Librem 14 Thoughts From a CG Artist – Purism

Sorry, yes, I was told the chassis design was proprietary. I have to say that I wasn’t given a reference and I can’t reveal my source on that, so take it with a grain of salt. But I can’t see why else they wouldn’t release the chassis design. It could only help them if someone else made spare parts for them.

them ? who is them ? lol
if you would have a 100% replaceable compute device (chassis + hw + sw) then that would mean more national independence and strength … we can’t have that now can we ? :sweat_smile:

Hard to know what is included in the Intel reference design (since the general public can’t see it). It probably does include an example laptop enclosure because Intel wants the laptop manufacturers to get the thermals right. I know that Intel promotes a standardized keyboard, so I assume that is also included in the reference design.

However, I would assume that the ODM used by Purism has its own laptop case design and Purism asks the ODM to modify it to add kill switches, so the ODM is the copyright holder and not Intel.

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We just modify public moulds (in particular to add the hardware kill switches) for the Librem 13 and 15. You can think of it like a reference motherboard design but for cases. It is rather expensive to create a custom, proprietary mould for a laptop case and up to this point it hasn’t been worth the extra expense when a public mould would do.

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Thanks! So, by “public” does that mean non-proprietary? If they’re not proprietary, why are the designs not made available? Or does “public” here just mean “for general use by manufacturers”? Is that what @amosbatto is referring to by saying the original design manufacturer (ODM) is the copyright holder?

Thanks for commenting on my post @reC.

Regarding speed, the CPU of the Librem 14 has been benchmarked indeed and in my experience, those benchmarks are pretty reliable when it comes to pure CPU processing (like rendering a video or an image sequence in my daily usage).

Regarding calibration, I have to admit that I never used a calibration device. I don’t do digital painting and for grading my images and videos I always rely on the graphs instead of my eyes. Even with the best calibrated monitor, my eyes cannot tell me what’s pure black or pure white, which is my reference when grading.

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Apple set the standard in the industry of sacrificing functionality on the altar of style.

@amosbatto, what I mean with “clean aesthetics” is more about the lack of visual artifacts in the chassis. You know, the fact that the laptop doesn’t look like a spaceship or a toy. That said, Apple actually has not always done that with the first iBook that looked pretty much like a plastic toy, and I haven’t always liked Apple’s design myself.

At Purism, we have a different approach than Apple in terms of design, which has nothing to do with sacrificing functionality at all. The Librem 14 has USB A ports, USB C ones, HDMI output, Jack, Ethernet, SD Card, hardware kill-switches, and even 2 ways of charging.

Our clean aesthetics approach is more about removing what is actually not a feature from the chassis. The main think being the branding that everyone puts on the back of the screen lid. I think that is ethical and it gives you a blank page if you want to customize the visual aspect of the laptop. I pointed to a previous blog post that describes our branding policy :


I’m talking about actual moulds not designs for a mould. The expense is in the actual physical creation of a mould that one can then reuse in mass production. Having design files for one of the freely-available (to manufacturers) public moulds wouldn’t necessarily do one much good as you would need the actual physical moulds and all the infrastructure behind it to make a case.

Granted I’m by no means an expert in this part of the process, this is just my limited understanding.


I understand now. I’m not an expert either, but I have some experience with the process. It does get a bit tangled – the part is injection-molded from the physical mold, but that mold was almost certainly machined using CAD files, and those files are made in turn made using a CAD file of the part itself. THAT file, as an accurate representation of what is ultimately molded, could also be used to generate 3D printed or CNC-machined parts. These parts would have a much higher unit cost, but have much lower overhead (since there’s no mold-making costs). I’m guessing it could probably be 3D printed for ~$100 or so? It would at least be an option for people with laptops where the part is broken and no replacement available (eg., the hinge problem).

Edit: Oh sorry, I just saw there’s a whole separate topic for just this complaint. Keyboard what a joke!

I know I’m just one customer, but I’m never going to buy a laptop with the keyboard layout this 14" has. I bought a 13"v3 and having the extra Fn off to the right of the right shift key has been fine. This new keyboard with the up arrow key just to the left of the right shift key… well, I’ve already tried using a loaner laptop at work with such a layout in the past and it drove me to the point where I had an external keyboard sitting in front of that laptop whenever and wherever I used it.

Almost everything else about this new 14" looks great, and I would purchase one in a heartbeat to replace my 13"v3 if it comes out with a keyboard much like I currently have.

I just wanted to once again repeat how much I like the design of the L14’s chassis. I really prefer the more block-like but still curvy design. It reminds me of a thinkpad, and that is a very good thing!

Really looking forward to getting mine!!

Having just stumbled upon that post, I had to see if there was any talk of this on the forums. Let me tell you I think that’s a brilliant idea. It’s not just that owners become a “passive promoting medium”, as you pointed out in that article. It also promotes consumerism by turning the object into a fashion accessory.

Having that white apple on the lid is fashionable, fashionable people own devices with that apple on the lid, so if I want to be fashionable I must also have that apple on the lid of my device. And bonus points if the design changes with each generation, because then it’s not just that logo on the lid, but also the design clues that give away whether I’m affluent enough to own the latest and greatest, or just a wannabe that runs 5yo hardware instead of upgrading, despite that 5yo hardware still serving me perfectly.

Of course, lack of branding itself may also become a fashion statement. “Look at me, I can afford this thing whose manufacturer is so confident in their quality they don’t even bother to put their brand or logo on the thing”. :wink:


yes but Purism does NOT design it’s own CPU chips like Apple does … however be that as it may i want my back lid to say “investing in people since 2018” :mask:

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And you have options. You could have it engraved, laser-etched, have a vinyl cutout or custom sticker made, or you can take a felt tip pen, a rattle can, or a paint-laden paintbrush to it. Etc, etc, etc… You can make it as large or as small as you want, you can put it wherever you want, in any orientation you want… Your lid is a canvas. Go be an artist! :wink:

Careful man, or you might just rationalize yourself into not buying anything, like ever.

Going by past and present experience, that will only happen when I need to start saving up for a bigger house to store all my stuff… :wink:


On a similar note, because it affects another project I’m working on, will Purism be able to release the Librem 5 case design? Or is it something that was outsourced and the company doesn’t have access to? In the orignal batch announcement, Todd said that batches Aspen-Dogwood would have machined cases, which implies small-batch manufacturing and the existence of a CAD file, presumably one that could be edited for batch-to-batch alterations. I mostly want to know so I can stop hassling people about the CAD file if I can’t get it :wink:

it would be useful to have the cad file of Evergreen to be able to make the cases.

All of the designs (PCB and otherwise) are ours. I don’t know when we will release them though.

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in my case that only happens when i move to a LESS bigger house … :rofl: