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HP Dev One laptop computer evaluation

After spending years within the tech house I could not all the time get excited for brand new gear, however sometimes a tool comes out that makes me utterly nerd out. As a Linux fanatic, I discover these random moments are fewer and farther in between. Whereas it’s the biggest software program undertaking on the earth, precise devoted {hardware} for the Linux desktop is scarce. HP hopes to resolve that with the brand new Dev One laptop computer.

Dell tipped its toes in the identical subject just a few years in the past, partnering with Ubuntu, however HP has gone a distinct route with a Denver-based firm we’ve coated earlier than: System76. This new co-op has yielded a surprisingly compelling machine for Linux customers.


System76 has been making {hardware} for over a decade working Linux, however a real first-tier OEM like HP merely ups the stakes right here. The Dev One stacks up in opposition to some other laptop computer in HP’s portfolio. The chassis is made out of magnesium alloy giving it a lightweight however sturdy building. You get no pointless creaks or flimsy moments when carrying this laptop computer round.

On either side, you’ve an array of ports together with a headphone jack and energy port. To the correct, the HP Dev One incorporates two USB-C ports able to each quick transfers but in addition charging. Additionally on the identical fringe of the laptop computer is a full-sized HDMI out and the talked about energy port.

On the alternative facet, the HP Dev One homes two USB-A inputs and the headphone jack. It’s also possible to safe your laptop computer in sure environments with the included Kensington lock.


HP didn’t maintain again on the display screen on the Dev One. It’s a shiny full HD show with 1920×1080 decision. You would possibly need to see a 4k display screen that many new laptops are getting, however actually, on a 14-inch display screen, I don’t suppose it’s a worthy improve. Linux struggles with tremendous hi-res and I’d a lot moderately have higher battery life.

In any other case, the display screen is implausible. The colours and textual content look nice and I’ve had zero points with transitions or bleed. One knock could be the shiny end. Personally, I want a matte show that will provide you with higher viewing angles, particularly exterior or close to home windows.


HP actually nailed this keyboard even with a singular format. The keys have a pleasant straightforward journey and clicky response. You possibly can simply knock out fast emails or write code with out subject.

The one delineation from regular layouts is the navigation keys. The Finish, Dwelling, Web page Down/Up, and delete keys are shifted to the far proper of the keyboard.

One distinctive constructive that I really feel was a deal breaker for System76 is the lacking “Home windows” key. Different producers that supply Linux as an possibility normally don’t swap these keys from no matter Home windows laptop computer the machine shares a platform with. Fortunately, the HP Dev One comes with a generic tremendous key as a substitute. It’s little particulars like this that can actually stand out to Linux trustworthy in making the acquisition.


Flanking the keyboard is a pair of upward-firing audio system on either side. These are surprisingly good. Like, among the greatest audio system I’ve ever heard from a laptop computer good.

I do know HP has a Bangs&Olufsen contract on most of the Home windows laptops, and regardless that these aren’t branded as such, no matter tuning HP has completed right here is rather well completed.


HP has included a category trackpad with the Dev One. This makes for a terrific consumer expertise with straightforward maneuvering across the OS with no resistance. It is without doubt one of the higher trackpads I’ve used on a laptop computer lately. It’s not the largest however it’s effectively constructed.

HP has additionally determined to ensure “legacy” customers are represented right here as effectively with the Thinkpad-inspired rubber mouse discovered simply above the “B” key. Paired with the devoted left and proper mouse buttons on the high of the trackpad and old-school laptop computer nerds will really feel proper at dwelling with this different mouse setup.

Software program

The software program powering the HP Dev One is named Pop!_OS. We’ve coated this earlier than with the Lemur Professional evaluation, so I received’t go into stringent element, however it’s value a refresh to say some new issues.

The final time we coated it, System76 had simply began improvement and it borrowed closely from the prevailing Linux desktop surroundings GNOME. Pop! has since advanced into one thing rather more distinctive.

The OS is now very a lot a product of System76. Throughout the setup and after logging within the first time, you’ve a way more strong and extendable surroundings than present in GNOME. You have got devoted settings for gestures, how the docks are offered, whether or not you need to decrease and maximize buttons, and a lot extra.

System76 has made certain that each novice customers and consultants are represented with very granular controls of Pop!_OS.

It may be somewhat overwhelming however System76 has completed a terrific job of balancing that professional to intermediate expertise. If you wish to activate tiling home windows and all of the bells and whistles to be a developer you’ll be able to. You possibly can simply as simply go together with all of the defaults and have a strong expertise as effectively.

Battery life

Battery life could be the one spot I struggled with the HP Dev One. In my thoughts, any trendy laptop computer not able to 10 hours is a missed alternative. Right here the Dev One merely falls quick. I noticed a variety of outcomes, however by no means greater than eight hours of endurance. Throughout most of my classes, it was lower than this at someplace between six and perhaps seven hours of battery life.

With units like the brand new M-series Macbooks being the closest rivals for the HP Dev One, this must be higher. These new fashions are all above 10 hours of complete utilization with battery to spare. Even one thing like my older Dell XPS or Latitude constantly surpasses the battery life HP has right here.


HP and System76 have completed a fabulous job of partnering on the Dev One laptop computer. The businesses have created a top-tier {hardware} expertise actually powered by the Linux group and Pop!_OS. Regardless of among the shortcomings, I can’t consider a greater mixture for Linux customers in the mean time. The Lemur Professional, additionally from System76, is the one factor shut in my thoughts, however you don’t get fairly the construct high quality HP has within the Dev One.

Even pricing is fairly rattling good. HP solely presents one SKU possibility in the mean time with the identical 16GB of RAM and 1TB of arduous drive storage. I had zero points with efficiency with this package deal, however the RAM can simply be upgraded later if wanted. Your complete package deal could be had for under $1099 from HP’s devoted web site for the Dev One.

In case you are out there for a laptop computer and also you need a first-tier Linux expertise, the Dev One must be in your procuring record.

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