Finger Prints and Oil

Hello everyone,

I’m strongly considering purchasing one of the Librem laptops, but I have one concern about the material they are built with. Most of the reviews I’ve seen mention that these machines are finger print/oil magnets. I’ve seen photos of this where it looks so bad, even the palm rests and track pad are covered in oil. I haven’t come across any recent reviews, though. Is this still an ongoing issue? For those of you who use one of these machines on a daily basis, does your laptop get “ugly” through normal use?

1 Like

I think this is highly individual.

Yes, the surface of the Librem laptops is matte, i.e. the surface is not a polished surface and as such sweat etc. will cause marks, i.e. they are visible to some degree. How much depends on the user’s skin or other environmental effects. The surfaces are deep black so that anything brighter will be visible too, like dust etc.

That being said, I used Thinkpad laptops for almost 15 years. They had a kind of rubber matte surface, you probably know these. From my point of view I would say the Thinkpads are even worse concerning visible touch marks than the Librem matte aluminum iodized surface. But that’s my personal impression.



Mine does pick up prints all the time (I always figured it was because it was smooth, not that it was matte…) but they easily wipe off with a moist paper towel (careful not to make it too wet). The finish then looks like new, whereas plastic computers I have bought would have been getting scratched up by this point.

Mine looks fab. It’s way more shmick looking than my old grubby ThinkPad. Give it time though, I’ll wear it in

1 Like

Can confirm - have the Librem 13 v2. The surface of both sides and even the keyboard deck look terrible after a minute of handling. Dust is really visible, especially since it clings to the oil left by skin. I’ve had a couple of laptops in my time, but this one gets gunked up the easiest. It’s no MS Surface Book, that’s for sure.

Would love to see some Dbrand skins or something for this.

I think the basic problem is not just the surface properties but the color. The '13v2 is black, and mine gets filthy faster than it can be cleaned, so it usually looks pretty bad. I have a couple of Thinkpad T61s and they’re actually much better for some reason.

The 'v1 was matte silver/grey, easier to clean and didn’t show the oils and dirt nearly as much. Very elegant, and could go a lot longer before cleaning was necessary.

From GUIs to laptop exteriors, black is the uberkewl color these days, but I hope Purism decides to lose the black and go back to something a bit lighter.

Kind of like wearing a black sweater–turns you into a lint magnet.

I do rather like the “Space Gray” or whatever Apple calls it on their new Macbooks. I can understand if Purism is hesitant to use it lest they be accused of too shamelessly copying Apple, but I would like to see a dark gray.