For the past month at Phoronix we have been busy benchmarking the System76 Galago UltraPro. This latest creation from the Linux-friendly System76 is an Intel Haswell ultrabook with Iris Pro graphics. Here's our look at this Linux-loaded ultrabook and the benchmarks we've run on this powerful yet lightweight system.
The first-generation Galago UltraPro is a 14.1-inch 1080p ultrabook with LED-backlight IPS display with matte finish. The ultrabook weighs 1.72 kilograms and its dimensions are 13.26 x 9.90 x 0.75 inches. Unlike some of the other systems out of System76, the hardware specifications aren't configurable besides the memory and disk drive. The Galago UltraPro is based around an Intel Core i7 4750HQ laptop with Iris Pro 5200 graphics with 128MB of eDRAM, up to 16GB of DDR3-1600MHz RAM, one mSATA drive, a multi-touch clickpad with two-finger scrolling, Gigabit LAN, Intel Centrino WiFi, and a 1.0MP web camera. The power is supplied by a 53.28 Watt-hour 6-cell Li-On battery.
Ports on the System76 Galago UltraPro include HDMI, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, three USB 3.0, and headphone / microphone outputs. There's also a built-in SD card reader on this ultrabook/laptop.
The Galago UltraPro is built fairly well for not being from a tier-one OEM. The unit isn't nearly as portable and convenient as say the MacBook Air, but overall it's a nice three-pound laptop with a Core i7 Haswell and Iris Pro graphics.
In using the Galago UltraPro for the past month, the biggest hardware complaint I have with this Linux laptop is the keyboard. Fairly regularly, keystrokes were not being registered and this appears to be an issue that others have encountered as well. Ubuntu 13.04 shipped on the review sample I received, but I've also tested Ubuntu 13.10, Fedora, and other numerous distributions on the Core i7 4750HQ system too. The only other hardware issues I have to report on were the real-time battery power information not being properly exposed via sysfs at least up through the Linux 3.12 kernel (preventing me from showing any real-time power consumption results) and after installing Manjaro Linux on the system, the CPU fan speed was running at 100% constantly. Normally the ultrabook was very quiet and only seldom increased its fan-speed to an audible level when running heavy CPU/GPU tests, but as soon as installing Manjaro, the system was stuck to 100% fan-speed. This was resolved by draining the battery (after Ubuntu was re-installed) and then the system was back to normal.