Bonobo Extreme Review – System76

  • System76 was kind enough to send me their top of the line Bonobo laptop to review.

    Hardware & Aesthetics

    The review laptop isn’t fully maxed out on specs, but never the less, it is still rocking some pretty sweet internals. Some of the specs of the review laptop include:

    – 17.3″ 1080p Full High Definition LED Backlit Display with Glossy Surface ( 1920 x 1080 )
    – nVidia GeForce GTX 680M with 4 GB GDDR5 Memory and 1344 CUDA Cores
    – 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3740QM Processor ( 2.70GHz 6MB L3 Cache – 4 Cores plus Hyperthreading )
    – 8 GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz – 2 X 4GB
    – 60 GB Intel 520 Series SATA III 6 Gb/s Solid State Disk Drive

    Before we go any further, right up front, we need to mention this is a monster of a laptop. It is in no way, shape or form, a small laptop. It measures in at 16.5″ x 11.54″ x 1.55~1.96″ (WxDxH) and weighs 8.6lbs. Because of it’s size and weight, I don’t classify it as a laptop per say, but more of a desktop replacement.

    The laptop’s chasis is plastic, with a mat black finish. It is well built and should hold up well over time. The fan grills give the laptop a cool overall design. I like to think if Batman had a laptop in his Tumbler, this would be it. The laptop has every port you could ever need including SD Card Reader, HDMI 1.4a, Display Port 1.2, Ethernet, eSata USB 2.0 Combo Port, 4 x USB 3.0 (1 powered), 1 x USB 2.0, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack, Line In Jack, and S/PDIF Output.

    Like I mentioned above, the laptop features a 17.3″ Full HD LED Backlit Display, with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The display itself is amazing. The color accuracy is great, with good black levels. This laptop is great for content viewing and creating. Graphic designers would love the display. I was also really impressed with the sound quality of the laptop. It puts out the most sound I have ever seen, in any laptop. It’s built in subwoofer is great for watching movies.

    The laptop’s touchpad is very spacious. I disabled edge scrolling, in System Settings, because I am not that talented, to have certain parts of the touchpad do different things. A big feature of the laptop; however, is above the touchpad. The Bonobo Extreme features a backlit keyboard, which allows you to use the laptop, even in the dark. Not only is the keyboard backlit, but there are several colors to easily toggle between, and at different brightness levels.

    Of course I used the keyboard in purple. :)

    The keyboard is easy to type on, with no discomfort. The only gripes I have with the keyboard is, it is not chicklet style, and there is a Windows key. With the Pangolin Performance laptop, System76 replaced the Windows key, with an Ubuntu one.


    The performance on the Bonobo Extreme is amazing! It’s Intel 520 SSD really helps make everything fly. I did alot of tests, pinning it next to my Leopard Extreme from System76. It was pretty much a tie with everything. =It runs very quiet, except when doing CPU intensive task, when the fan would kicks up. Even then, it isn’t that loud. Despite all the power under the hood of this laptop, it runs very cool. I experienced no heat issues at all. It’s really impressive. The laptop performed very well in every category, but I did notice the laptop battery does suffer. Even just casual web browsing, the battery lasted maybe 2 hours.


    No doubt, the Bonobo Extreme is a great machine. I wouldn’t mind having one myself. With that being said, a consumer needs to take the size into account. I don’t see this being a laptop you want to be carrying around alot of the time. To me, this laptop would mostly be tethered to a desk. With being tethered to a desk, it makes you wonder, do you still want a “laptop”? You can get matching performance with the Leopard Extreme, which would allow for easier upgrades down the line, if you chose to do so.


    – Great display
    – Great audio
    – Color changing keyboard


    – Size
    – Battery life

    You can find the Bonobo Extreme on System76’s website here. If you have any questions about the laptop, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

    About System76

    System76 has been manufacturing laptops, desktops, and servers, with Ubuntu preinstalled, since 2005.  Their systems feature the highest quality materials and components.  System76 thoroughly tests their systems to work flawlessly with Ubuntu, as well as, strives to provide leading support and superior customer service.  You can find System76 online at:

    and on their social networks:

    Twitter: @System76


    January 4th, 2013 | Joe Steiger | 7 Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Joe Steiger

The owner and chief editor of Ubuntu user, android fanatic, tech enthusiast, Baltimore Ravens fan,...

  • I can’t wait to have one :)

  • marco

    Yes. I’d rather like such a laptop because I’m living with my family in a 2 rooms flat, place is running out and also there’s no fixed place for a PC. Plus, we can take it with us the few times we travel around.

  • tenleftfingers

    I prefer the physical layout of using a desktop machine (monitor and keyboard separate), but my MacBook comes on as soon as I open it and makes waiting for boot seem like waiting for a kettle to boil. How is suspend/hibernate on this I wonder?

  • Anonanon

    This sounds awesome, but what Linux program would I run that requires that much power? If someone knows a way I can play Crysis, Hitman, and Diablo 3 on Linux with out going into a virtual machine ill line up to get one. Otherwise it’s a really awesome pice of unnecessarily overpowered awesomeness that I don’t need.

  • Blender 3D?

  • ra

    how large is the power brick, and has anyone tried to see if it’s hackintoshable? :)

  • pretty big