System76’s latest Linux laptop combines one of AMD’s most powerful 5000-series mobile CPUs with Nvidia’s mid-range RTX 3060. Configurable up to $3,442, the Kudu targets Linux users who have a lot of work to do, while quietly running. nods to those who like to play a game every now and then.
The 15.6-inch Kudu is the second most expensive offering in System76’s laptop family. It comes with an octa-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, which has a base clock of 3.3GHz and boosts to 4.6GHz.
It’s worth noting that AMD announced its next-generation mobile chips, the Ryzen 6000 series, last month and that laptops should be arriving with those chips soon. Options are more limited in the Linux space, but for a quick comparison, the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX has the same clock speed as its last-gen counterpart, but with a higher boost to 4.9GHz and more graphics cores (12 vs 8).
The RTX 3060 handles graphics as System76 focuses the clamshell on creative content and multitasking. But the System76 may also be ready for some gaming after the work is done. The 1920×1080 display has a 144Hz refresh rate and storage via two NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSDs, which can be increased to 4TB, with sequential read and write speeds of up to 3,500MBps and 3,300MBps, respectively.
In addition, DDR4-3200 desktop-grade RAM up to 64 GB is across two channels. There’s even a “multi-color backlit” keyboard (although System76 didn’t provide any images), so you can look good.
However, you can find cheaper Windows-based gaming laptops with comparable power. And in its base configuration, the Kudu has 8GB of memory and only 240GB of storage, but it’s still a pricey $1,800.
Connectivity can disappoint, as there is no Thunderbolt 4, as in System76’s Oryx Pro. Instead, the Kudu comes with USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C and A, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, USB 2.0 Type-A, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI, and two audio jacks. There’s also Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.
In addition to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) and 20.04 LTS, you could get the Kudu with System76’s native Linux distribution, Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS. Both options will cost the same.