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System76 refresh the Adder WS laptop, plus COSMIC desktop Alpha in May

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Some exciting news for System76 fans here as not only have they now released the powerful refresh of the Adder WS laptop, but their COSMIC desktop environment is also approaching an Alpha release.

First up, the Adder WS, what System76 call their "career-starter of a laptop" with a HX-class Intel i9 CPU (now 14th Gen), NVIDIA 40 Series graphics, DDR5 RAM and PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage and Pop!_OS preinstalled. Starting at $1,749 it should cover pretty much everything you could need:

  • Intel Core i9-14900HX CPU.
  • Up to NVIDIA RTX 4070 graphics, RTX 4050 base model.
  • Up to 96GB RAM, 16GB DDR5 base model.
  • 1080p matte display, 144Hz refresh rate.
  • Up to 12TB storage, 500GB PCIe4 M.2 SSD base model.
  • 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, HDMI, and headset jack.

See more on the System76 store.

Additionally they announced in a blog post that their COSMIC desktop now has an Alpha version due sometime in late May, after missing their initial plan for the end of Q1 and two alpha releases are currently planned. They're finishing up their Terminal and Text Editor, with significant progress on Files and the Application Store also done. 

Font rendering quality was also improved, especially for dark text on a light background which they said is "thanks to the upstream iced toolkit’s new color management" (iced is a cross-platform GUI library for Rust) and that "The web-colors feature uses the same methods to render colors as web browsers":

Pictured: Image comparing font rendering quality in light mode between COSMIC Edit with (right) and without (left) iced's web-colors color management feature.

Numerous parts of COSMIC are finished including hybrid graphics support, minimize and restore, wallpapers, a tiling applet, input device settings and so on. Some other new recent additions include theming support for dark mode, light mode and user-configured accent colours.

The full release of the COSMIC desktop is still on target for later this year along with Pop!_OS 24.04.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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I'm a massive KDE fanboy, but the Cosmic Desktop looks like it could have a lot of potential.
Jarmer Mar 15
Quoting: TruckStopSantaClausI'm a massive KDE fanboy, but the Cosmic Desktop looks like it could have a lot of potential.

Same here. Very much interested in how it turns out. My htpc runs on popos, so I'll have to update to it there and see how it is.
I use window managers and normally have zero interest in desktops, but a lot of what I have seen of COSMIC makes it look like I can actually just use it as a window manager. That makes me interested, because Wayland + nvidia is still a nightmare that I would like somebody to solve for me (or better yet, if AMD can manage to release competitive graphics cards this year I will ditch nvidia).
pilk Mar 15
I'm really excited to see what happens with COSMIC. The way Pop!_OS configures GNOME is really nice and makes it usable, but I swapped to using a distro with KDE as even with Sys76's much-needed improvements, GNOME still isn't for me.
If COSMIC can make an experience like Pop!_OS, just with more customization options, that would be a great desktop for me.
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