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System 76 Gazelle

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I’ve had my System 76 Gazelle for about a month. It is a rebranded Clevo laptop, but I have decided that is a good thing. It is designed to be very user serviceable. I went with the 240 GB drive option to save some money. I had a 500 GB Crucial SSD in my old laptop and switching it from one to the other was very easy.


The keyboard is very smooth typing and one of the nicest laptop keyboards I have every used. It has a num pad which is useful for some of the work I do with it. The RGB shows up nicely and keyboard controls make it easy to change the colors or turn it off. One complaint I do have with it is it does not remember what color you had the keyboard set to when you turn it off. It will always go back to white when you next boot.


The screen is 1080p with no dead pixels I can find. My last laptop was 720p , so it is a nice upgrade. So far the most graphically intensive game I have run on here is bright Memory and it looked gorgeous. At stock it is a little dim (I am assuming for power savings), but turning it up in setting I can get plenty bright.


I comes with PopOS preinstalled. Previously Linux Mint was my go to distro. I’m not a big fan of the Gnome desktop, so I installed Cinnamon instead. Pop doesn’t do anything significantly better than Mint in my option, but I also hasn’t given me a reason to bust out the Mint USB and get rid of it. It is Linux, it is customizable, so it is perfectly fine. Switching the desktop did make the drop down controls for the graphics mode (ie. integrated vs hybrid vs nvidia) disappear, but it can still be switched by command line. Anyone who had this problem can find the commands here: https://support.system76.com/articles/graphics-switch-pop/#:~:text=Click the system menu in,will be prompted to reboot.


IO includes headphone and mic jacks, bluetooth, 2 USB 3, 1 USB 2, Mini HDMI, HDMI, USB C, ethernet and SD card reader. The HDMI port was a little finiky. Switching to Nvidia graphics mode instead of Hybrid when I wanted to use it seems to have solved the problem.


The power brick is my big complaint with the system. It is a barrel connector which I am fine with. The problem is the cord is simultaneously too long and too short. The cord running from the wall is too short to easily put the brick on the table with the laptop. The connector from the brick to the laptop is long, but is also too short to lay the brick on the floor, so there is a strong tendency to have the brick hanging in mid air. I almost never use the battery when I use a laptop, but as a test run I seem to get about 3.5-4 hours playback of youtube at 1080p full screen on hybrid mode. I typed this review on battery. It took my about an hour. I was at full chage when I started and am at 74% now.


Price wise, it was $1400 for a 1080p screen, 240 GB NVMe SSD, 16 GB RAM, Intel i7-10750H, and a Nvidia 1660 ti mobile GPU. That wasn’t too much more than a comparably spec’d laptop on Amazon from various other brands. I had tried buying a refurbished HP laptop first, but ran into a hardware compatibility error with the WIFI. With System 76 it was nice to have everything work correctly in Linux out of the box. No problems so far with anything I have plugged into it. Mouse, controllers, headphones, and WIFI have all worked fine. Overall I am very happy with my purchase.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

One complaint I forgot to include.  The caps/num locks do not have visible indicators they are active.  I solved the problem, by installing an applet called betterlock.  It shows the status in the lower right of the desktop.

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