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Kubuntu Focus KDE Laptop Launches New $1,795 USD Base Model

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  • #11
    Originally posted by Venemo View Post
    This is a big, bulky and ugly laptop with a poor build quality. For this kind of money you can get a Dell XPS or any other top-of-the-line ultrabook.
    XPS isn't perfect either, but at least it looks good

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    • #12
      The Nvidia GPU really kills it for me. I thought this demographic of "High End Developers" would definitely see no-wayland is a MAJOR "developer problem".

      It does give me an idea though for a Linux OEM Store where you can buy laptops and desktops with various Distros pre-installed. That could honestly resolve some Linux problems reaching users and vica versa with corporations needing support contracts.

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      • #13
        > thats way too expensive

        There's a review about it in https://www.zdnet.com/article/kubunt...aptop-arrives/ , those features have a price
        Last edited by Nth_man; 01-26-2020, 08:23 PM.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
          KDE and a customized superkey? All for $2000.
          Don't care about the super key thing, but at least they're ensuring proper linux compatibility/support. Someone chimed in from the team in a prior article about this laptop and explained (vaguely) the changes over the standard Clevo(or whatever it was) that you'd otherwise have to grieve with and sort out yourself apparently.

          What makes it a hell no from me, is they refuse to support any other distro. That's understandable, but if the tweaks that were made aren't likely to be tightly coupled to their officially shipped distro, they could make them available to customers to DIY apply to their preferred distro and that'd be fantastic, but they refuse to. They're not interested in a lighter weight more battery friendly variant with eGPU(claiming their audience wouldn't understand it or some shit excuse like that).

          This is targeted to enterprise users that want Linux but are effectively Windows users with no interest for anything other than Kubuntu(which tbh isn't great for development as some other KDE distros, but a fine default for the market I guess).

          Audience appears to be companies that don't understand Linux well but your devs want it and you have the budget to throw around and just want something that works with official support from the vendor. They're mostly glorified underpowered workstations though, I've had a high specced laptop before, short battery life, weighty, noisy, hot, mostly sits at a desk plugged into a wall. That's assuming you're making proper use of the hardware. The vendor has stated they've paid attention to the thermals/cooling however and improved on that, so it's apparently not as bad.

          Originally posted by cen1 View Post
          Why release a 500$ shitbook? This is clearly meant for linux enthusiasts and developers.
          I'm a Linux enthusiast and a developer(Rust and Web). I can make a $400 "shitbook" with an i3 and 4GB of RAM work perfectly fine/smooth for me development wise. No issues with speed. If it's a heavier project, sure spending a little more will be helpful, but I've got a more powerful desktop machine with much better specs when I need hardware grunt, I can remote into it, far more useful.

          That said, it was most definitely a "shitbook" as you say with Windows 10 on it, barely had any RAM free and 50% of CPU was not uncommon usage by the OS while I did nothing. On Linux 430MB for the OS at boot, and around 300MB allocated to vRAM for the iGPU. CPU only got busy when I expected it to.

          I've even made a 2GB core2duo laptop run smoothly off USB 2.0 and a 32GB USB stick. Didn't try development on it, probably not as pleasant, but it worked like a charm for casual tasks, whereas Windows 7 was a snail. I only got it working that well because I'm an enthusiast. You're paying the price for this laptop not because you're an enthusiast but because you don't know any better tbh, they take care of making it run better for you as does throwing money at more hardware grunt.

          Nothing wrong with that, but don't try to be elitist claiming $1,800 USD is for a linux enthusiast that develops software, you can often go far lower or have better/smarter options with that budget. This is a product aimed at enterprise companies, as such it has other goals/values and is priced accordingly to that market.

          Originally posted by loganj View Post
          thats way too expensive. why don't they aim for some simpler laptops.
          what's wrong with them trying a simple 400-500$ laptop? are they so greedy?
          i don't find the hardware of this kubuntu laptop to be so spectacular for that huge price
          You have to keep in mind that the lower priced laptops often don't have official Linux support. Sometimes that's a non-issue, but I just bought a 2019Q3 model from Acer for $400 recently. Once Windows is replaced with Linux, it's a pretty sweet machine for the money/value, but I've already experienced the UEFI corrupting it's boot loader entries, and then fully locking me out from accessing it for several days.

          Worse is the suspend support. It will resume from suspend perfectly fine the 1st time since a boot, but the 2nd time will fail to resume, CPU heats up, fans rev up, but display remains off and keyboard/touchpad unresponsive, network too iirc. So Suspend to RAM(S3) is a no go, s2idle as an alternative works for about 1 minute, fans rev up briefly at 30 second mark, then at 1 minute it powers itself off. That can be avoided with kernel boot param `pcie_aspm=off`, but now you're really killing battery life, it's better to just go with hybrid-sleep so you can resume from S3 first time, then resume from hibernation, basically alternating between the two..

          I've decompiled the ACPI DSDT table and noted that "Windows 2015" is extensively used for the acpi_osi string, using that or any other makes no difference fixing that suspend issue though. Acer themselves won't do anything as it's working fine in Windows(and apparently not Modern Standby S0ix, which is becoming more common preventing S3 but when it works offers good power saving). Kernels 4.19, 5.4, 5.5, no difference. I've spent over 2 days specifically trying to resolve that issue alone.

          I'm considering to try enabling the ACPI FADT table flag for Low Power Idle State(S0ix), but I'm not sure if this will help or have any potential risks involved(Do any of your smart fellows know?), it is required for Linux to recognize and support S0ix however, which afaik my hardware is able to support.

          Most users would not even go this far and have given up. This is why you pay extra for vendors that officially support Linux as the default installed OS. You can rest easy without running into this problems, which as you can see can cost more in your own hours if you go as far as I have. That said, I assume the risk of issues I experience is also much higher with budget hardware vs premium product lines.

          Much to my disappointment, this laptop also came with a display manufactured in 2017 that only supports eDP 1.2(2010 tech, eDP 1.3 came out 2011 and supports PSR).. Panel Self Refresh is a worthwhile power saving feature and enables S0ix) states with the display not having to be powered off. You can't easily look this up prior to a purchase though, so now I have to buy a replacement panel for that and install it myself. I am outside of the states, it took 3 weeks to get the product delivered from Amazon, but Acer support for returns/repairs only allow for US return shipping addresses apparently.. which is more inconvenience towards the 6-8 week time I'd be without the product, this was regarding contacting them about the UEFI issues I ran into. Returning for a refund to Amazon I don't believe lets me get my local tax on the purchase back, so is also not a great option since I'd still have the chance of running into these problems again with another similar priced laptop.

          But yeah, if a vendor could offer a similar product to this Acer without the issues for <$500, awesome. It has a spare 2.5" SATA bay to go with the NVMe SSD, and a spare DIMM slot for adding 16GB more RAM(wouldn't have bought a soldered 4GB model otherwise).

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          • #15
            Originally posted by jKicker View Post
            Like NVIDIA using less battery and the main point of their effort is making everything working perfectly with that hardware. Luxury a usual distro doesn't have.
            Nvidia laptops are known to have issues with reaching lower power states atm until 5.6/5.7 kernel afaik. Although one of the recent kernels 5.4/5.5(?) improved on this resolving a regression from years ago, so it shouldn't be as bad now.

            This product isn't particularly upselling battery life though, last I heard it's only a few hours at best? Modern laptops can be found that reach 20 hours or more now(assuming Linux is properly supporting of the hardware and it's features). I have a 2019Q3 released laptop with 10th gen intel, but the display is from 2017 and uses eDP 1.2 from 2010 instead of eDP 1.3 that came out a year later with a notable power saving feature.

            No surprise this isn't mentioned on the specs you link, barely any product mentions what display it's using beyond user facing features like resolution and refresh rate. I assume it's like the case with disks, since it allows a generic component that can be replaced with whatever is most cost efficient and meeting those advertised specs for the product.

