Overall quality of Librem devices?

I really like the idea of what Purism is doing with their Librem devices, from a privacy and transparency perspective. Obviously that is of primary concern for their customers including myself. I’m happy to support their mission.

But for a device I’m going to use every day (Librem 14 and potentially Librem 5), I have some other practical concerns before I make the leap. So for anyone with a Librem device, I have the following questions:

1.) How’s the build quality in general? I know there have been issues with e.g. hinges on the older laptop models, which have supposedly been fixed in the upcoming Librem 14. And I read something about headphone jacks being loose.

Anything else you have noticed over time? Are they solid and robust mechanical designs? My old computers are pushing 10 years and still holding up fairly well, albeit slowly. It would be nice if Librems seemed comparable.

2.) How’s the thermal management? Do the laptops tend to run hot or overheat under load, or is this well-designed?

3.) How noisy are the laptops? I don’t want something that sounds like a jet taking off. When I built my old PC, I specifically chose quiet components. Obviously I don’t expect Purism to have the same focus, but it’s something I consider. Ideally, I won’t hear it most of the time and can enjoy either the silence of my surroundings or some quiet music.

4.) How are the keyboard and touchpad? Responsive and comfortable for extended use, or any issues lingering here? How does the keyboard noise compare to other laptops?

5.) How is the screen quality? Color accuracy, brightness and contrast, how does it perform in movies and gaming, as well as professional tasks?

And anything else you’ve noticed from a build/usability perspective?

I guess only the Purism team could weigh in on the Librem 14 right now, maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll chime in here :slight_smile:

1 Like

Some discussion of the build quality for the Librem 5: Received my Librem 5 (Evergreen)

As you observe, no customer is going to be able to comment on the Librem 14 but then I don’t know that Purism can meaningfully comment on it either. If you really want a response from Purism, best to contact them directly at support@puri.sm

Some discussion of fan noise, and how to reduce it: How to reduce annoying fan noise

One controversial area is whether the touchpad has separate physical ‘buttons’ for mouse click or whether it is purely a touchpad and mouse clicks are synthesized on the touchpad.

Maybe you prefer the former. Maybe you prefer the latter.

The biggest question regarding the keyboard that seems to come up is whether you want US layout or you want the layout for some other country.

I hear you, or not. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I have a Librem 13 currently and can only comment on that for the moment, but I’ll do my best to give you a satisfactory answer:

  1. Yeah, I was one of the people who was effected by the Librem 13 hinge issue, things broke internally, now my laptop is in an awkward position with my screen partially outside of the laptops body, impossible to move and without any ability for me to even screw on the back panel. Furthermore, my microphone recently stopped working as expected (although I’m not certain if this is a hardware issue, just pretty sure). And the screws destrip easily.

That being said, other than those issues, the Librem 13 has held up well. The actual chassis is entirely untarnished and perfect, trackpad and keyboard are still satisfying and work well, no other issues to report. Importantly, I believe Purism has actually gained a lot of experience and I honestly believe this won’t be a problem for the Librem 14.

Good news is, in spite of some delay and complexity, Purism support eventually came through and offered me a replacement under warranty, which I’m unfortunately going to have to wait for because they’ve actually decided to ship me a Librem 14 to replace my Librem 13 due to the stock having run out. :slight_smile:

  1. Termals are good, not much to report.

  2. The Librem laptops are mostly quiet, silent at idle, sometimes a bit loud but rarely. You’ll be able to modify the fan curves and etc on the Librem 14 so this will only get better.

  3. The keyboard is satisfactory to type on, its a nice keyboard but nothing crazy. Tactile feeling, decent key travel, ticks the boxes. It’s also relatively quiet as far as I’m concerned but I don’t really have any reference to compare it too. You won’t have issues. As for the trackpad? Not particularly special, but I’ve enjoyed using it. Works quite nicely and there’s not much too it.

  4. Display suffers from substantial backlight bleed, nothing egregious but I personally think it’s pretty distracting when the screen is dark. The brightness is average. The panel has decent colors, not to sure about color accuracy or the amount of the SRGB specrum it covers, etc. The display is not bad by any means but it really leaves me wanting more.

Hope that helps you.


what i can say is that my Librem-Mini-v1 experience has improved since i started using PureOS 10 Byzantium ( clean-install it if you want to avoid full-upgrade issues from 9 to 10)


I have received a Librem 13 v2
this laptop has spent most of its time on a shelf gathering dust due to problems with its keyboard, and sound

I also bought a Librem Phone, but i have not received yet.

Compare, Contrast & Choose