Why does the Librem 14 have 2 power ports?

TBH though if the rest of your ports were behind it instead of in front of it, it’d be even worse. That’s my biggest issue with Purism copying your laptop… they’re also putting everything behind the USB-C port too.

I’d actually prefer that, so I wouldn’t have to flip the cord around to use the USB port (the plug has a 90 degree bend in it)

Let me just say that I MUCH prefer barrel jacks to USB-C. USB chargers can be incompatible (maximum current and maybe voltage if there is software in the charger) and the conductors are much smaller than a barrel jack’s and easier to damage. One reason I prefer the Librems to the newer Macs is the barrel jack, though there are other, better, reasons. :wink:

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One possibility that I think would be cool (but I won’t be attempting anytime soon since I sprung for the 3-year warranty) is drilling out a usb type c slot on the left-hand side, attaching one of the boards from Librem13 USB-C Charge Hack Thoughts? , and then internally routing a cable from the DC output to the barrel jack on the right-hand side to enable charging from either side of the device. With the board with USB data you could even get data working through the port (though obviously no alt-modes). Naturally, we won’t know if this is possible until we have the machine in-hand to see what kind of free space we’re dealing with but having a barrel jack gives an easy path for this hack by providing a simple interface to supply DC.

Yeah I’m thinking I’ll do this.

Also this is one way for Purism to make everyone happy… USB-C PD on one side and a barrel jack on the other. That way the user can choose from either option. I sleep on one side of the bed so I’d much rather have a laptop with a power port on both sides anyway, so I can always use the most convenient one.

Unfortunately the guy who made that thread you linked left without any more updates and when I attempted necromancy nobody else responded either, so I may have to just figure out what I’m doing from scratch.

My point was, if there were ports on both sides, you’d have to flip it one way to get some ports and flip it the other way to get to the others.

I was a little curious about 2 power ports as well, seemed like the design was a little confused to me.

One is sufficient, two seems to complicate things. I can understand the desire to be able to use the USB-C port that works as PD while at the same time charging the laptop.

But what happens if you plug two chargers into the laptop at the same time?

I’m sure someone will manage to do this at some point in time.

Does this make the design more expensive since there are more components to support two different power supplies?

I think someone should make a decision to dump one of the charging ports, personally I’d dump the barrel jack.


If you plug in both chargers at the same time power USB power delivery will negotiate to not take power because charging is already happening.

Does it make the design more expensive? Maybe, but not likely by any meaningful amount. USB-C charging has to have all of the intelligence it has anyway, and barrel charging is already very well understood and other vendors offer this combination as well so it’s not like they were reinventing the wheel on this front.

If the USB ports are disabled in the bios can you still charge via USB-C? If not, this would be the primary reason I would push to keep the barrel charger around, and if so I’d be concerned about how well the USB ports are actually being disabled since part of the PD spec is using the data channel to negotiate voltage and amperage between devices.

Also also, some people would like to charge their laptop and use the PD FROM the laptop to charge a mobile (or other) device so another reason to have multiple ports CAPABLE of charging. The PD spec LET’S you charge the laptop but can ALSO be used to charge other devices.

Just because you don’t intend to use the options available doesn’t mean those options should be taken away from others.

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You could still charge through USB-C it if you disable USB, it would just be limited to the 5v default. The data pins are only used for negotiating correct voltages/amperage. So you’d have to turn it off or something while it’s charging.

I don’t think anyone is suggesting removing the USB-C port though. I was originally thinking the USB-C and barrel jack could just be replaced with two USB-C ports. But, as a compromise with our barrel-jack loving friends, the USB-C port could just go on the opposite side so it is as convenient to use as the barrel jack is right now.

That or something would be that it would not charge, laptops will not charge on 5v they have to negotiate the higher voltage to charge at all. There are several other devices like this as well where the battery minimum charging voltage is above 5v so no this would not work.

Moving ports around seems to be primarily a personal preference thing and one where no matter where they’re moved to some group isn’t going to be happy.

The risks of USB charging are about the same as the risks of USB random-other-device.

However the risks of USB charging are greater than the risks of barrel connector charging.

Bottom line: It is difficult to please all of the people all of the time.

FTFY :wink:



I just checked my Librem 13, and the USB-C port is on the other side. Meaning it was just switched to being right next to the power port on the 14.

Anyway, maybe I should make a new thread, because I feel like my original post is making everyone think I’m saying to get rid of the barrel jack… Although I personally think that would be best, moving the USB-C port back to where it was on the 13 instead would also be easier and keep everyone happy.

we’re not making any revisions to the L14 board layout this late in the game


Yeah I didn’t think so, and that’s ok. I just wanted to give feedback.

Maybe for the Librem 14v2?

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we only have so much leeway when it comes to these things, as every design change incurs an NRE cost. Adding USB-PD to an empty location costs X, but shuffling or removing ports costs 2-5*X

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Oh. What a shame that so many resources were spent on moving the USB-PD in front of the barrel jack then. Perhaps adding USB-PD where the lock slot is would be easier.

Anyway, just something for you to consider, from a loyal Purism customer. I’ll be waiting and hoping the 14v2 has USB-PD in a better location so I don’t have to tear apart my brand new laptop like these guys did.


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why would you have to tear it apart when it comes with USB-PD?

Apples and Oranges. The thread you linked was people replacing the barrel connector for a USB C PD port. They didn’t change the location of the port. Nor were they doing all of this because they disagreed with the ports location.

In short, you can provide no logical rational basis for needing to tear your laptop apart, based on the reasoning found in this thread.

I have that same laptop-- the Librem 13-- and it does have USB-PD. One of the pictures shows a disassembled Librem 15v3 and is labelled Librem 15v3, and that laptop also has USB-C.

And like you said, they were replacing the barrel jack with USB-C. That is what I suggested but with the lock slot.

The USB-PD is unusable, for me, in the current placement, and at least those other customers felt the same way. Your use case is not everyone’s.