HP Dev One – Review of a great mature AMD Ryzen Linux laptop

Earlier this month, the HP Dev One was unveiled as an interesting collaboration between HP and System76 for a laptop optimized for Linux developers and running System76’s Ubuntu-based operating system, Pop!_OS. It’s a very interesting laptop and well thought out for Linux usage with an AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U SoC and integrated Radeon graphics to meet the preferences of many Linux developers who prefer a fully open source driver stack. Thanks to HP’s high-volume manufacturing, it’s also a budget Linux laptop compared to many smaller vendor Linux laptops based on Clevo or other white-box laptop designs.

The HP Dev One isn’t HP’s first entry into the Linux laptop space, but it has historically offered systems like the HP ZBook Studio G7 that came preloaded with Ubuntu Linux. They didn’t just preload Ubuntu, they have experience shipping various data science software preloaded from machine learning libraries to various developer tools and more. In the last HP ZBook I reviewed, HP shipped over 40GB of “extras” of curated open-source software to its stock image.

With their Z by HP Data Science Software effort, it was mostly an otherwise standard Ubuntu install with a few cosmetic changes. Given the focus on data science, it was unsurprising that their earlier Linux machines featured Intel CPUs with NVIDIA discrete graphics focused on CUDA, RAPIDS, and other NVIDIA software packages. With the HP Dev One, they took a rather surprising turn, teaming up with System76 and using Pop!_OS for a developer/enthusiast-oriented Linux laptop. They also target developers as a whole and therefore not a large collection of curated software packages either… Which is fine by me, at least considering that most packages come thanks to being installed from the apt/debian packages or flatpaks only are one command away with Flathub.

Priced at $1099 USD for this all-AMD Linux laptop, the HP Dev One is really a good price for a wider spectrum of developers too, rather than trying to just target the top-tier Linux developers at an elevated price point, with the Bargainly priced compared to white-box laptops traditionally offered by smaller, Linux-focused vendors, and not cheap on components, making it a woefully underpowered developer machine.

For $1099, the HP Dev One is powered by an 8-core/16-thread AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U processor with Radeon Vega graphics, 16GB DDR4-3200 memory, a 1TB NVMe M.2 2280 SSD and powered by a 1080p 14-inch 1000-nit display. The specs are great and the Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U SoC is a wonderful choice for this developer-focused mid-to-high-end laptop. The only unfortunate area is that there is only 16GB of RAM as the only option, but the user can upgrade to a maximum of 64GB of system RAM. Having 32GB would be a sweet spot, but at least HP has only allocated one SKU with the 16GB RAM for now, relying on users to upgrade the memory themselves if needed.

Although it’s only a laptop SKU, it offers accessories like the HP 935 Creator Wireless Mouse and the System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard with the purchase of the HP Dev One. Both the System76 keyboard and the HP mouse were part of our HP Dev One test kit, kindly provided by System76 and HP.

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