Your Purism products wish list

I’d like the Librem 11 to be brought back to life, and for work to continue on it. Convergence devices are important and I think the tablet computer is that market space.

I disagree however about it being ARM based. We need the device to be as compatible with software as it can be. Targeting the ARM platform means that only specialized Linux distros will have stuff for it. If we keep it x86/64 then we have a humongously massive catalog of software across Linux and Windows and even OS X if you wanna run a Hackintosh.

Remember, it being a FOSS products doesn’t mean that arbitrary limitations are put on its use. I need it to be able to run anything, and I believe that will be it’s real appeal.

For me, a Surface like tablet, with a battery that can be replaced and by design, is a tablet that will appeal to MANY people way outside of the current enraptured audience Purism currently courts.


++ for router and workstation


I would like to see a pure os based home server like the Excito Bubba


I totally agree that the Librem 11 should be the next project, not only because there will be demand, but also because it a category where there is currently no available option for people who want 100% free software and Purism can take the existing design for the Librem 5 and put it into a new form factor, so it shouldn’t require that much development work.

The second project I would like to see is a 100% free laptop based on the i.MX 8 QuadMax, and then a desktop PC based on the same SoC.

There is no good option if Purism doesn’t use ARM. POWER9 can be run with 100% free software, but its power draw is so high that it will never work on any device that isn’t a desktop PC or server. Si-Five’s mobile SoC for RISC-V is reportedly 2 years away, but it will require proprietary drivers for the PowerVR GPU/VPU and neural processor from Imagination, and it is probably the same situation for its cellular baseband, GNSS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and DDR PHY. The Libre-RISC-V project is at least 5 years away from having a working mobile SoC that Purism can actually use.

MIPS64 looked really promising 5 years ago, but I haven’t seen any news since the 8-core Loongson 3B at 28nm in 2014. Either the development on the Loongson has stopped or it has been in stealth mode for the last 5 years.

Finally you are left with x86 and its binary blobs. ARM is really the only option. Now that the Panfrost and Hantro G1 drivers have gotten better, the Rockchip RK3399 might be an option (or possibly the future RK3588, but the Panfrost driver for the Mali-G52 GPU is very preliminary at this point). However, it is probably better for Purism to stick with the i.MX 8, since it has invested so much time into making it work, despite the fact that the i.MX 8M Quad and i.MX 8M mini are underpowered and the i.MX 8 sucks too much current for a mobile device.


I might be mistaken but I thought there was a reasonable number of ARM distros out there, though I don’t know the state of them. Of course PureOS will be one of them. I don’t think there is a lot of benefit of having too many anyway.

I can totally see your point and I can see the benefit there. I’m not dead set on having an ARM tablet but I feel it is worthwhile them considering. An x86-64 processor would allow the large range of closed software to run on it (at a reasonable speed). On ARM you could run some software with an x86 emulator which is what I would do for the few things I needed to. I understand that’s not ideal for all use cases but the majority of things I need are in the FOSS world.

My reasons for thinking ARM may be a good choice are:

  • Battery life.

  • Like the phone, it could be RYF certified.

And some non-negatives:

  • They can use the knowledge and experience they have gained from the phone hardware design.

  • They could probably reuse many of the same components and even perhaps some of the design.

  • It will already have binaries to run on PureOS because of the phone.

Honestly I would be happy either way but my preference is slightly toward ARM. I feel Purism might also prefer ARM because it would allow another RYF certified device in their line up.


Although they could package up the phone in a tablet shape, if the tablet is ARM based, I hope they would use the i.MX 8QuadMax. I would like something more powerful than the phone. The tablet will have more space that can be occupied by the battery but I wonder how much more power the i.MX 8QuadMax will consume? And how would that compare to using an x86?

I understand the wish list, have you thought about a raspi? Cheap and easy to set up.

I thought the same, although I could be persuaded otherwise.

The tablet will have more space full stop. A number of design decisions could be revisited.

I don’t know whether starting with the phone design and altering it is necessarily the best approach.

A significant functional question is whether a tablet would have mobile broadband capability (e.g. face all the regulatory and other hassle that the phone does) or whether it might rely on a phone to be tethered in order to provide internet connectivity when not using WiFi.

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What about keyboard and mouse? Better if they’re made by Purism than other brands to use with Librem devices. Who know what’s planted into either keyboard or mouse made by other companies. Since it was revealed that Microsoft have been spying on Window 10 users then what stops them from spying Microsoft keyboard users regardless of what OS they’re using? Also some big brand mouses like Corsair, some of their models don’t work with Linux.

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That would be difficult if the keyboard presents a standard interface i.e. no driver required, and only presents a keyboard (no additional endpoints - I’m assuming USB here), and you are using Linux.

The keyboard might well come with bloatware but that bloatware will probably be Windows-only software. So it doesn’t really matter if the bloatware is also spyware.

I think that spying on mouse events is generally fairly unproductive. A mouse would have some of the same considerations as a keyboard, again assuming USB.

It is not impossible to compromise a system with a keyboard. That might be factory default or it might reflect a keyboard that has had its firmware compromised “after market”. I suspect that if Microsoft keyboards came pre-compromised someone would have noticed by now.

There’s no way I would use a Microsoft keyboard or mouse if it required any additional software, even if that software were available for Linux (which is unlikely).

Not trying to derail this thread, just curious as to what keyboard brand/model is known to be fairly safe/without bloatware or spyware? Asking because I happen to be on the outlook to buy a new multi media keyboard, currently using Logitech K400R with touchpad which has served me very well.

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<3 i still miss my Nokia E5 :smiley:

Keyboard could run malicious firmware afaik so i think it’s a lot relevant topic, i read somwhere in the web from a security guy about it, should be nice if someone know if there is a keyboard without firmware and which keyb is it. If is not possible to make a keyb without a firmware than i will add a keyb with mechanical keys to my purism product wish list

is what i use


You can at least improve the situation if you have: a keyboard with firmware but the firmware cannot be updated via USB or cannot be updated unless the user takes some specific physical action (like changing the position of a switch on the keyboard) or cannot be updated period.

The paper from K. Chen makes the observation that

For a device as simple in design as a keyboard, it is hard to imagine why a firmware update mechanism is even required.

In fact the paper itself answers that question

Apple released the update to address complaints from users about keys repeating unexpectedly while typing and other issues.

So there are trade-offs. Free lunch is not free.

As a thought experiment, I’d even go a step further: use the exact same PCB. It would be very, very, very economic (development, manufacturing, revisions)

Only advantage of a slightly modified (larger) PCB would be a thinner tablet.

To my knowledge, no. The modems are pre-approved components. I don’t think Purism had to do anything with that.
Except SAR measurement.

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My point was: to sell a phone, you have to ask the user where they are / sell the right model with the right M.2 modem in it - and a whole world of pain with different carriers and worse still different countries, and potentially ongoing and changing regulatory requirements.

If your tablet offers mobile broadband capability then you import that pain into the tablet.

If you offer a tablet without mobile broadband capability - which may suit some customers - then you avoid all that (as well as reducing the cost). A person with only occasional need for mobile broadband connectivity on their tablet can tether their L5 to their L10/L11. :slight_smile:

100% I agree about the design and manufacturing costs.

The other side of the coin is: what design compromises were made in order to work with the phone form factor and is it worth revisiting those for a tablet form factor (particularly, say, a 10" or 11" tablet that was requested above)? That may go well beyond thickness.

For example,

Better options for heat dissipation may allow a more capable CPU.

Straight off the bat, with a 10"+ tablet, you may want a higher res screen than the L5 but that may have flow on effects with the rest of the unit.

To me this isn’t just a straightforward decision to repackage the L5 with a physically larger screen but otherwise identical.

However let’s speculate all we like about an L10/L11 when we don’t even have the L5 yet. :slight_smile:


Seeing as Purism is maintaining PureBrowser, and Epiphany (Gnome-web) is also using the Firefox sync as sync service, it would be interesting for Purism to add their own Firefox sync server to Librem One.

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I can’t find any measurements online of how much power the i.MX 8 QuadMax consumes. We will have to wait for more boards to appear, but it wasn’t designed for mobile devices.


No probably not. More likely, inspired by.

It would be pretty cool to be able to borrow or swap the modem from a Librem 5. It wouldn’t bother me if it didn’t have it though.

I agree it does makes a lot of sense but I hope they will instead improve things that can be improved from what they learn from the phone. There may possibly still be some cost benefits if they use a similar design.

That’s what I was thinking but I wasn’t sure.

I think it could and likely would be optional because not everyone will want it. And I think sharing the same modems with the phone will take a lot of the hassle out of it.

I seriously hope they don’t make it too much thicker than 15mm. Assuming they will have a keyboard attachment like they advertised originally, that would make it a pretty chunky package.

The i.MX 8M Quad wasn’t either was it? So I guess the phone will give some indication of power usage in the i.MX 8 range. And it looks like we’ll find out soon since the shipping was just announced! :grin:

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