Got my librem 14 today so I immediately checked under the hinge to see how it is attached. Photos below. I’m just a programmer, not a bridge surgeon, so I’m not an expert but it looks like threaded inserts in a plastic frame. One of the 6 screws goes through a metal plate that goes under the heatsinks (screw closest to heatsink on ethernet-port-side of laptop). Two of the 6 screws (on the opposite side) go into a metal plate that goes under the side connectors (HDMI/USB). I’m not sure if this is all one big metal plate for the entire laptop or not since similar metal with similar small screws is protruding from all sides of the circuit board but I’m not brave enough to start ripping out the motherboard on a brand new laptop.
With respect to the past hinge issue we tracked down the root cause and resolved it. For what it’s worth, apparently the issue that showed up in some Librem 13v4s had to do with a slightly larger diameter screw mount compared to other Librem 13s and 15s, and not the overall design of the hinge (a design which is pretty standard to my understanding among this style of laptop body).
@craftkiller Congrats on the Librem 14!
Good to hear this has been properly addressed.
Thanks! Super exciting times.
I think instead of screws what if the case were a Chinese puzzle box, with locking tabs released in a certain order? Amish construction methods, no nails no screws!
I wanted to further comment on this, because I think it is being unfairly criticized elsewhere, but the hinge design with metal components being held to a plastic sub frame, is standard across MANY laptop brands and models.
What Kyle described above makes a lot of sense, given how the reported hinge failures failed. In looking at the new photos it really does look like the strain of the hinge opening and closing is spread out in a plethora of anchor points. I do not think there is going to be any issue with this hinge design.
I would also like to report that I have a Librem 13 v2, and while my display cable has problems, my hinge has never had a problem. It is going on 3 years old now.
Does your Librem 13 v2 have an HDMI port, and is that the display cable you’re referring to? I have a Librem 15v4 and I use the HDMI port to run an external monitor. It was making intermittent connection, so I bought a new HDMI cable, but that did not fix the problem. If I accidentally bump the HDMI cable, it will almost always lose the video signal, so I have to wiggle the cable. I’m wondering if it’s a loose connection where the HDMI connector attaches to the motherboard.
I’ll make a separate Librem 15v4 post about this, but I thought you might not see that, so I’ve posted here.
Edited: separate post just made.
Hi my v2 does have an HDMI port but it is directly connected to the mainboard. The cable I’m talking about is the actual display cable that connects the screen to the mainboard.
My opinion after fixing a hinge failure on my three-year-old 13v3 is that Purism tightened the hinges too tight and the hinge fails in time depending on how over-tight the hinge is. I loosened my hinges all the way out (not recommended) and superglued the broken hinge back in. Screen too loose, but no longer any strain on the plastic. There is a metal backstop on the hinge that stops the screen from going 180 degrees back.
It is also possible that something unanticipated (dirt?) is causing the hinges to become tighter over time. In any event, I think Purism is being evasive about the hinge issue. It’s understandable because any attempt to truly help those affected will increase warranty repairs.
The solution for those whose hinges have not yet broken completely, but they are hearing cracking noises, is to disassemble both hinges and loosen the nuts.
You mean the cable that connects the internal screen to the mainboard?
Any feedback on this new hinge ?
The hinge of my librem 13v2 has been fine for ~3.5 years. But recently the plastic support crumbled and it became next to impossible to open/close the lid properly
I was quite surprised to find that you guys had the exact same type of damages on the hinge. The photos I’ve found on the forum are uncannily similar to what I have.
I’ve attempted a repair using epoxy, it kind of worked but It looks fragile, it’s creaking a lot so I’m not overly happy with the result. I’ll try to loosen the nuts and I’ll tell you if it helps.
I’d just like to throw out there that just because something is standard doesn’t mean it is defect free as this seems to imply.
I’m not saying this specific design is defective, it sounds to me like there are many variables involved in most of these failures and in turn it isn’t the design itself but a culmination of variables, I just am pushing back on the implication that if it’s industry standard it isn’t flawed.
To continue on this vein, the industry standard for privacy and security is pretty abysmal, and Purism has bucked the trend on that, so there’s no reason Purism shouldn’t eventually buck bad hardware trends as well. I understand the difficulty with building a new hardware platform (just look at how hard it was to get the L5 to production), but it would be nice if something physically sturdier were eventually available. Full disclosure: I had an L13v4 with a bad hinge that I had to fix, so I’m probably suffering from confirmation bias
Sure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the design is flawed. The materials do break down over time and will fail eventually no matter what. There is a balance between cost and longevity. I think plastics are generally used because you get a decent balance on that front. Sure it would be nice if the chassis were made of a titanium alloy with a diamond screen, but the cost on that would be absurd (yes I went to the extreme intentionally, I don’t think this is actually what anyone is asking for). Could Purism move to less plastic and increase the cost, sure, but ultimately that aspect is very much a balancing act. I don’t think the hinge of the laptop is quite comparable to what’s going on with the phone, and again I don’t think the hinge issue is necessarily with the design.
Also Purisms expertise doesn’t appear, to me, to be in the mechanical and material sciences and in turn probably isn’t best suited for R&D of a new hinge design; instead moving to a different industry standard design as they have done seems to be a more balanced approach.
Sometimes “good enough” is just that, good enough. This also allows Purism to continue to push forward with PureOS on the laptop as well as other things they are doing different from the industry such as their hardware kill switches on the laptop.
I appreciate the desire for a longer lasting laptop, but in this case I think the more pragmatic thing would be available replacement parts.
@craftkiller hi. What do you think, is it possible to remove the motherboard without removing the cooler? I need to access the screws behind the MB, so I would like to know do I need a new thermopaste afterwards.