System76 Introduces two Intel Comet Lake Linux Laptops with Coreboot Firmware

Intel officially launched Comet Lake processors last August with Y-series (4.5-5.5W TDP) and U-Series (15W TDP) targeting 2-in-1 hybrid laptops and tablets. Since several Windows 10 Comet Lake laptops launched such as OneMix 3Pro 8.4″ mini laptop with an Intel Core i5-10210Y Comet Lake-Y processor.

If you’d rather get a Comet Lake laptop running Linux, System76 got you covered with two models, namely Galago Pro and Darter Pro laptops running a choice of Pop!_OS 19.10 (64-bit), Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS (64-bit), or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (64-bit) operating systems, as well as System76 open firmware based on Coreboot, EDK2, and System76 firmware apps.

Comet Lake Linux Laptop

Galago Pro & Darter Pro share many of the same specifications, except for the display, battery, and other items highlighted in bold:

  • SoC (one of the other)
    • Intel Core i5-10210U  quad-core/eight-thread processor @ 1.6 GHz / 3.9 GHz (turbo all cores) / 4.2 GHz (turbo one core), 24EU Intel UHD graphics; 6MB Cache; 15W TDP
    • Intel Core i7-10510U quad-core/eight-thread processor @ 1.8 GHz / 4.3 GHz (turbo all cores) / 4.9 GHz (turbo one core); 24EU Intel UHD graphics; 8MB Cache; 15W TDP
  • System Memory – Up to 32GB Dual Channel DDR4 @ 2666 MHz
  • Storage
    • Galago Pro – Up to 6TB M.2 SSD, 2.5″ 7mm height drive; SD card reader
    • Darter Pro – Up to 2TB M.2 SATA or PCIe NVMe SSD; SD card reader
  • Display
    • Galago Pro – 14.1″ matte display with 1920×1080 resolution
    • Darter Pro – 15.6″ matte display with 1920×1080 resolution
  • Video Output – HDMI, MiniDP
  • Audio
    • Galago Pro – Stereo Speakers, Mic, Headphone Jack, Mic Jack, 5.1 channel (HDMI)
    • Darter Pro – Stereo Speakers, Mic, 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Microphone), 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Microphone/ S/PIDF Optical) , 5.1 channel (HDMI)
  • Camera – 720p HD Webcam
  • Networking – Gigabit Ethernet, Intel Wireless-AC, Bluetooth 5
  • USB – 1x USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A ports, Darter Pro only: 1 x USB 2.0
  • User Input – Multitouch touchpad, backlit chiclet US QWERTY keyboard
  • Security – Disabled ME (Intel Management Engine), Kensington Lock
  • Battery
    • Galago Pro – 35.3 Wh Li-Ion battery
    • Darter Pro – 54.5 Wh Li-Ion battery
  • Power Supply
    • Galago Pro – 40W, AC-in 100–240 V, 50–60 Hz
    • Darter Pro – 65W, AC-in 100–240 V, 50–60 Hz
  • Dimensions & Weight
    • Galago Pro – 330 x 225 x 18 mm; 1.3 kg
    • Darter Pro – 360.4 x 244.6 x 19.8 mm; 1.6 kg

 

System76 Galago Daster Keyboard & Ports
Click to Enlarge

Pop_OS! is System76 Linux distributions based on Ubuntu LTS,  optimized for their hardware, and with a focus on privacy as for example, encryption is enabled by default. With that in mind, System76 also disabled Intel Management Engine (IME) and wrote open-source firmware based on Coreboot whose code can be found here.  Beside better security, boot times are said to be 29% faster. However as pointed out by Phoronix, the “open-source firmware” still relies on some binary blobs provided by Intel.

System76 has started taking pre-orders for the two Comet Lake Linux laptops with Galago Pro going for $949 and up, and Darter Pro for $999 and up. Orders are customizable, and depending on accessories and options your total cost can add up to over $3,000. For example, there’s a UK keyboard option that adds $119 to the cost, which makes me feel keyboard stickers or covers are not that bad after all ;).

Via Liliputing

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TLS
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TLS

ANSI vs ISO keyboard. No stickers in the world will solve the layout difference.

nobitakun
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nobitakun

I agree. The stupid small enter key is one of the worst things a keyboard could have, besides 2 alt keys. Alt Gr is necessary even if you speak english only because is a way of having shorcuts to more symbols that could become handy, and keep the damn enter with a decent size.

willy
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willy

Finally a laptop with network connectivity and touchpad buttons. These are becoming rare nowadays! It’s not cheap but I’m seeing this possibly compete with high-end ones like thinkpads so the pricing possibly remains fair for such use cases.

zoobab
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“the “open-source firmware” still relies on some binary blobs provided by Intel.”

So much for freedom.