School/Work ? Advice On Pc

I am going to be majoring in Computer Science and studying for my COMPTIA exams to get my certifications in Network+ , Security+ etc etc etc. I’m curious to know if the Purism Laptop 15 would be a good pc for school and work purposes ??

A precursor question might be “Is any Linux laptop a good pc for school and work purposes?”. That is, how much are institutions or companies just assuming that you use Microsoft Windows? Some will be better than others. You should probably start by asking the school. Maybe people who already go to the school can also provide experience.

1 Like

I wish I had a Librem 15 when I was at university, rather than a 386!

If you don’t need discrete graphics, then the Librem 15 should be fine. In my experience, a high-resolution matte IPS screen like the one on the Librem 15 makes it easier to read for long periods of time. If you are not in a hurry, you might consider waiting for the Librem 15 v5 at the end of this year, since it will have a 4 core CPU.

I’m not sure that the Librem 15 will help you with your studies any more than any other Linux laptop, but a good laptop that you enjoy using can be an incentive to do your homework.

In my experience, some professors demand the use of Windows software, but you can always install Windows inside Virtualbox if you ever need to run any Windows software.


I graduated a couple years ago, and as I recall any computer science software you might need (mainly IDEs) have Linux versions, so you should be fine. Also, check that your professors will accept PDF files when you write your papers, if you submit papers electronically. Exporting to PDF first will save you a lot of heartache caused by formatting differences.


Do you have an unofficial roadmap for v5?
I was hoping a release just after Librem mini shipping.
If it will be at the end of the year, it will have hardly to compete with RCS laptop with Power10 CPU, to be released in 2021 (Power10 will be assembled in a laptop too!).

since you wrote “pc” that means you expect the compute device YOU PAY for to be a PERSONAL-computer (i.e something you OWN).

as they say “code is LAW” in the digital world so you might be interested in something that will compute ONLY what you tell it to and NOTHING more.

for what you have said vim and emacs are good companions on ANY hardware. there are some channels over on lbry dot tv if you wish to learn more.

i don’t have any Purism hardware yet to confirm but the intel iGPU in the Librem 13/15 should be powerfull enough for any 1080p@60hz GUI based text program and multitasking should be easier than on the older two core machines … some have stated that 4k@30hz should be also possible

the sweet spot imo is with external monitors that are 3840x1080 curved (best screen real estate to space taken)
the curvature is also supposedly more natural for human eyesight.


Matt Devillier (MrChromebox) has posted several times on r/purism that v5 will come by the end of this year, but he just posted “TBD this year” and it will likely be a 10th gen Core CPU with at least 4 cores and likely have USB Power Delivery. From that info, I’m guessing that the CPU will be a Core i7-10510U (Comet Lake-U).

1 Like

which would be sweet … doubling the multi-threaded performance and +25% on the single-threaded performance, more or less.

Thank you!
Anyway I cannot understand why if they already disabled and neutralized Intel® Management Engine for Intel Core i7-8565U, then they do not use it now for a laptop but decide to postpone for a 10th-gen SoC.
I know that 10th-gen is better than 8th-gen, but v4 is 7th-gen since January 2019

marginally faster maybe … better ? from what perspective ? Moore’s LAW is still in effect to this day and it has plagued intel more than AMD lately it seems :wink:

It uses less power and provides roughly the same performance with maybe a percentage more grunt. It does the same amount of work with less power.

I’d say that easily makes it better.

1 Like

Engineering for 8th gen, when 10th gen is possible is a waste of finite resources and time.

The mini is a completely different format with different fabrication lines. Apples and oranges.

8th gen Whiskey Lake-U was released in August 2018, but Purism is dependent on the Coreboot work done by Intel and Google for Chromebooks, and there were no 8th gen Whiskey Lake ports in the list of Coreboot ports in January 2019, so 7th gen Kaby Lake was the only realistic choice for the Librem 13/15 v4 when it was released.

Purism will never be on the leading edge of the tech, because it has to wait on the Coreboot and Linux driver work done by others, and then it does custom motherboard design to add hardware kill switches and fuse the CPU to not require a signed BIOS/UEFI.

In contrast, Clevo, which supplies laptops for System76, ThinkPenguin, TUXEDO, Juno, Station X, Entroware, Slimbook and, tries to be faster to market than its competitors with leading-edge tech.

