Kubuntu Focus Offers The Most Polished KDE Laptop Experience We've Seen Yet

Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 15 January 2020 at 03:20 PM EST. Page 1 of 3. 41 Comments.

As we mentioned back in December, a Kubuntu-powered laptop is launching with the blessing of Canonical and the Kubuntu Community Council. That laptop, the Kubuntu Focus, will begin shipping at the beginning of February while the pre-orders opened today as well as the embargo lift. We've been testing out the Kubuntu Focus the last several weeks and it's quite a polished KDE laptop experience for those wanting to enjoy KDE Plasma for a portable computing experience without having to tweak the laptop for optimal efficiency or other constraints.

The first-generation Kubuntu Focus laptop features an Intel Core i7 9750H processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics, a 16.1-inch 1080p 144Hz IPS display with the ability to drive up to three external displays thanks to the RTX 2060, 32GB of DDR4-2666 memory, 1TB Samsung EVO Plus NVMe SSD, and all of the other basics that are common to Clevo-manufactured laptops. With the high-end Core i7 CPU and RTX 2060, the Kubuntu Focus laptop battery life is advertised as 3.5 hours and we found that to be about accurate in the range of 3+ hours depending upon workload.

On the software side, Kubuntu 18.04.3 LTS is shipped on the device but with alterations around the default desktop environment/theme, using the dark theme by default, and various application optimizations. Google Chrome is one of the applications added to the default Kubuntu Focus software stack and is shipped with all GPU options enabled for maximum acceleration.

One other software element we love about the Kubuntu Focus is that it ships with full-disk encryption by default. We wish more manufacturers would do this and for laptops consider the performance trade-off to be well worthwhile for the increased security should your device get lost or stolen.

The branding is great with the Kubuntu Focus from the packaging to laptop itself to Kubuntu logo as the super key. The UEFI splash screen also is branded accordingly, etc. Nice job to Mindshare Management, Tuxedo Computers, and The Kubuntu Council for having this feel like quite a polished device compared to what we have seen out of some Linux laptops in the past.

Additional software steps taken for optimizing the Kubuntu Focus are spelled out in more detail on the product site at KFocus.org. A Kubuntu Focus review sample was sent over for our benchmarking and following are various initial tests while more benchmarks and tests with this KDE-loaded laptop will be on the way.

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