Linux users like to game, too, and the Juno Neptune 17-inch V3 laptop announced this week ensures that people on Ubuntu can play their favorite titles on the go.
Keeping up with the Alienwares, Asus ROGs, and other Windows-focused gaming brands, the new portable packs up to an RTX 3080 discrete graphics card and the 8-core Intel Core i7-11800H. And it lets you experience all the action on a spacious, 17.3-inch screen with a 144 Hz refresh rate. A colorfully backlit keyboard completes the package.
Juno Computers is a London-based company that focuses exclusively on systems with Ubuntu preinstalled. It sells both desktops and laptops, including gaming and non-gaming options. The brand also sells a few 15-inchers with 240 Hz screens, (including the Neptune 15-inch V3 released alongside this 17-inch version), but the new Neptune 17-inch V3 is the company’s priciest system.
The laptop starts at $2,225 for an RTX 3070 and goes up to $3,372 for the max amount of RAM and storage (64GB and 2TB, respectively). The same maxed-out system with an RTX 3080 goes for $3,699. Note that both graphics cards use Nvidia’s Max-Q form factor, which enables thinner systems but can cause a small performance reduction. On the plus side, the Neptune 17-inch V3 is only 0.78 inches thick, which is pretty trim for a gaming laptop.
Hunting for a 17-inch laptop with an RTX 3080
So how does this galactic clamshell stack up against Windows-based counterparts? I tried to find a 17-inch Alienware to compare against the Neptune, but the RTX 3080 version seems to be out of stock. This was also the case with Asus’ 17-inch RTX 3080 options.
I did find a pair of available RTX 3080-powered 17-inchers from MSI and Gigabyte, but 300 Hz screens increase their price. The MSI GS76 Stealth starts at $3,020.99. And that’s with only 32GB of RAM. The Gigabyte laptop has half the RAM and storage as the Neptune and starts at $2,149 after rebate.
PC gamers have been battling the GPU shortage for over a year. Buying prebuilt systems is still one of the easiest ways to get your hands on current-gen parts. And in general, the 17-inch form factor seems to get less attention than the 15-inch versions, so it’s nice to see Linux users get a new 17-inch gaming laptop, too.
Of course, there are even more options. System76’x Oryx Pro is already $3,907 with the same specs as the maxed-out Neptune 17-inch V3, but it also lets you add additional storage, a DVD drive, and mechanical keyboards.