2 years with Librem 13 great love with tragic end

I love purism
I loved it from the first time I came across the idea.
I couldn’t afford the very first batch.
I saved for a 18 months maybe even more.
Finally got my L13 V3 approx two years ago.

Two weeks a go a crack appeared in the hinge that keeps the screen with the body.

Today I was told I’ll need a new computer and that purism is willing to sell me v4 for $699. (I provide the RAM and storage unite from my old machine)

I appreciate them trying to be fair but to be fair I’m totally disappointed.

I’m not going to say how sturdy my 8 year old MacBook Air is.

But seriously 2 years out of a $1300 laptop???

Here, I’ve said it.
Now I’ll get on with thinking what’s next.
Thanks for listening

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Go for system76. Purism isn’t always the best choice if you are looking for something that doesn’t break.
edit: Found this: https://amp.reddit.com/r/System76/comments/d7bd2d/longevity_of_system_76_laptops/

i’m sorry if this is a drag but could you upload a picture ?

Ok I just want to say that this is not A rant at Purism.
It’s just venting out some upsetting feelings that’s it.
Here’s a picture

I am a supporter of purism because they’ve been amazing in introducing me to the meaning of device ownership, privacy and freedom.

I’m just working out my way forward

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Maybe the hinge were an issue with previous version and got beefed up in Librem 15?

ouch ! that looks bad … have other v4 owners experienced something like this v3 incident ?

and that happened only from casual closing and opening the lid daily ? to me this looks like an exception rather than the rule and with the v5 on the horizon i would hope that Purism is watching and taking notes …

i’ve been interested for a while in the L15 but i’ve kept an eye out for the dual channel RAM …

Unfortunately, such topics are quite popular in this forum: 1 and 2. The best idea can be buried by a bad implementation. For Purism, this is a cause for serious reflection.


This issue is very similar to the ones I recounted in the threads @rcu linked to. I won’t repeat them here for the sake of avoiding repetition. I’m confident that Purism will listen to their customers but adjustment for these things take time. Purism will have to investigate the issue internally to identify legitimacy and possible solutions and having done so successfully, work with the upstream manufacturer to implement a redesign and make small alterations to the assemblyline instrumentation. I’m not certain it’s possible for v5 but I would be hopeful for v6.

Thanks all for listening
Yeah I hope this issue will not return.

Of course once bitten twice shy so I’m not sure what next.

I guess if I were you I’d get a cheaper Thinkpad X230 off ebay and put coreboot on it with PureOS. Then you can save up for v5 or v6 when hopefully the hinge problem has been addressed!

System 76. You won’t look back. Purism are iffy on virtually all fronts. Ive got the L5 on order, just. The way they treat people doesn’t sit right with me.

System76 has its share of problems. I own one of their laptops currently. The hinge broke and had to be sent for replacement. Luckily I had bought an extended warranty. And by the looks of it, it seems like it is going to have to be sent back for another repair. Most of their models are plastic with couple of exceptions. Customer service is great. And the processors are top notch.

I can second this experience. We have a number of System76 laptops at my place of work. Most of them have been serviced in some way. Some of them have been due to someone having the dropsies. Other times, it’s been component failure. The big difference between the two firms outside processing power is that one has a workbench and the other one does not.

They probably buy the hardware from the same manufacturer ??

Nope. System 76 is Clevo based, and Purism does their own. That doesn’t mean they didn’t use a reference model of some sort. It just means that it isn’t from Clevo, and their reference model is modified by Purism. In the tech world, it is their own design.

Regarding your situation:

I know how you feel, as I’ve been there before with other companies.

I’m not saying you should turn a blind eye here, but I do think that you should seriously consider what Purism is trying to do, and ask yourself if this is worth a second chance from you. I’ve had my v2/3 for about a year and a half now, and I would be very dissappointed if the screen seperated as yours did.

What final thing: I’ve looked across all of the Linux hardware manufacturers. I haven’t seen a laptop model with a design that looks like it would be better in this regard than the Librem.

Thinkpads are different. They are specifically designed to handle abuse. But you don’t get hardware kill switches (although they do have dedicated microphone and volume buttons), and it wont be made out of aluminum.

All I’m saying is, the grass isn’t necessarily greener elsewhere. System76 is a good company doing good things as well. I’m not trying to disparage them.

I’m just saying make sure you see the whole picture before you make a decision. You wont be able to get a new laptop for ~$600 and be able to pick up where you left off.

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Yeah I hear you
And it’s interesting to know about the manufacturing of purism.

I’m know the grass is not greener on the other side.
And as I said in my earlier posts I’m not hating Purism indeed as you say I appreciate what they’re doing and support it. I also bought the L5 and have no problem with the delivery dates etc.

It’s difficult not to be disappointed if after less than two years a $1300 machine becomes so badly damaged.

Thing is I don’t know the same will not happen again with V4?

But I’m hoping to see if my V3 can bi fixed.
Any how thanks for your reply.

Onward and up wards.

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One thing I would like to mention is that the customer help service Seems to be rather slow.
I’ve been dealing with this for nearly 3 weeks. And I’m not nearing the solution.

That seems to me a little lackadaisical from Purism’s side.

I feel that they could have done a little better on the time scale.

One thing this thread has done for me, is have me opening and closing my lid a little more gently.

i do think that if one were to open the lid and not mind how far it can open, IE: open until you had to stop. that you could weaken the anchor points in that way. I could see this happening because of that. I say that hopefully as a way for others to not suffer the same failure as Sherab here.

I really don’t understand why the hinge isn’t anchored to the aluminum upper chassis though. That would have been just way more robust.


This is a good solution, but some users may not like the appearance of a large number of screws on the exterior surfaces. In addition, as I see in the pictures, the outer aluminum shell has a small thickness and it is difficult to say whether it will be able to withstand the force of the hinge without visible deformation. Although, from a mechanical point of view, the combination of plastic with metal is still better than pure plastic.

My thought on how that could be implemented is that the aluminum there is construed such that a bolt can go in it without coming out the top visible from the keyboard deck. here something like lock tight could be used to secure it further with a bolt. You could have counter pressure applied from the back panel.

I need to make it clear that I still consider the Librem 13 I have to be one of the best made laptops I’ve owned. I’m very much looking forward to the next iteration of the Librem line. I really hope the 11’ tablet PC they were working on can come back as well.

Edit: I just took off my bottom plate, and checked out the hinge anchor assembly. Honestly, it seems pretty robust, but I guess if stressed repeatedly by opening the screen to the stop point the anchor points could be compromised. So once again, I would reiterate, open your screen without stressing the stop point, and you shouldn’t have any problems. While I was examining my hinge, I saw no sign of wear, and I didn’t see any compromise in the plastic or aluminum. I’ve had this laptop now for almost 2 years.