Librem 13/15: What can I upgrade in the future?


I’m considering a Librem 13. I’m curious what I’ll be able to upgrade in the future. I understand Purism has made the laptop open and modifiable, but given the space and design constraints I’m wondering how far this can go. Some things I’d be interested in upgrading in the future:

  • Keyboard (e.g. if Purism can source a keyboard with a middle nub (ala ThinkPad)
  • CPU
  • Motherboard (to support 32GB of RAM)
  • touchpad
  • display

I hope my question is clear enough. Thank you!

  • Keyboard (e.g. if Purism can source a keyboard with a middle nub (ala ThinkPad)

This is sadly trademarked by IBM, who gave the trademark to Lenovo, who sometimes licenses it to other companies.

  • CPU

This is unfortunately soldered into the motherboard, so you’d need to buy a new motherboard.

  • Motherboard (to support 32GB of RAM)

I think this is dependent upon the sourcing of the motherboard. I’m not sure about if that is possible.

  • Touchpad

If I remember correctly you can replace this easily, so as long as you get a touchpad that fits the size requirements and works with whatever OS you’re using, it should be fine.

  • Display

Also possible to replace.

I also made a post here that might help you.


Dell and Toshiba make keyboards bearing a pointing stick. Do they license the patent from lenovo to do so? Is it really that restricted akid to not being able to use a trackpad in a new laptop? Seem pretty aggressive to made a whole input method patented similar to restricting the use of keyboards or touchscreens outright.


Patents expire eventually.


Wait . . . is the thinkpad mouse trademarked or patented? There is a world of difference.
Also, why is the CPU soldered to the motherboard?
Once upon a time all CPUs were replaceable.


Pretty sure the original trackpoint patent has expired, but there have been follow-on patents, e.g. by Google and Microsoft. Search for “trackpoint patent”.


Found a post that details information on the history of the trackpoint and its current utilization in industry pretty well.

It seems like at least 4 companies have some sort of a trackpoint in the middle of their keyboards. I imagine that with enough determination Librem can also become part of that lineup.


I really hope their next laptops would not have the CPU soldered onto the motherboard, since this is limiting.

edit: Also would be great to have as many parts of the laptop (keyboard, caps, fan?, etc…) user-replaceable.


Many reasons.

Highly unlikely in my opinion, for the reasons linked to above. Even laptops with socketed CPUs can generally only handle CPUs from the same generation, and power and cooling limits make substantial upgrades infeasible.