            Originally posted by jKicker View Post
            This laptop is not for the people that will actually never buy it, like people that want to spend $500 on a laptop and then put arch linux and be able to customize everything (like me). Those will never buy any preconfigured laptop nor care about that.
            Perhaps, but it can be nice to buy a budget laptop from a vendor with official linux support. See my earlier post for risks you can run into, if you know how to further debug/fix the suspend issue I'd be grateful but it seems to be so niche that it's not clear if it can be fixed(not without more niche knowledge and/or extensive effort). Arch Wiki has been great, but so far not been able to resolve this issue like I usually could when consulting the Arch Wiki.

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            • #16
              Just more over priced and rebadged Clevo junk. I’ll pass thanks.

              You could buy a better quality Dell for that money.

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              • #17
                Zdnet's review of it makes it sound like one sweet rig.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by polarathene View Post
                  Don't care about the super key thing, but at least they're ensuring proper linux compatibility/support. Someone chimed in from the team in a prior article about this laptop and explained (vaguely) the changes over the standard Clevo(or whatever it was) that you'd otherwise have to grieve with and sort out yourself apparently.
                  We are striving to provide the best "just works out of the box" experience of any shipping laptop for AI Deep Learning, Cloud Development, DevOps, and Content Creators. There are *are* hundreds of fixes and optimizations, some of which took days to complete thoroughly. Example: unplug the power adaptor and turbo boost is disabled. Plug it back in and it turns on again. Trying to employ this across all distros and devices is nigh impossible, but we can ensure it works seamlessly in the devices we ship. It's not magic, but as you know, it *is* hard work.

                  Originally posted by polarathene View Post
                  What makes it a hell no from me, is they refuse to support any other distro. That's understandable, but if the tweaks that were made aren't likely to be tightly coupled to their officially shipped distro, they could make them available to customers to DIY apply to their preferred distro and that'd be fantastic, but they refuse to. They're not interested in a lighter weight more battery friendly variant with eGPU(claiming their audience wouldn't understand it or some shit excuse like that)./
                  Since this is the *Kubuntu* focus it would be odd to support additional distros. One advantage of this is we can optimize to a level not seen from vendors who just slap on an OS. We *are* interested in sharing desktop optimizations and eGPUs, but we currently have just one model where we are already busy on the 20.04 update.

                  Originally posted by polarathene View Post
                  This is targeted to enterprise users that want Linux but are effectively Windows users with no interest for anything other than Kubuntu(which tbh isn't great for development as some other KDE distros, but a fine default for the market I guess).
                  Your first point is absolutely correct. We do think that Kubuntu is great for target market because all the exact same 18.04.3 LTS tools are installed just like they are in cloud containers. Arch or Manjaro are great for Linux developers but break too frequently for our target demographic.

                  I hope that helps, and all the best!

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by deppman View Post
                    Your first point is absolutely correct. We do think that Kubuntu is great for target market because all the exact same 18.04.3 LTS tools are installed just like they are in cloud containers. Arch or Manjaro are great for Linux developers but break too frequently for our target demographic.

                    I hope that helps, and all the best!
                    Looks really nice from a hardware perspective. I would have gone with a much more stable distro like MX or just customize Debian. Anything based on Canonical's distros is going to cause you serious heartburn if you try to support it long term, I'll wager.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by andyprough View Post

                      Looks really nice from a hardware perspective. I would have gone with a much more stable distro like MX or just customize Debian. Anything based on Canonical's distros is going to cause you serious heartburn if you try to support it long term, I'll wager.
                      First, thank you. I hope you appreciate that this is intended to be a Linux laptop for those who previously used W10 or MBP to develop for Linux deployments. For these purposes it's a much better choice IMO.

                      Ubuntu server LTS's are supported Canonical for 10 years and have a dominant position in cloud containers. Our research indicates this support is very important for a good number of enterprises.



                      ​​​
                      Last edited by deppman; 01-27-2020, 01:57 AM.

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