System76 Pangolin makes for a nice all-AMD Linux laptop review


I’ve spent the past few weeks testing the latest System76 Pangolin laptop, which has proven itself as a pure AMD 15-inch laptop running the company’s increasingly popular Pop!_OS Linux distribution.

System76 Pangolin laptop

The System76 Pangolin features an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U “Rembrandt” SoC with integrated Radeon 680M graphics. The 7800U offers 8 cores/16 threads for this Zen 3 + RDNA2 design with clock speeds up to 4.7 GHz. System76 only recently introduced this Pangolin theme, which is a bit unfortunate given the number of AMD Phoenix laptops expected to launch in the coming weeks/months. That would be my biggest disappointment for the device launching this year and coming so close to next-gen AMD laptops launching with Zen 4 CPU cores and RDNA3 graphics. Either way, the Ryzen 7 6800U remains a very capable mobile processor, but for those always on the lookout for the latest and greatest, the timing is a bit unfortunate.

System76 Pangolin lid closed

The System76 Pangolin features a 15-inch 1080p display, and what makes it even more interesting is that it has a 144Hz refresh rate. This laptop supports up to two NVMe M.2 SSDs and up to 32GB of LPDDR5-6400 storage.

System76 Pangolin keyboard

System76 Pangolin connectivity includes three USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, an SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 and HDMI 2.0. The connectivity variety is great, especially since the device still has a physical HDMI 2.0 port as well as Gigabit Ethernet compared to many ultra-thin designs that forgo these ports. There’s also a Kensington lock slot on this laptop, which is nice to look at for frequent travelers or in shared work environments.

System76 Pangolin ports on the left

The webcam with the Pangolin is a 1.0 MP 720p HD web camera that isn’t particularly fancy but gets the job done. The Pangolin relies on a 65-watt keg charger, which comes standard in the box. It would be great if System76 would default to USB Type-C charging on their future models, but unfortunately still the legacy charger, while the Pangolin supports Type-C charging. I’ve had some issues with Type-C charging, particularly when using various Dell USB-C chargers, but System76 is investigating the issue and may only affect this review unit.

System76 Pangolin ports on the right

The System76 Pangolin (pang12) measures 37 x 24.7 x 1.8 cm and weighs 1.79 kg. By default, Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS ran on the Pangolin, while System76 also offers Ubuntu 22.04 LTS as an option.

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