System76 Pangolin (2023) review: AMD Ryzen powerhouse

System76 Pangolin (2023) review: AMD Ryzen powerhouse
(4.2)
System76 Pangolin Review (2023 model)
Overall
4.2
  • Build Quality
    (4)
  • Display
    (3.5)
  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Battery
    (5)
  • Price
    (4)

Summary

This Ryzen 7 powered laptop has a generous amount of ports, a 16″ matte screen with anti-glare, and even a kill switch for the webcam to secure yourself from snooping hackers

Pros

  • Powerful Internals
  • Light and Durable
  • Runs Linux with mainstream support 
  • Physical kill switches for camera and internet connection 

Cons

  • Some Niche, industry specific software may not have a Linux version
  • Sacrifices Unibody build for upgrade-able internals

The AMD Powered, Ultra portable laptop is internally upgradable and more than powerful for anything from everyday to extensive tasks.

System76, a tech company known for offering easy to use, open-source technologies to the masses has sent us the Pangolin (2023 model) for review.

This Ryzen 7 powered laptop has a generous amount of ports, a 16″ matte screen with anti-glare, and even a kill switch for the webcam to secure yourself from snooping hackers.

While you can get the Pangolin directly from the System76′ website, we’ve taken the Pangolin (2023 model) through its paces. Keep reading to see our conclusions of this highly capable laptop below.

Design: Big Screen and Ports Galore

The Pangolin has a 16-inch anti-reflective matte screen, with a generous port selection including a barrel AC/DC power port – although the Pangolin can be charged through USB-C. There’s an HDMI port for external monitors, although the USB-C port is Thunderbolt 4 enabled. For those wanting analog audio, a 3.5mm headphone jack exists.

On the left side of the laptop is a full-size SD card reader, a Lexington lock slot, and a 3rd USB-A 3.0 port. Check out the full spec sheet below:

Full Specs

SpecsSystem76 Pangolin
OSPop!_OS 22.04 LTS of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 7 7840U
CPU8 Cores – 16 threads
3.3up to 5.10 Ghz
GPUAMD Radeon 780M
RAM32 GB LPDDR5 @ 6400 Mhz
Display16″ 1920×1080 FHD, Matte Finish,60 Hz
Storage2 x M.2 SSD (PCIe NVMe) Up to 16TB Total
Expansion3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, SD Card Reader
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet, WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Video PortsHDMI 2.0, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C w/ DisplayPort 1.4
AudioStereo duel-driver full-range speakers, 1x headphone/microphone combo
Camera1MP 720p HD Webcam
SecurityKensington Lock, Hardware Camera Kill Switch
BatteryLi-Ion – 70 Wh
Dimensions14.59″ x 9.76″ x 0.71 (37.06 x 24.79 x 1.80 cm)
Modelpang14
PriceStarting at $1,299.00
System76

A new way to compute: Pop_OS!

Running a customized distro of Linux named Pop_OS!, (made in-house by System76) it has one of the most commercially assessable operating systems that’s not Windows or MacOS.

From a design standpoint, Pop_OS! has a similar feel to MacOS with its Unix-like interface. For those familiar with Linux – it’s interface derives from the GNOME flavor of Ubuntu Linux, but you can easily install different distro shells (UIs) on top of the Pop_OS! Linux Kernel.

The Pop_OS! App Drawer

We’re reserving our final take of Pop_OS! In a separate review article, but I will state here that Pop_OS! Is probably the most user friendly version of Linux that ships from a manufacturer out the box. System76 also promises lifetime support for your OS when you purchase one of their devices.

The Pop_OS! settings menu, About Device tab

It may take some re-adjusting and you may have to find open-source alternatives to proprietary software packages you need to use; But if you’ve ever used Linux before, you’d be surprised at how far it has come along in 2024.

Conclusion

The 2023 model of the Pangolin has some significant improvements over the 2022 model, mostly in the upgraded CPU and GPU, .Those looking for more dedicated graphics might want to look at the Oryx Pro; or the Darter Pro if you want a even lighter, Intel-powered laptop in the System76 lineup.

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