Laptop died, goodbye Purism (Recomended to read if you are considering your first purism laptop)


Thank you for this post! I’ve been considering Purism for some time and was about to cave to the image.

But it’s an expensive platform for what you get. While I support their values, I can’t afford to sacrificially do so. The current laptop is currently under powered for at least my purposes and not priced competitively. I feel their foray into a Linux phone race has been a major distraction from their core laptop line. Making an impressive, privacy first laptop with a solid supported Linux distro is a sizable and ambitious enough task for a small company.

Purism’s marketing is slick. They put themselves out there like they’re a Linux version of Apple: laptop, phone, and secure apps for everything you need! But they do not begin to have those kind of development resources to lean on, nor customer base. I wish they did, but that doesn’t change anything. I’d say “nor hardware quality too”, but as a long-time Apple user and dev, I know Apple’s hardware is in steep decline.

Perhaps they plan to abandon the laptop line to focus on for the phone and their privacy apps? If they can get it to work, I would be interested.

All the worthy values of Purism’s approach to privacy are only realized when I can toss my old device and really use one of theirs. Currently, for the phone and this laptop line, I can’t. Still, I’m pulling for this company and I appreciate their effort at transparency for the phone.


Some versions of Puppy Linux work without a Video card, or driver. Might be a way to test what is wrong?

Wonder if it would work if you put the original parts back into it?

Since a lot of manufacturers might put odd things in their firmware, I can guess that is why the Biwin was used.

I always suspect companies of going on the cheap and substituting cheap parts. Now I must worry about a part being privacy compromised.


I would hope they lean into laptops further. I feel that they quickly lost interest in them.


Me too, I mean I get how they could believe that the phone is a more efficient way to appeal to a broader spectrum of customers, but I also think it is muddy water and harder to truly compete in.


I agree. A phone is a second rate computer in my mind, currently forth rate if running Linux. I’m in the market for a good privacy honoring laptop and always will be, but old flip phones are looking better and better for making voice calls.


Hello, here is happy owner of Librem13 - v4, and also a FSF member.

I bought it few months ago and it works perfectly, from HW and SW point of view, including the boot that is super fast. They delivered to me in France from US at no cost. I contacted many times support team due to some delays caused by coronavirus and they replied always quickly via email (1 to 2 business days). I understand the challenges that small businesses can encounter as highlighted by @amosbatto, they can’t scale they investments in HW and SW over a large base of customers, but I appreciate the effort of transparency they did and the investment in providing a product like that to the FOSS community relying just on few staff.

Said that, I would like to ask @jukebox why he did not try to repair/replace pieces in his country (which one ?) . Was the guarantee of Purism already expired ?


I was happy as well when I bought it, let’s talk again in 2 years.

I pointed out already that I see no point in investing into a poorly made laptop which seriously failed already. It would require to replace the whole CPU, which I expect will probably cost 50% of what I has paid already, this is simply not economically viable.

The warranty is 1 year and of course it has expired. My current laptop is under 3 years warranty…

I am happy my topic spurred discussions about Purism’s approach to quality. Hope they will read it and make some conclusions (but most likely they will not, people are going to buy their laptops, no point)…


I’m glad you brought the thread up as well. If Purism wishes to truly succeed it needs the community to help steer it clear of practices that harm their ability to reach their social goals.

I was a diehard Thinkpad fan who saw the line continue to erode and fell away. That is what got me interested in Linux and the hardware to begin with.

Come full circle, and I’ve finally understood something. The customers which buy Thinkpads drive ALL of their design decisions. The neck beard with their 2000-ish Thinkpad isn’t paying any of Lenovo’s bills. However if you look at their current thinkpad line, and contrast that with other laptops from other vendors, you’ll see that the Thinkpad is still the best laptop in many ways. Thinkshutter, display shader, wireless kill switches, etc. are all features that have existed for a while and before Purism, for example.

I’m waiting for the X13 Yoga to finally release and I’ll be upgrading my x230.

I just renewed my Librem One account, so i’m still supporting Purism, but I really hope they learn from their hardware faults. I will buy a v5 when they’ve demonstrated that the hinge is no longer anchored with plastic, for example. One thing I’d also really like to see is a 13 inch model that is actually 13" and not a 13" screen in a 14" body. If Purism came out and said they were trying to become what Thinkpads once were, I do believe, i’d stick with them for as long as it took. hahahaha.