Get yourself some water and a napkin because this is a drool-fest. Gizmodo eat your heart out.

I stirred up quite a bit of excitement with my previous post concerning a new System76 laptop prototype that I spotted at my CoLoCo presentation to NCLUG. I am now able to release some of the backstory and details.

A few days before the presentation I emailed Carl from System76 with my dream specs for a laptop. He replied the same day that he had just gotten a prototype of their new machine that matched my specs to the letter minus a DVI-out connection. Carl brought it up to the presentation. I was so impressed I, like others, asked when I could put my order in. I shot Carl an email the next day and he did something special. As many of you know System76 is not only a big Ubuntu supporter but they also very much support LoCo teams. I’m fortunate enough to be currently running the LoCo where System76 resides. As a special favour he allowed me to place an order before the company was tooled up to take regular customer orders on this new model. I thought, “wow, that’s really nice!” so I put in my order about a week ago expecting it to be mid-February when the first production run completed and I would take possession.

Imagine my surprise when Carl called me today, Saturday, and told me my laptop was ready. System76 did a final production ready test run this week and Carl was able to snag me one of those machine. (You rock Carl!) I understand they are still tooling up the manufacturing floor (and their website) to handle this new model so right now I am the luckiest geek on the planet for about two more weeks. :-)

If you follow the System76 Board on the Ubuntu Forums, you’ll know that System76 has recently announced updated specs for many of their Ubuntu laptops in the last week or so. Be sure to check those out when you are done reading here.

Ok, I can’t keep stalling. Here’s what I know of Specs and Pricing. I don’t have all of the details but I will tell you what I believe I know. Keep in mind this could change or I could be flat out wrong.

  • It’s a laptop
  • It’s call the Darter
  • Base model is under $1000 USD
  • Weighs a smidgen over 4 pounds
  • It’s 3.5 cm thick at the widest point
  • 13″-ish display
  • 5 hours of battery life, probably more if wifi and bluetooth are disabled and CPU scaling turned on
  • Should be available to the public in the next two to four weeks.

My machine (which is probably mid-way above the base model):

  • Core 2 Duo T7200 2.0GHz 4MB 667FSB
  • 1.5 GB DDR2 667 MHz
  • 60 GB 7200 RPM
  • Intel 802.11 a/b/g Wireless
  • Bluetooth
  • SD Card slot
  • Intel 945GM
  • CPU scaling works
  • Network manager works
  • Suspend/Hibernate works
  • It screams compared to my 3ghz P4.
  • I told my wife I’m sleeping with my Darter tonight.

Thumbnails – Click for 800×600 res (so much for my bandwidth)

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Perspective Shot against my workstation:

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Edit: This story has been dugg and also hit News 2.0