HP’s Latest Linux laptop sees the computer maker collaborating with former competitor (or at least, another Linux laptop maker) System76. Seems like an odd combo, considering System76 makes its own competing laptops, but the collaboration works.
The Dev One is a very nice looking Linux machine that packs enough of a punch for developers or creatives without hitting top laptop prices. Even more impressive is the work that HP and System76 have done to make Linux work perfectly with the AMD chipset.
The combination of HP’s hardware capabilities and industry experience with System76’s Pop!_OS desktop has produced the best general-purpose Linux laptop you can buy right now.
In a refreshing change from the way most laptops are sold these days, there’s only one Dev One model. Another nice touch is that it has a dedicated website, which makes ordering simple. Dell, are you listening?
The Dev One costs $1,100, which gets you a 14-inch laptop with a 1,000 nit 1080p display, an AMD Ryzen 7 5850 chip, integrated Radeon graphics, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and an NVMe M.2 2280 SSD. of 1 terabyte. RAM and SSD are user upgradeable (RAM support caps at 64 gigabytes). Getting into components is simple. There are only five screws between you and the upgrades you want to make. The closest Windows version of that same laptop scores a 9 out of 10 on iFixit’s repairability scale.
As the name suggests, the Dev One is aimed at the developer audience, much like Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition. Despite the names, these are really just laptops with Linux pre-installed. The Dev One will work well for almost any task, developer-related or otherwise. Don’t let the word “developer” in the name put you off if you’re not one.
That said, I put the Dev One through some developer-like tasks. I set up a Python development environment, which was no problem, thanks to the extensive repositories offered by Pop!_OS, and performed benchmark tests focused on development tasks (i.e. i.e. CPU and RAM intensive tasks). The Dev One worked well for all of these things. 4K video editing was not left out either, thanks to this AMD chip. If benchmarks are your thing, take a look at the tests published by Phoronix on OpenBenchmarking.org. The results are impressive. The Dev One circles around many of its Intel-based competitors.
I’ll be honest – when the Dev One first arrived, I wasn’t immediately impressed. The design is conservative, which I guess suits the developer audience. It’s not unattractive, it’s just not remarkable. This is not XPS 13 (8/10, WIRED recommends) in terms of design. Still, the Dev One feels very well built and is very portable at 3.24 pounds. It’s thicker than the slimmer options, but one thing I like is how easy it is to open. There’s nothing worse than a laptop you’ve opened with a fingernail, but the Dev One has plenty of space, thanks to its beveled front edge.