Are Tuxedo and Slimbook rebrands of a Hong-Kong laptop company?

Are Tuxedo and Slimbook rebrands of a Hong-Kong laptop company?

I was trapped into a mystery for the past few weeks. You see, I like what Slimbook and Tuxedo provide for the Linux community in terms of making their laptops geared towards Linux. And I want to buy a new laptop. Now….their laptops look like identical twins. So I thought it is the same company that makes them but different brands. They confirmed this is not the case. One is a Spanish company, one is a German company.

Ok. Fine.

But Tuxedo told me their Infinity series, which I was keen to buy, was not made out of magnesium alloy like they advertise on their website, but made out of plastic and the magnesium alloy is steamed onto it.

But look, the Slimbook looks identical:

Even inside, ports, specs, weight, EVERYTHING!
Yet the Slimbook people told me: no no, our is FULLY metal. No plastic what-so-ever in the chassis.

Which one was right? Me, CONFUSED.

If they are so identical they must come from the same manufacturer….right? I then watched this video review of the Tuxedo InfinityBook Pro 14 and bellow someone comments that they basically buy these laptops from a Hong Kong manufacturer named TONGFENG Computers….and Tuxedo confirmed in the reply:

Now you can go on the TONGFENG Computers website and you’ll see those laptops – they are identical to the Slimbooks and Tuxedo ones.

I asked the Slimbook folks if they get them from there and rebrand them, but they said:

I’m sorry, but due to company policy, which I’m sure you understand, we do not provide that information.

At least I like that Tuxedo seem more honest in that regard. Maybe because they had to respond to the claim publicly!?

Now on the TONGFENG website they claim that these 16inch laptops are “all metal design”:

Look, it is not a bad thing ok!? Of course these are not German or Spanish manufacturers, these are German/Spanish companies that buy laptops and rebrand them. Then they sell them. However Tuxedo advertises the laptops as “made in Germany”:

So, my thoughts are these: both Tuxedo and Slimbook buy their laptops from the TONGFENG Hong Kong company. They simply deal with the software side of things to make them more Linux friendly, and do some custom chassis/keyboard prints. After testing the Slimbook Executive 16 my feeling is that Tuxedo seems more on the honest side of things and those laptops are made out of plastic with magnesium alloy steamed onto them. They are not bad at all, and I may buy a Tuxedo eventually if I can’t find better alternatives.

But they for sure seem not honest to me. None of them to be honest. If Tuxedo tells me one thing but one their website they write another….or if they say their laptops are “made in germany” while they are not….then….you get the idea…

I do not trust any company. Period. They are entangled with whatever they trade so they can never be reasonably honest. Maybe Tuxedo and Slimbook do want to do good things and I still have that hope. Overall maybe they are nice people, but they for sure are shady, here and there at least.

In a trade-based society humans will sell you anything, and wrap it to appear as if they do so because they care. It is an old tactic. But they need to care about their profits too, more so. So don’t simply take it for granted when these Open Source driven companies tell you that they are there to do a good thing for the Open Source. Be skeptical of their claims.

Both the Slimbook and Tuxedo people provided a great email support for my questions. All are nice. The Slimbook Executive 16 was very well put together, but probably not by the Slimbook team, but the Hong Kong one. I am still tempted to buy a Tuxedo to test it, these next months, but don’t expect much honesty from companies in general.

These are my thoughts.

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