Entroware :-)

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Entroware :-)

Postby Triviadave » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:33 pm

Earlier this year I was looking for a new laptop, and following the review in LV 11, I thought I would try the Entroware Proteus. It seemed to match my requirements: Linux compatible, smallish, decent graphics and reasonably powerful. I spent a couple of weeks umming and ahhing, and failing to make a decision before eventually taking the plunge and ordering one.

My initial thoughts were very positive, it looks great, has a nice keyboard, is very quick to boot up and run everything I want, and it runs Civ V very nicely (it looks great at 3200 * 1800 by the way :D ).
A week or so later a friend saw the laptop and asked about it. He wanted a windows one (he had previously tried Ubuntu and had had several issues which meant he didn't want to try it again - no matter how nice it looked and performed). I had a look around and found a virtually identically specced laptop (from the same case to the same graphics card, CPU etc, etc) from PC Specialist, you could even buy it without an OS - but it was much cheaper (they had some offers on at the time, but even ignoring them, it would have been between £100 - £150 cheaper) than from Entroware. The main differences were that the Entroware laptop was designed to run Linux, and it already had Ubuntu installed, so some of the components may have been different.

I began to regret my decision a little. Then, recently, I started noticing a couple of problems, first the display would occasionally freeze (usually whilst doing something graphically intensive), and then the headphone jack seemed to stop working. I had a bit of a search, but couldn't find much about either problem, and I began to regret my decision even more.

Eventually I decided to contact Entroware. I should have done that right from the start. I got a very fast reply, about fifteen minutes after my email, which asked me a few questions to clarify the faults, and included hyperlinks to the bug fixes for them. Following the advice my laptop now seems to be running perfectly, no graphical issues, and a working headphone jack. I also no longer regret using Entroware. Yes, they are more expensive, but the customer support has been great and they are committed to supporting Linux. As has been mentioned in another post on these forums, I was kept informed of the production process as the laptop was configured, and when it arrived everything just worked. Added to that, knowing the quality of the customer service, I would happily pay the premium to use Entroware again.

Thanks to LV for bringing Entroware to my attention, and thanks to Entroware for the great product and support.

Dave
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Re: Entroware :-)

Postby shaddack » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:25 pm

Hi

Interesting. I'm also looking around for a new laptop. This Entroware Proteus seems to be good value for money. At the moment the Dell XPS 13 is on top of my wish list though, but that one costs a bit more for the same performance. But it's lighter and smaller.

Any other recommendations of laptops with good Linux support with screens of maximum 13.3"?
Current distro: openSUSE 13.2
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Re: Entroware :-)

Postby ge79so » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:58 am

I bought an Acer Travelmate from eBay (P633-M with i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, which I upgraded to a Crucial SSD hard drive) - which I can thoroughly recommend - it runs Ubuntu as flawlessly as Ubuntu runs :p and is a pleasure to use, overall cost about £550. The only thing some may not like is that the battery is shaped to provide a slight incline to the keyboard. I find it makes typing easier (and the keyboard is excellent) but it might be difficult to find 13.3" laptop sleeves which will accommodate the battery "bulge" as it were - it's still pretty sleek though.
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Re: Entroware :-)

Postby mickburkesnr » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:02 am

Mostly through the LV magazine and the forum I've seen good things about Entroware. I'm currently using a ThinkPad T500 and it's getting to the point where it will need replacing. I've seen the Proteus and may end up purchasing it, but would snap their hand off if they offered the Orion with an nVidia Graphics Card. I think the Orion looks sleeker, but hey I'm using a ThinkPad my style choices are questionable :)
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Re: Entroware :-/

Postby linux_trade » Sun May 15, 2016 6:17 pm

I had purchased a laptop from Entroware as I liked the key selling point of Linux-specific technical support. Their tech support did answer most of the messages I sent them before paying the order. However, they did not answer any of the messages I sent them after the laptop was delivered. The laptop had some hardware compatibility issues with Ubuntu 14.04, which I eventually managed to resolve or work around.

In other words, exactly the same could be purchased from pcspecialist 150 pounds cheaper and with the original 3 years of warranty, not 1. But who knew.

A few months later I upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04 and one compatibility issue resolved but a couple others popped up. I have just left another note through the "contact us" form on the Entroware web-site, let's see if they respond this time.

It seems to be wrong that on the Entroware web-site there is no forum for the feedback, so you are left to guess know much the previous customers were satisfied with the product.
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Re: Entroware :-)

Postby knoppix84 » Mon May 16, 2016 2:52 am

linux_trade wrote:In other words, exactly the same could be purchased from pcspecialist 150 pounds cheaper and with the original 3 years of warranty, not 1. But who knew.


I have actually been researching the entroware apollo over the past few months and noticed that pcspecialist sold the same machine for £100 cheaper. So I purchased it from pcspecialist. THAT WAS A MISTAKE! After taking ages to get the machine to me and 3 failed deliveries due to an incorrect address, :evil: I got the laptop, the backlit keyboard was not functioning, and the screen flickering every now and then, this was very disappointing. After filing an RMA they took 3 weeks to get the laptop back to me which they had promised was fully functional now. The flickering did not go away, so i delved deeper and found that their was issues with the panel in the laptop from them so I had no choice but to return it. I have since purchased one from entrowar and have had 0 issues. It did take around 2 weeks to get the machine but atleast it was what i wanted in the end.

TLDR: paying the extra is indeed worth it to know it will work out of the box.

I have not yet personally used their customer service but my collogue had an issue with their desktop from them and she was quickly helped.
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Re: Entroware :-)

Postby mickburkesnr » Fri May 27, 2016 11:02 am

knoppix84 wrote:TLDR: paying the extra is indeed worth it to know it will work out of the box.


Cheap is always expensive.
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Re: Entroware :-)

Postby DJM » Tue May 31, 2016 11:01 am

Good to hear a positive story about a linux hardware vendor. Personally, I love Thinkpads, and they have traditionally been fairly good with linux support. However, you can't buy them without an OS (at least not in the UK), and they're expensive. Also, skylake needs a bit of sorting out. Nonetheless, I still think Thinkpads are the ultimate linux laptop - they're tough, reliable, have great keyboards, easily expandable (well looking at the X260, T460s and T460 mainly) and of course, have a trackpoint.
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Re: Entroware :-)

Postby mickburkesnr » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:45 am

DJM wrote:Good to hear a positive story about a linux hardware vendor. Personally, I love Thinkpads, and they have traditionally been fairly good with linux support. However, you can't buy them without an OS (at least not in the UK), and they're expensive. Also, skylake needs a bit of sorting out. Nonetheless, I still think Thinkpads are the ultimate linux laptop - they're tough, reliable, have great keyboards, easily expandable (well looking at the X260, T460s and T460 mainly) and of course, have a trackpoint.


Totally agree with this. I replaced my T500 with an Asus laptop last year. I hadn't moved everything from the ThinkPad so I go back to it the odd time to recover some files, and it's like scratching an itch when typing on that keyboard. It's a great workhorse, and it puts the Asus to shame unfortunately especially with it's Linux support.

The one caveat I have though is the ThinkPad Edge range. Avoid them, they're horrible. Nasty to type on, nasty mouse input.
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Re: Entroware :-/

Postby linux_trade » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:34 am

Let me share more experience with Entroware to follow up my earlier post.

Soon after my previous post Entroware support started to respond to emails and we had exchanged a few. I spent a few evenings testing different Ubuntu flavours and releases and managed to figure out which problems were specific to Xubuntu and which were not.

First, it turns out, when you install Ubuntu Linux 16.04 from Xubuntu DVD, the installer manages to mess the package selection (or X configuration) up in a way to cause issues with video. This is my best guess. For that specific video issue the tech support had provided a workaround, which was a relief.

We also had a 2-way discussion about an annoying bug with the AC-3160 wireless card, which I eventually had hunted down to one bug in Ubuntu 14.04 and another in 16.04 and figured out how to work around both. I have shared my findings with Entroware support.

There was also a kernel bug that would keep a CPU core 100% busy and spend the battery quickly, but, unfortunately, about that specific problem I had asked a few times and never received a response. Fortunately, an upstream (kernel.org or Debian or Ubuntu) had eventually resolved that bug on their own so I had a working laptop away from mains when I needed it.

To sum it up, it helps to talk to Entroware tech support having reproduced the problem on a Ubuntu release they say they support. That said, it does not always guarantee a solution from them. That said, the solution may be elsewhere.

This is my personal opinion based on my personal experience with Entroware "Apollo" laptop.
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