back to article Tuxedo Pulse G2: Linux in your lap

Tuxedo Computers is launching a second generation of its Pulse high-end Linux laptop. If you want to run Linux on a new PC, you have fewer options than if you want the default of Windows. Of course, you can just buy a Windows laptop and hope that everything works. This means paying for an OS you don't want and accepting the …

  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Design

    Is that a custom design or cheap Chinese rebranded design?

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: Design

      I tried to use the link in TFA to visit their site & get the specs, but the site requires JS on & script blockers off, so that was a pointless waste of time.

      What are the system specs? Ports? CPU GHz? Default/max RAM? RAM type/speed? Audio chipset? Type/Size/Number of SSD's? Etc etc etc.

      What makes this machine something a geek might want to buy? TFA is rather light on such details. =-/

    2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

      Re: Design

      [Article author here]

      I asked Tuxedo for more info yesterday, but as of yet it hasn't answered. So, sadly, I was unable to include any info that was not in the company's press release -- such as CPU clock speed.

      I suspect that the machines are indeed licensed in, yes.

      Clevo is indeed a likely candidate:

      https://www.clevo.com.tw/index-en.asp

      I have used Clevo kit myself in the past and while it is not old-Lenovo-level in quality, its Linux compatibility was excellent.

      Xiaomi's Redmi brand also sells similar hardware:

      https://www.xiaomihome.global/?v=928568b84963

  2. two00lbwaster

    Ryzen 5700U is a 4800U from what I recall (it's a Zen2 design rebrand of the 4000 series with some power saving tweaks).

    So this is maybe even a downgrade from the 4800H. Where's the 6000 series where we would see some nice updates?

    1. Mark #255

      On the CPU side, the 5700U is slightly better than the 4800U (the turbo speed is 4.3 rather than 4.2 GHz); but the GPU is significantly enhanced: 1946 GFLOPs vs 1434.

      But it is annoying that the 5000 series isn't exclusively Zen3 chips.

  3. elregidente

    Nice guys, laptops are from China and from Taiwan

    I came pretty close to buying from these guys last year.

    I spoke to them quite a bit and I think well of them. They're on my list to check in the future, when I come to buy again.

    Very nice feature is they can laser engrave your keys, can you can pick a font - and, indeed, which glyphs go to which keys, allowing you to produce your own custom keyboard lay out.

    However, I have supply chain concerns, and I realised that the laptop I was interested in comes from a Chinese State owned company.

    China is off the map for me now, simply because of Hong Kong, but also because of supply chain concerns.

    Tux do offer some laptops from Taiwan, and I would have been down with that, but they were out of stock.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Nice guys, laptops are from China and from Taiwan

      While I get the avoid made-in-China sentiment; it is all but impossible to avoid on so many levels.

      1. elregidente

        Re: Nice guys, laptops are from China and from Taiwan

        Yes.

        But at the same time, knowingly buying a laptop made by a State-owned Chinese company? couldn't do it.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "you may have removed or modified the pre-loaded OS and can't return the machine anyway."

    Make a restore image before blowing away Windows.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    PC Specialist will supply laptops without OS to install your own choice of distro. The base units seem to be maufactured by Clevo but can be configured with a variety of options.

    1. petef

      I agree that PCS offer a good route to Linux. Skipping Windows saves of the order of £100. But there is a difference between supplying a PC with LInux that is certified to have working drivers and a barebone delivery that is the end user's responsibility to manage.

      Not all PCS machines are Clevo. I've been happy with that but my more recent Akstron purchase has had recurring problems.

  6. petef

    Dell

    Dell are a rather bigger name who ship Linux boxes and also "no OS" (FreeDOS which can be overwritten).

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Custom partitioning

    My favorite setup now for using custom partitioning, spec out a system to have an small cheap SSD, put / on it; put /home and swap on a big cheap HDD. You get the nice bootup time and app startup time of the SSD combined with low SSD wear and plenty of space for your stuff (since virtually everything ends up in /home .)

    Edit: To elaborate slightly, native Linux apps shipped with Ubuntu etc. are just not that big, my mom's old system has a 24GB flash & 750GB HDD, and the flash still has like 12GB free on it. (Unless you set them to go somewhere else), your downloads & videos, steam, wine prefixes and any windows apps you install in them (including Epic Games Laucnher or Heroic and the games installed with them), VirtualBox or vmware VMs, they're all going to be taking up space in your home directory, it's a bit different from Windows where most of that stuff might end up on C: by default even if you have a nice fat HDD on D: with your profile on it.

  8. Tom Chiverton 1

    So it's on a par spec and price wise with a Framework ? Someone should do a compare...

  9. Updraft102

    "Of course, you can just buy a Windows laptop and hope that everything works. This means paying for an OS you don't want and accepting the risk that some things don't work when running a Linux OS, don't have drivers, and so on."

    Paying for the OS you don't want is galling if you do not want to be adding to Microsoft's fortune, but in terms of costs to the purchaser, it is negligible. There is much more competition within the Windows space, so you will probably be able to get a Windows machine cheaper than a Linux one. The bloatware that everyone loves to hate may not only pay for the Windows license, but partially (very slightly) subsidize the cost of the PC. You won't, for example, have any trouble beating System76's prices for laptops with similarly-specced ones from the Windows world. You might even find the same exact models with different names (as is common with Clevo and Uniwill [Tongfeng] models).

    As far as not having drivers... always a possibility, but usually for bits like fingerprint drivers, not "core" parts of the PC. I've had very good results with Windows PCs converted to Linux other than that. It's not a deal-breaker... such a thing is trivial to me anyway, and I won't go out of my way to spec a laptop that has one vs. one that does not.

    "The PC maker may well not accept such incompatibilities as grounds for return..."

    Always buy from a vendor that allows free returns for any reason for at least 15 days (30 is better). Even on Windows machines you wish to keep that way (which is just plain weird, but to each his own). Until you try it personally, you simply do not know if there is going to be some characteristic of the unit that drives you crazy until you start using it in something close to the role for which you bought it.

    "and in any case, by the time you discover them, you may have removed or modified the pre-loaded OS and can't return the machine anyway."

    As Doctor Syntax commented, then you restore the backup you made before you did anything with the PC. (Surely you would not tell me you don't already do this as a matter of course!)

    I have bought bunches of Windows laptops and made them into Linux laptops, and this stuff is just part of the process. Always verify the return policy before buying, and image the drive (or swap it out with another) before making any modifications. With the last couple of laptops I have bought, I haven't had to do the disk image... I just removed the small, not-all-that-fast SSD with which it came and put in the huge, speedy one I wanted to use anyway.

    When buying a custom made PC, this is often cheaper than just specifying the correct size SSD from the beginning, if they even offer it, and I get my choice of drive rather than whatever one they decided to provide.

    As such, I do have a growing inventory of more or less new SSDs. External USB3 cases for SATA and NVMe drives are pretty cheap and make these little things useful again. I have one with that Windows thingamabob on it for the odd instance where a component of the system (touchpad, SSD, LCD panel, Thunderbolt adapter, etc.) needs a firmware update that is only offered in Windows .exe form (where a VM or WINE won't work). Had to use that to update all of the things in that list on Linux PCs, including the LCD panel firmware on my Dell XPS 13 to get rid of an annoying screen flicker on AC power, and this was on a laptop that came with Linux preinstalled. I didn't even know LCDs had updateable firmware until that!

  10. Fazal Majid

    Consider Starlabs

    Here in the UK Starlabs makes Linux laptops of their own design, not mere rebadged Clevos:

    https://starlabs.systems

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