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System76 Refreshes Kudu Linux Laptop With Ryzen 9 5900HX and RTX 3060 Combo

System76 Kudu
(Image credit: System76)

Colorado-based Linux laptop, desktop and server specialist, System76, has launched a refreshed version of its popular Kudu portable. The new System76 Kudu laptop (model Kudu6), offers entry-to-mid tier 2021 gaming laptop prowess (Ryzen 9 5900HX, GeForce RTX 3060) but at a pretty steep premium vs more modern and powerful Windows-based alternatives, starting at $1,799. However, it may appeal to Linux Ubuntu devotees who wish for a portable multitasking workhorse with some afterhours gaming thrown in.

In a brief press release, Ben Shpurker, the company's Product Manager, described the key features of the new Kudu laptop as the combination of "the latest in AMD mobile computing with discrete Nvidia graphics." System76 has only just made it past the line with the first claim, as there have already been leaks / spottings of AMD 6000 series laptops in the wild.

(Image credit: System76)

To be positive about the chunky (2.9cm, 1.14 inches) no-brand gaming laptop aesthetic machine, the claims regarding multitasking utility value, and creating on the go are supported by both the 16C/32T processor and the quad-display support offered by the Kudu. With this 15.6-inch FHD laptop, which supports up to 64GB RAM, and up to 4TB of SSD storage, you will find three video outputs (HDMI, mini DisplayPort and USB-C) to boost your screen real estate beyond the bounds of the  built-in 144Hz display. 

Processor

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX: 3.3 up to 4.6 GHz - 8 Cores - 16 Threads

Display

15.6 inch 1920×1080 FHD Matte Finish, 144Hz

Graphics

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

Memory

Up to 64GB DDR4-3200
Base model: 8GB DDR4-3200

Storage

2 x M.2 SSD (PCIe NVMe). Up to 4TB total.
Base model: 240GB M.2 SSD

Expansion

1× USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1× USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1× USB 2.0 Type-A

Input

Multitouch Clickpad, Multi-Color Backlit US QWERTY Keyboard

Networking

2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5

Video Ports

1 × Mini DisplayPort 1.4, 1 × HDMI(w/HDCP), 1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C w/ DisplayPort 1.4

Audio

Stereo Speakers, 1 × Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack, 1 × Microphone Jack

Power

Li-Ion - 48.96Wh battery, 230W, AC-in 100–240V, 50–60Hz charger

Dimensions

14.21 x 10.16 x 1.14 inches (36.09 × 25.81 × 2.90cm), 4.85 lbs (2.20kg)

OS installed

Pop!_OS 21.10 (64-bit), Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS (64-bit), or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (64-bit)

One of the other major aspects of the System76 Kudu is that it is delivered with your choice of Ubuntu or Pop!_OS, the company's own Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. It must be noted at this point that Phoronix reports that the RTX 3060 is the only display option with its Kudu laptop, and that the iGPU built into the 5900HX appears to be disabled.

(Image credit: System76)

One might find the System76 Kudu appealing on its own merits, and for its likely excellent Linux support starting from the press of the power button. However, the chunky design harkens back to gaming laptops of yesteryear, and, for the same amount of money, you could buy one of the best gaming laptops instead.

If you are interested in an RTX 3060 laptop, check out our recent article discussing all the models you can buy right now.

Mark Tyson
Mark Tyson

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.