Librem 13 hinge and screws

The reason we don’t have more information about the hinge in the Librem is because of the same reason.


I never thought the words, “We need an open source hinge solution” would ever cross my mind.

I don’t think open source is the solution here. I think a design that doesn’t incorporate cutting corners is all that is required.

Thinkpads aren’t open source, and yet they have been standing the tests of time for decades now.

Honestly, if Lenovo didn’t keep stripping Thinkpads of all that made them great (practically everything is soldered on these days), I never would have been looking at Purism to begin with.

But the world that the Thinkpad used to provide a solution to no longer exists.

This is why Purism is so important. If they can show that companies can care about product longevity and that it is good for their bottom line, then the consumer once again wins.

If the hinge is the only weak point on the Librem, than I hope they can make it better. It really is a fantastic laptop.


Fair. Although made half in jest. Not that I made any signal of that. More that, I do find it somewhat absurd that a hinge design would be IP. Not that there’s anything wrong that.

And I agree with on the Librem. It was my intent to equip each of our staff members with a Librem once their laptops cycled out. I’ve halted that purchase until there’s remedy. I have a depreciation schedule to attend to and I won’t have my staff have an accelerated burn rate on hardware outside of that schedule. Right now, new staff members (we just onboarded two more) are getting System76s because if something breaks, we can at least send it for repairs and not be forced to purchase another laptop if it breaks past the magical 12 month mark.


holly crap ! it looks like Lenovo’s web-site is more java encumbered than Apple’ … who would have thought ?

I follow your line of thinking and agree with it. Your situation needs reliability and you are paying for it.

The normal consumer needs the same thing. It still boggles my mind with how much an iPhone costs and people just accidentally drop them down the toilet or stairs, etc. every day. When was the last time you dropped your thousand dollar laptop? I can’t remember personally. But for Purism their goals of privacy and security are kind of red herrings. They know that as well. Dependable, repairable, and quality hardware, that is the main claim to fame that they can action and capitalize on.

Furthermore that is the foundation for all the rest. Tell me when you can’t use your laptop because the hinge is busted are you super grateful that at least you were hypothetically secure and private while it worked? Possibly but my guess is you are disappointed and angered.

At the end of the day, trust is what Purism has to work with. They need to maintain it at all costs.

if it happens when you are mobile - agravated :slight_smile:

if it happens during lockdown :mask: you look for an external keyboard, hdmi cable and monitor and use it as a desktop untill you find a replacement or you start singing lulabyes at Purisms balcony …

“doth yee know how much i care ?”

Not too long ago, I received my replacement. Thanks to Purism for being so patient and helpful with my issue.

After viewing similar forum topics: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
One case is an accidental, two is a coincidence, and three are a regularity. It seems that the issue of hinges needs serious consideration and as soon as possible.


The biggest thing I would suggest is that sub frame not be a plastic construct, but rather that the body itself be construed to make the mount points for the board, battery, and hing assembly. It might make the Librem a little heavier, but honestly I would prefer that, and pay more for it.

Every other laptop I have secures the hinge assembly with a metal sub frame.


Personally I wait for a Convertible from Purism. On the one hand using it as a tablet with pen drawn notes is nice for quickly draw formulas or signing. On the other hand you don’t have to use it but it is usually an indicator for a very strong designed hinge. My Thinkpad Yoga 460 is relatively thin but has IMO a very well designed hinge.

Understanding that you made no promises :wink: – have you heard anything about possible CAD files?

A point to make to management about releasing the CAD files is that part of the promise of Purism is to reduce waste by selling repairable, upgradable hardware. I love the design/layout of my Librem 13 “under the hood” so to speak, it’s a great design. But if the build quality creates problems like this hinge problem, it’s all for nothing. If the hinge problem is not fixable, then these are not functionally repairable, upgradable laptops, not matter how good the design. If my hinge breaks again, at best I have an overpriced, underpowered Librem Mini.

Same problem with mine - and the screws had a hard time coming out because the plastic that holds the screw inserts cracked away so the screw just turned freely. Finally got the bottom open, tried epoxy but no joy yet. I may just get an enclosure for the NVMe drive and call it a failed experiment . Not sure why they thought plastic for the frame was a good idea - it wasn’t. Case fail. Oh, and this was just from normal usage, no drops or unusual stress on the case.

I don’t have a librem 13, but looking at the image below. I would try the following.

  1. Assuming it is steel:
    Drill right through the plastic and countersink the underside. Then you can screw from the bottom upwards. For the nut, I would remove the hinge, weld nuts to the hinge at the hole positions and put it back. Grind away the plastic that gets in the way.
  2. Assuming it is not steel.
    Countersink the hinge, drill through the plastic, ugly nuts go outside and just live with it.
    I think it is a mechanical solution that is needed. Epoxy can only do so much.

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