Starlabs StarBook Mk V Laptop

Starlabs StarBook Mk V Laptop

  • mdo  k3tan
  •   General
  •   December 2, 2021

I recently purchased a Starbook Mk V from Starlabs Systems. Here are the specs I went with:

  • CPU: 11th Gen 2.8Ghz Quad-Core Intel i7-1165G7
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz
  • SSD: 240GB SATA
  • Firmware: Coreboot
  • Operating system: Pop!_OS 20.04

I ordered this laptop in May 2021. It was advertised that customers would get it by 30 June 2021. Unfortunately, it arrived December 2021. A long delay, but Starlabs did well to keep customers updated on their support site.

The packaging was great. Nice and simple. It just came with the laptop, the charger and some cloth to keep it clean. The laptop is light in weight, feels very premium and its branding is very subtle. You can't tell what brand the laptop is. It has a Macbook Pro feel to it in terms of touch. I ordered it to come shipped with Ubuntu 20.04LTS, but I quickly removed that in favour of Pop!_OS 20.04LTS.

The new Linux kernel 5.15.5 just came out which led to flickering of the screen upon unlocking the laptop. This was quickly solved with a new firmware update from Starlabs. Support was very quick to respond and released a patch to get it solved.

The screen resolution is fantastic. The brightness and sharpness of the display are superb. I have not opened it up to access the hardware as there's no need for it yet. It appears easily accessible with a screwdriver.

The webcam is good, the microphone very clear. The speakers are loud and decent quality. The touchpad is very nice and responsive. The keyboard is fine, but I'm coming from a Thinkpad X230 so it's going to take some time getting used to the layout being different, particularly the arrows and PgUp PgDn buttons. I still prefer the Thinkpad keyboards. Battery life is very good but I don't have any stats on that yet.

Overall, very happy with the purchase. It is an excellent laptop and runs quietly and smoothly.

Some minor criticisms. I would like to have a hardware button that controls the microphone and a webcam cover built in. Fingerprints stand out a lot on the laptop unfortunately, which is probably why they've given a cloth to wipe it down. I'd also like to see a function where the keyboard backlight does not auto shut off after a while or at least turn back on with a touchpad swipe. The microSD card is difficult to get in and out of the slot.

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