Librem 14 charging and battery problem

Hello Purism Community,

I am writing to inform you of a charging issue that many others and I are experiencing with the Librem 14 laptop. I purchased my laptop on June 21st, 2023 -had it for one month but will be requesting a full refund.

The laptop will not charge, even when plugged into the original charger or a different charger that I purchased. I have tried different outlets, verified that the charger and wall outlets have the correct power, and tried dissipating any potential static charge and reconnecting the battery. I have also tried the CMOS battery, but no lights come on and the laptop does not start.

I have been researching this issue online, and I have found that many other Purism customers have experienced similar charging issues. I believe that this is a widespread issue with the Librem 14 laptop, and that it is not due to a problem with my particular device.

I am disappointed that I am having this issue with my laptop. I was excited to purchase a Purism product, as I believe in the company’s mission to create privacy-focused devices. However, I am not satisfied with the quality of my laptop, and I do not believe that it is suitable for sale at this time.

I have already contacted Purism support, and I am awaiting their response. However, I wanted to post on the forum in case anyone else is experiencing this issue.

I would appreciate it if anyone who has experienced this issue could share their experience in the comments below and hopefully dissuade potential customers from purchasing one until the issue is 100% fixed.

Thank you.

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What do you get if you run this in terminal?

cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/charge_control_start_threshold /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/charge_control_end_threshold

No issue like yours. Everything about my Librem 14 worked out of the box, although I had to ship it back to Purism to install the 3-cell battery and second NVMe M.2 bracket.


I appreciate your prompt response and suggestion. Regrettably, my laptop is currently unable to power up, prohibiting the execution of any terminal commands or software-based diagnostics.

Purism’s sole proposal to address this problem was to send in my laptop and they’d replace the entire motherboard. However, I believe this not only underscores a major product fault but also raises significant safety concerns. Defective components such as the motherboard, battery, or charger can pose serious risks, as I’m sure you’re aware.

It’s disconcerting that despite these issues, Purism continues to market and sell the affected model without providing clear information to potential customers or adequately addressing the problem. Their denial of my request for a refund for a clearly defective product further compounds this issue, leading to a serious consumer rights concern.

I hope our collective efforts in highlighting this issue will prompt a satisfactory response from Purism, thereby safeguarding the interests of current and potential customers.

Thank you for your support in this matter.

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Frankly Flawless,

I’m pleased to hear that your experience with your Librem 14 was positive and devoid of the issues I am currently facing. It serves as a reminder that my situation might not be completely universal, and I’m genuinely glad that not all customers are encountering these problems.

However, the fact that you had to return your laptop for the installation of a 3-cell battery and second NVMe M.2 bracket does hint at a certain level of inconsistency in Purism’s production and delivery process. Also note, I’ve found this issue reported in numerous locations by various individuals: purism forum, the better business bureau, and reddit to name a few.

As my primary issue with the laptop not charging persists, and Purism’s only proposed solution of replacing the entire motherboard presents its own set of concerns, I continue to seek a fair resolution from the company.

I appreciate your input and I hope that through collective efforts we can encourage a more consistent product quality and customer service experience from Purism.

I believe that you are mistaken.

The Librem 14 comes in two varieties. You have to choose one or the other at the time of ordering.

a) 4-cell battery but only one M.2 drive
b) 3-cell battery and two M.2 drives (if you want two at the time of ordering or will want two in the future)

So you can trade-off battery capacity and storage capacity. This is actually a good thing. Laptops by definition have limited internal space. You get to decide, to a certain extent, how you use that space.

I don’t know whether this is intended to be something that a customer could change over but even if it is intended, not all customers will be confident with making such hardware changes.

So I would say, as far as the quoted text is concerned: nothing to see here.

Obviously, as far as your actual problem, it is a major issue that needs to be dealt with (by Purism).

What country are you in?

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It was for an upgrade. When I ordered my Librem 14, there was only the 4-cell battery at the time, which only allows for one included NVMe drive. I wanted to use two NMVe drives instead, so I told Purism to not include the 4-cell battery so I could use the space for both NVMe drives.

Later on, when the 3-cell battery became available, I shipped the Librem 14 back to them to install it and the second bracket for the other NVMe drive, so it can be properly secured on both ends instead of just the second NVMe drive’s insertion slot.


Thank you for your insightful response and for illuminating the Librem 14’s design choices. Researching it further, I agree, that’s indeed a beneficial option available. My primary concern revolves around my personal experience and similar reports from others pointing to inconsistencies, but your perspective brings a fresh understanding to this discussion, and for that, I’m grateful.

On the critical issue of the laptop not charging, I concur that it demands immediate attention from Purism. Currently, I’m in the USA and pursuing a refund, primarily prompted by accounts of other consumers encountering difficulties in receiving a refund for machines that potentially had known issues. Thank you again for informing and contributing.

I can’t speak for US consumer law but in my country a “major failure” gives the customer the right to choose between repair/replace and refund, whereas a “minor failure” gives the customer the right to repair/replace - in either case assuming still within the warranty period. Of course there is no exact definition of what constitutes “major” but being unable to charge a device that intends to operate off batteries most of the time sounds “major” to me.

Indeed. As such, a decision to pursue a refund rather than a repair/replace may be … illogical.

However the difficulties in receiving a refund seem mostly or exclusively pertaining to “change of mind” scenarios i.e. there’s nothing wrong the device - and that doesn’t apply to your situation.

Regardless of what options are available to you, it does seem reasonable that Purism gets to look at the device and attempt to determine what is wrong. For all we know it could be a faulty battery (an easy replacement) or a poor connection or something else simple to fix. (I understand that there has been talk of “replacing the motherboard” but without having inspected the device that would have to be somewhat a speculative suggestion.)

Given that it is easy and relatively cheap (and without customs issues) for you to return the laptop, I suggest that you do so, while making clear that you have not agreed to any specific course of action until after Purism has inspected the laptop.

The same issue happened to me already twice.
The battery doesn’t recharge and the laptop does not start.
The first time it happened a couple of months after having bought it, and it took more than two months of waiting to change the motherboard; the second time happened during Christmas 2023 and I’m still waiting for the laptop to be fixed (now it’s three months and a half).

Before the first RMA I noticed some sparks coming from the laptop while I was pluggin-in the barrel jack of the charger. [ATTENTION/discalimer: don’t do it or you’ll risk to burn your L14!]. The sparks show up even when the charger was off (unplugged from the electric socket) implying that the shock came from the battery, that could be a huge technical and security issue). They answered that “sparks are normal” and that it was “just a cosmetic issue”. Unfortunately after some months the battery was not charging anymore and the L14 died (first RMA).
The support team said (after me having sent some terminal output) it likely was a battery controller failure and changed the motherboard.
I was also having some issues with the battery icon that didn’t always show up in the bar showing the lasting power.
Unfortunately last Christmas (Dec. 2023 - still under warranty) the same issue happened again (second RMA): I’m actually thinking about a factory defect of the L14 so I wanted them to change it with a new L14 or to refund me. But none of them were available options. I will open another discussion/topic to talk about the mess and problems that happened to me with the support service and international shipping. In the meantime just note that now they still have to fix it.

Also I was excited to purchase a Purism product, as I believe in the company’s mission to create privacy-focused devices. But now I’m disappointed with the product (and dissatisfied with Purism that don’t want to do anything to compensate the problems).
In my opinion, this problem could represent a serious manufacturing issue that should be fixed before selling the laptop again in order to avoid making other consumers go through the same problems that Zues100x, me and those other people writing on other social networks already experienced.
Actually, I’ve not been able to use my laptop for almost 6 months and I don’t know yet when and how it will come back.

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