I'm returning the System76 Galago Pro

I wrote about my System76 Galago Pro.

The System76 people made a lot of noises about helping me resolve the issues.

They shipped me a new keyboard for the Galago Pro. Sadly, all they shipped was the keyboard. No instructions on replacing it, etc.

So, I just spent the last 45 minutes taking apart my Galago Pro, just to realize that I'd have to remove every single connector including the motherboard to LCD connector to replace the keyboard.

This is just too much of a risk for me… to destroy a $1,400 computer in the hopes that the replacement keyboard wouldn't suck.

So, I'm returning the Galago Pro. I'll wait until the Haswell MacBook Pros are released and get one of those.

Some data points

In case you're wondering about the Galago Pro, here are some data points:

  • The Galago Pro is very fast for Scala-related work.
  • The Galago Pro has an excellent LCD screen. Not quite a Retina, but very nice
  • The Galago Pro has horrid battery life. About 2 1/2 hours. The Galago Pro uses about 15 watts at idle. Not sure why.
  • The Galago Pro will drain the battery overnight even in suspend mode.
  • The Galago Pro's trackpad… all synaptics trackpads… have a problem with multiple fingers. The standard "thumb to click" stuff doesn't work with the Linux trackpad drivers. Please see this article
  • The Galago Pro's case is as deep and tall as a MacBook Pro 15" and only 1 inch narrower… so it's not a small machine.
  • The Galago Pro's case is really junky.

My Calculus

I want to support Linux supporters. Buying from System76 was my default.

I am willing to pay a premium price for a premium machine because my time is more valuable than a couple of hundred dollars for a computer that I'll be using for the next 12 to 36 months (my MacBook Pro 15" is 30 months old now and it's still my primary development machine.)

I'd pay a significant premium to someone who actually supported a Linux box rather than the "just go to the forums" mentality. So, maybe System76 has the $1,000 "We Care" package and actually makes sure the drivers work and will do a 1 day turn-around on boxes that are not perfect… just like AppleCare.

Apple hardware is rock solid and AppleCare has always taken care of my machines when there's been a problem.

So, I'm willing to pay the $1,500 premium for the next generation MacBook Pro Retina over the Galago Pro because (1) I want a machine that will "just work" and when it doesn't the vendor will "just fix it" and (2) System76 doesn't do much in terms of drivers, so I'm pretty much on my own in the Linux forums anyway.

Sorry System76 dudes.