I do not question the choice of the CPU for v4 in January 2019 but the choice of CPU in 2020. If you remember, the transition from v3 to v4 was an upgrade of the CPU from 6th gen to 7th gen (and 4k screen for 15"), now in mid 2020 they could already move from 7th gen to 8th gen but it seems they do not, they work for 10th gen.

Intel didn’t release an new U-series mobile processor in 2017 and it didn’t make a 9th gen U-series mobile processor. Here is the release schedule:

  • 7th gen Kaby Lake-U released in Aug 2016
  • 8th gen Whiskey Lake-U released in Aug 2018
  • Librem 13/15 v4 with Kaby Lake-U released in Jan 2019
  • 10th gen Comet Lake-U released in Aug 2019
  • 11th gen Tiger Lake-U released in Q3 2020
  • Librem 13/15 v5 with Comet Lake-U released at end of 2020

v4 was released with tech that was 2.4 years old, whereas v5 will have tech that is 1.3 years old. There are already Coreboot ports for Comet Lake-U, so Purism can use more up-to-date tech in v5.


OK, it’s fine if they get in a short time.

Isn’t the Purism Mini based on a 8th gen intel CPU? I was under the impression Coreboot ./ Purboot was all working with it.

Also are you absolutely certain that it is Comet Lake and not Ice Lake?

Don’t ask us. Ask the school. I think your issue is really the operating system that is loaded.
If I look around me at workplaces, most of them use Microsoft. Should you also be disappointed by them (as I was!), it is irrelevant in the bigger scheme. You have to please your school/workplace to succeed. I would suggest running natively whatever it is that they want. If you want to run the other operating system, you can do both either with a virtual installation or with a choice at boot. But what do I know about school. In my day they used apple in monochrome. My computer at home ran dos at 16 Mhz. Seriously ask your school. Time moves on for everyone.

1 Like

Yes, the Mini uses 8th gen Whiskey Lake, so it will launch with tech that is 1.9 years old. The product page says that it has Coreboot and supports the Librem Key so it must have Pureboot to do that.

@MrChromebox says that he can’t tell us anything more than it will be 10th gen, but there is no Coreboot port for Ice Lake, which is why I concluded that v5 will be Comet Lake-U. Maybe Purism is doing the first port of Ice Lake, but I really doubt it.

Hi @VPN. I just finished school for a 2-year degree, and will be starting at Uni this fall to finish my 4-year degree. I will share my experience in the hopes it will help. I will echo what a few other people here already said, and that is the hardware is a less important question than is the OS you will be using.

The school I just finished as well as the Uni I will be attending both state that they only support Windows 10 and Mac OS X. That being said, I used Linux for a vast majority of my schoolwork. There were a few occasions that I didn’t, and for those I used Windows in a VM. The times I decided to use Windows was:

  1. Freshman Composition 1 & 2: The professor wanted our papers in .docx format. Every other time a professor wanted a paper in .docx format, I just used Libre Office, but for this class, because formatting was so important, I used MS Word in a Windows VM. Libre Office does a pretty good job at writing OOXML formats, but can be a little off sometimes. That is why I chose to go this route for those classes.

  2. Power Point presentations: Twice I had to create Power Point presentations. I chose to use the Windows VM for that, too, as Libre Office can be a little off sometimes, and I didn’t want to risk it not displaying properly.

  3. Assembly Programming class: We studied MIPS and used an assembler written in Java, so I had no problems there. We did spend 2 weeks touching on x86, and the assembler the professor wanted us to use was only available for Windows. I could have used a different assembler, I am sure, because I only had to turn in the source files, but I figured it was not worth the hassle of finding one, and chose to use the Windows VM for that.

So I was able to use Linux for most of my schoolwork, but I did have a fallback VM to use at those times I felt it necessary. It worked for the first 2 years, anyway, we will see what the next 2 years brings.

If you are planning on getting your Networking+ and Security+ certs, I am guessing you are planning on going into a field related to that. So I will say, it would be in your best interest to learn Linux (if you are not already proficient with it). A large number of the servers running in “the cloud” are Linux based, and I believe having that knowledge would only be a benefit to you.

Sorry for being so long-winded. I hope that helps you a bit. Good luck on your journey.