13v3 - hinge broken, too

I’ve read several posts about broken hinges with Librem laptops. Crossed fingers so far, that mine’s not involved.

By now i’d like to join the club of the 13v3-users with a broken hinge. Quite curious how that story will move on as there’s no dealer anymore in Europe.

Just closed my lid when i remembered, i forgot something. Reopened it and on opening i heard a crack-sound. Directly stopped - so lid was not even halfway opened, but the destruction was already done. Display seems to be involved - cover and display are divided by a visible space now. Rear-cover (covering the antennas) is separated slightly, too.

Writing that on my 12 years old Dell. My Librem and me had a great time so far - although it’s been a short one comparably.

Unfortunately it seems, my beloved Librem and me are within our 25th month of ownership. Realized - slightly amazed today, all in i paid more then 2K € for the whole bunch - 1.9K originally with 512GB Samsung 960 Pro, 16GB RAM, german keyboard. Plus a bit more for a Samsung 32GB RAM, Intel 9.260. Quite an expensive journey compared to my former computer-history. But being the only option available in its special regards still happy about it. Only downside: Hinge fixed against el-cheapo plastics - that doesn’t fit into the overall outstanding image.

Progress (to be updated):

  • 27.07.20 left hinge ripped off displaypart it seems (display already separeted from cover a bit)
  • 2 hours until first answer by Mladen (Purism; THAT is definitely unbeatable, THAT is what i’m used to with Purism within the last two years)
  • 28.07.20 several very helpful & positive emails by Mladen - already missing my Librem’s backlid keyboard and the big multitouch-touchpad

This is not boding well for my 13v2. I am noticing now, when opening it occasionally that the display will not come on until I nudge the screen ever so slightly forward. I think this is just a loose video cable (still shouldn’t be happening), but this is discouraging to say the least.

I mean I get that Purism was screwed over by their previous assembler / manufacturer, but I would really hope to get some kind of official statement. Being realistic about the situation, what can we really expect Purism to do? They were cheated by their manufacturer/assembler partner. They probably are pissed about it, but don’t the assets do anything about it now.

Looking at the new Librem 14, I have very high hopes that the hinges on this one are according to the marketing. IE: Durable.

I know that stuff like this is damaging to PR, etc., but I for one don’t put the FOSS elements of the laptops above its durability. It would be easier for me to acknowledge that lessons have been learned, if they are shared.

And let me be clear, I like being able to fix the laptop. However, the only thing I’m ever expecting to fix is eventually replacing the battery. Readjusting video cables and worrying about fixing hinge mounts are things I’m not ever actively planning for.

If i remember right, someone posted a pic of the hinge being mounted into a plastic base. If that’s the case - and now i’ve got to assume, that’s the way it is - it’s only a question of time until the plastic holding the hinge via a screw gives way because the material is getting older. Don’t won’t to sound pessimistic, but IF the display is held by a small amount of plastic, IT WILL break sooner or later.

Thought of giving my 13v3 to my wife and order a 14 - although the pocket says “be wise, don’t do it”. But now that story takes a different road.

Very interested how this will be handled. Sitting in Europe, the US is quite a walk away. My Librem’s got a german keyboard. Purism doesn’t seem to deliver those anymore. That’ll be the time, where i’ve got to see wether my former choice proofes to be water or wine. Hope, i’m able to use my laptop again before i receive my evergreen (i voted for a late one to have it a bit more matured).

@2disbetter When you can, have a look for your hinges. Perhaps one can stabilize them before it’s to late.

With what? We need to have them anchored to the aluminum chassis. I mean that was kind of the WHOLE reason to even use an aluminum chassis!

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Hello, if you have not yet done it already, please contact us via email to support@puri.sm

Thought the same. Aluminium-chassis - lightweight and stable.

Already did. Directly received an answer (2h later - :+1:) asking to remove back-cover, inspect hinge and send another picture. Will do so tomorrow - don’t have enough light for picture right now.

But directly a question to you: 2disbetter spoke out, what i thought, too. Aluminium-chassis means lightweight and stable. Are the hinges fixed to the aluminium-chassis directly or are they fixed via plastics-parts?

Does Aluminium chassis cost more to produce, or give smaller margin to Purism?

It would have to. Aluminum, while plentiful, is more costly as a material, and more difficult to fabricate. Plastic is incredibly easy to manipulate, mold, and is cheap.

To shed some light: The cover is made of aliminium. The hinge is made of metal. The chassis/the points where the hinge is fixed against seems to be made of plastics (to be seen after easily removing the back-cover).

picture of hinge

I’m convinced one of the best ways to lessen the stress the plastic anchors is lesson the amount of effort it takes to close and open the lid.

Would mean, open your back-plate regularly to give the hinges a slight grease/drop of oily stuff. But you’ve got to know that before’s to late. It’s not common for a typical laptop-user to grease the hinges - especially as majority of available devices is hardly servicable/accessible (Purism is a very positive example in those regards).

This would lead to dust collection and other junk probably being introduced to the hinge area over time. Not sure that is a good solution.