As you look at the technology, speed keeps improving, graphics get crisper, music gets louder, etc. With those advances, the OS’s that operate the technology and the software that makes the human productive keeps moving their prices higher as if there was no competition. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Ever since the advent of laptops, desktops and computing in general, there has been one constant question as far as operating those devices. That question is, “To pay or not to pay?”
Entrée, the Galago Pro laptop by System 76. Aside from its technological advanced brains, chipset, etc., It is made even more useful with the help of one the best open source OS’s; Ubuntu and its array of more than equal open source software. In life, every action has a reaction. In computing life, every paid software title has an equally powerful open source title that is as good, if not better. And for free !
Lets look at what the Galago Pro has for starters. Then, lets show you how it can perform better with its full line of open source options. As reviewed, it was armed with the following, including the Libre Office Suite;
Ubuntu Desktop 15.04 or 14.04.2 LTS
4th Gen Intel® Core i7-4770HQ
(2.2 up to 3.40GHz – 6MB cache – 4 Cores – 8 Threads)
14.1″ 1920×1080 IPS, Matte Finish
Intel® Iris Pro 5200 – 128 MB eDRAM
Up to 16 GB Dual Channel DDR3 @ 1600 MHz
1× mSATA, 1× 2.5″ SATA III
3× USB 3.0, SD Card Reader
Multitouch Clickpad, Chiclet Keyboard
Gigabit Ethernet, Intel® Wireless-AC WiFi
HDMI, Mini DisplayPort
Stereo Speakers, Stereo Mic, Headphone Jack, Mic Jack
720p HD Webcam
6 Cell Smart Li-Ion – 53.28 Wh
90W, AC-in 100–240V, 50–60Hz
13.26″ × 9.90″ × 0.75″ (33.69 × 25.15 × 1.91 cm)
4 lbs. (1.81 kg.)
As you can see, the stock potency of this laptop can mimic most if not all laptops in any office or boardroom. When paired with the vast array of open source software, a little song by Dionne Warwick comes to mind. It starts “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you.” So we put it to the test with typical fashion.
- Setup process
- Software install
- Graphics processing
- Computation via spreadsheet app
- General word processing
- PDF Processing
First of all get rid of any preconceived notions of “other OS’s”. All I had to do was turn it on. It took less than 3 minutes to gain WiFi access, set up a user name and start using the Galago Pro. This version of Ubuntu appears to be the most user friendly of GUI’s. This is including OSx Yosemite and Windows 10.
Once that was done, I performed a standard (proper) shutdown and then power up. Shutdown took about 10 seconds and startup took just over that. This is due to the SSD but also the sleekness of Ubuntu. This system is truly optimized for speed.
It comes with Libre Office installed. It is a great open source office suite. However, being loyal to Open Office, I was quick to install that, while still keeping Libre Office. As a side bar, you can look at an earlier article written on free and open source office suites. You can also visit Source Forge, which is THE only open source repository you will ever need. Back to the installs, it only took about 30 seconds or less to install most apps. Other apps that were installed, included GIMP (graphics), Xtreme Music Player and Radio Tray for streaming music. Each install was lightning fast and none of them required a reboot.
Installing a printer and printing was just as fast and simple. If the linux driver is not available on the manufacturers site, there are open source apps that are universal.As for printing, there was no noticeable difference. It was lightning fast, no mater whether printing to the Epson RS2000 photo printer or the HP Photosmart 7520 which were both installed wirelessly on the Galago Pro.
As stated earlier, GIMP was downloaded for graphic processing and manipulation. GIMP is not just for Linux. It is available in an array of OS’s including OSx and Windows as well. Either way, it is free. In terms of processing high res pics, the Galago Pro was almost instant in opening and updating. Ubuntu so far, when installed on the Galago Pro, appears to have no bottlenecks. Communications was tested via the skype app and built in camera. There was no lag at all. The sound as well as the video were crystal clear. Also tested were old school IRC apps which performed flawlessly.
As far as spreadsheet processing, I opted for the spreadsheet app that comes with OpenOffice (simply “spreadsheet”). Whether it was a complex formula or simple addition or subtraction, the solution was instant.There was equal speed when using the word processor (simple “text document”) PDF processing was excellent, as no additional software is necessary on Ubuntu. It creates PDF’s, prints and edits them right from Libre Office.
It is time for you to make the decision. Do you continue to pay for high priced software and upgrades, or do you by the one laptop that comes with the last OS with great apps that you will ever NOT have to pay for?
Learn more at www.system76.com.