Coming from 2016 MBP 15: Librem 13 v.3 or Wait?

Hi Purists!

TL;DR To preserve my own piece of mind and my job (i work remotely and my laptop is my livelihood) I would like to lock-down my computer security and am seriously considering getting a Librem.

I am coming from a MBP 2016 15" (touch-bar and fingerprint ID, I know, I was young and impressionable) and am wondering if anyone else made the same leap and what they thought about the switch. I don’t need a computer this big, so the Librem 13 is fine with me.

The Librem has a faster i7 than what I currently have and the AMD graphics card really only puts a huge strain on my Mac so I feel like graphics aren’t a crazy hangup. My only concern is that I be able to run heavy Electron applications plus Chrome/Brave + multiple tabs open side-by-side (for work).

Wifi reliability is also a must so if many of you have had this issue it’ll be a no-go. Should I go for a clearance sale v.3 Librem 13 without TPM or wait for a v.4?

Thanks for any insight!


Well, I replaced my 2012 Lenovo Yoga 13 with a Librem 13v3 recently.
Mostly because I mechanically damaged the screen, the SSD is only 120GB and because I never got around to replace the Win8 on it with Linux.
The old one is still an impressive machine. I prefer it’s keyboard layout, and it has a touch screen and consumes less battery in standby. And it has a much better wireless signal, probably becaus the case is not completely aluminum.

Still, the Librem is a solid machine. So, it’s mostly a question of liberty vs. convenience, or money vs. supporting the noble cause of Purism. :wink:

How much worse would you say the wireless signal is? That is a huge dealbreaker for me.

be sure to thoroughly research the hardware side. chasis in and out. battery, ram modules, side ports, storage medium, audio, network, etc before deciding.
i would say wait at least untill the librem 5 is out so you can track the changes happening. it’s highly doubtfull that untill the phone gets out the team will commit to anything serious with their laptops. they have their hands full right now.
the devices are not yet RYF certified by the FSF so keep that in mind. best thing right now is to do some research.

I’m coming from a recent, probably 2017, MBP 15" at my last company, to a Librem 15 v. 3. The WiFi is definitely not as steady. I’m using an old Intel 6205 that has a simple antenna, and it’s about 50 feet away, almost line of sight. I haven’t tried it yet in my usual cafes.

On my Librem 15v3 wireless was terrible out of the box. That being said, I replaced the internal card it had with something a bit less free as unreliable wireless is a huge deal breaker for me. An Intel 8260 card to be specific. Wireless connectivity is absolutely great now but the card doesn’t always play right with coreboot when you first boot up the laptop from a cold state. The work-around for that is to simply reboot and it will then work fine. Though personally this hasn’t really been an issue for me at all because sleep/wake works so well with the laptop that I generally don’t bother shutting it down unless I plan on not using it for a long period of time.

So basically I compromised on the freedom aspect of Purism because I absolutely needed decent wifi. This likely wouldn’t work well with PureOS as I’m assuming it doesn’t include any of the binary firmware you’d need to make an Intel 8260 adapter work. But I’m using Arch so that doesn’t matter. My slightly compromised Purism is still way better than any other option out there.

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Thanks everyone. So from what I am hearing I should hold out for better wifi. I need to be constantly connected and I really can’t risk being spotty. As much as I want to make the leap, it sounds like the Librems haven’t caught up to where I need them to be yet. It sucks, but I can wait.

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FWIW I haven’t had any major issues with WiFi on my librem v3. Maybe once it was unable to get a signal from a location that another computer was able to see a signal. I’d say if you need to access the weakest WiFi signals in your area, look elsewhere, but if you just want a reliable connection to a strong signal, you’re probably fine.

Really though it would probably be more helpful if someone posted some benchmark speed comparisons. I barely trust my own anecdotes, especially when it comes to wifi :stuck_out_tongue:

My guess is that the biggest change you’d notice from your current laptop is the screen resolution / pixel size and the track pad, neither of which are terrible, just noticeably different than those parts on a MacBook.

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Minor update–I have since noticed a few locations where everyone else I am with has a good WiFi connection, and I am unable to connect to the same hotspot :confused: