Hi guys, I was among the first to buy Librem laptop when it was released. I even bought it with SSD installed, and it (SSD) was indeed a very good investment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SVG7Tpjo7E
So here are my thoughts after 4 years of using it :
- Warranty / support : you may not get it. I tried to to repair my laptop for several defects, emailed to support on 2018 as instructed. I was prepared to pay for shipping, or repair cost in case this is considered out of warranty repair. Never got a reply : https://i.imgur.com/h2vbKhW.png
- Broken hinges : yup it happened. And I am very careful with this laptop, I’m not those guy who open / close their laptop with abandon, then just toss the laptop somewhere when they’re done, not me. Anyway with non-existent support , I was hopeless at first - until a friend offered his help to fix it. I was lucky to know someone with that capability : https://i.imgur.com/CmoMHuL.jpeg
- Broken key : this was a major pain - until several months and I adapted. Now it’s an annoyance : https://i.imgur.com/0RFEvIj.jpeg
- Fan always on full-blast : on a silent room, my laptop will always be the noisiest. Confirmed I got a defective hardware : Fan noise but no solution.
- Short battery life : I guess this is the consequence of point 4.
- No way to set battery charging level : to extend battery life, you can use TLP on Linux to make the laptop start charging on 40% and stop charging at 50%. With lithium-ion battery, this can help prolong battery life. Turned out this feature of TLP is only supported on Thinkpad laptops. A workaround exist though - when you’re using Windows-compatible laptop, you can set this on Windows, then the setting will carry on to Linux. I guess that’s not possible with Librem : https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/190728
- Librem kept hitting 99 C temperature, so the performance slows down due to throttling. This is even with the fan going full-blast at all time (see point 4). Found a workaround though - if I propped it with a pen/marker - the temperature will drop to around 80 C : https://i.imgur.com/c4CIpbL.jpeg
- Unstable Bluetooth : during this plague I do a lot of teleconferences, like many others. I bought a wireless (bluetooth) headset for this. It’s unreliable though - it kept getting disconnected. After I bought tp-link’s UB400 bluetooth adaptor, the problem disappeared. The headset will connect reliably with the laptop : https://www.tp-link.com/id/home-networking/adapter/ub400/
- No Kensington Lock : therefore it’s impossible to use this laptop on public areas for prolonged time. Check the current product page, still can not find this mentioned on the technical details.
- Backlit keyboard broken : it won’t lit up anymore. And due to point 1, I don’t think it will ever be fixed. This is a very useful feature for me - I woke up very early, so this enable me to work without disturbing my wife. Now I use a dim desk lamp to lit the keyboard, but of course this is not ideal and still rather bright for a sleeping person.
Otherwise I’m happy with my Librem laptop.
I’m going to buy a new laptop soon, but due to point 1, I’m gonna have to buy something else. Probably Thinkpad, with AMD processor, it also fulfill all of these wishlist points : Desired Improvements For The Librem 15v4