posts and an article:

https://jaylittle.com/post/view/2019/10/the-sad-saga-of-purism-and-the-librem-5-part-1 (read all 3 parts)

https://anarc.at/blog/2020-07-13-not-recommending-purism/

https://www.pcworld.com/article/422917/why-linux-enthusiasts-are-arguing-over-purisms-sleek-idealistic-librem-laptops.html

Here’s Luis Rossman (Not always correct on what he reports, but by my memory quite good here):
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IjUryQOlgk
Piped - https://piped.adminforge.de/watch?v=-IjUryQOlgk

Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKegmu0V75s
Piped - https://piped.adminforge.de/watch?v=wKegmu0V75s

@PipedLinkBot@feddit.rocks
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Here is an alternative Piped link(s):

https://www.piped.video/watch?v=-IjUryQOlgk

https://www.piped.video/watch?v=wKegmu0V75s

Piped is a privacy-respecting open-source alternative frontend to YouTube.

I’m open-source; check me out at GitHub.

Wow. Yeah, that’s shady and shitty as hell. The cost was always enough to keep me away from them, but knowing they’re a shit company will make me sure to warn others off as well.

www-gem
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Thanks. TBH Purism is currently at the bottom (out) of my list based on what I’ve read but I’ve put it here to collect any feedback that would change my mind. A friend of mine has a not that good experience with Tuxedo hardware. But this is a sample 1 and I’ve read a lot of good stuff about them as well so…

Nora
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Gnu/Linux…

I had a System76 10 years ago. The customer service was excellent (several months after receiving my laptop, they sent me a replacement keyboard, because they didn’t like the one it shipped with). The build quality was meh, it was a plastic body and didn’t hold up well to wear and tear, but it’s in my closet and still works. I haven’t tried their aluminum bodies.

I now have a Framework. It arrived with trackpad issues, and one of the HDMI adapters didn’t work at all. They shipped me replacements for both at no cost to me (except time). It’s been nice knowing that any other issues I do have can be replaced piecewise. Also I like that the webcam/mic have physical kill switches.

www-gem
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Very nice to read this feedback. I’m very sold to Framework after all the great things posted here. An impeccable customer support like the one you describe means a lot about a company.

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