The New Librem 13 Laptop From Purism Is Really Wanting to Be a Free for All (of Sorts)


What do you know about Linux? The Ubuntu-based operating system that either works for folks and they absolutely advocate for it, or nothing works just right and consumers steer away. Well what about giving a pure version of Linux a try, a version from Purism? Straight out of the box, the new Librem 13 laptop runs PureOS, its very own security-focused version of Linux, without all those hurdles of setting the OS up that seem to confuse people over and over again. In discovering the Librem 13, apparently you are ready for the first 13.3-inch ultraportable designed to protect your digital life. For those who are so far beyond ready to truly protect your rights to privacy, security, as well as freedom, you’ll find this laptop so very refreshing. For those who may desire more up-to-date features, like a high pixel count or CPU processor, you may find yourself looking elsewhere for this kind of full package.

Of course Dell made its Linux debut with its Developer Edition of the XPS 13 9360, which was thought to be the best out-of-the-box Linux and open-source laptop of its caliber. It came out demanding to be everything a programmer could want from a high-end laptop. Sources say what Purism is trying to do, more than anything, is replace all proprietary bits you are used to on every other laptop you’ve gotten used to with free software- what Purism calls “pure Free Software drivers”. Although available in a 15-inch size as well, the Librem 13 laptop is similar to its 15-inch big sister, which happens to mean it, too, has prevailed thanks to a crowdfunding project. CrowdSupply launched the San Francisco, CA-based tech company’s Librem 13 Laptop up for campaigning back in September 2015, and it became 187% funded with almost twice its $250,000 goal.

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The minimalistic looking 3.3 pound, $1,399 Librem 13 runs PureOS (as mentioned), features a 1080p matte LCD screen, and a bit of an old school processor. The Core i5 6200U chip is accompanied by an Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU, 8GB of RAM, plus 250 SATA3 SSD. Both the keyboard and touchpad seem to get a bad rep, but on the plus side, the shell is completely void of branding, so that open-source factor is for real. Users can easily open up the computer, swap RAM and storage, and rely on support for both SATA and NVMe M.2 drives, even 2.5-inch drives as well.

Of course the laptop also features a webcam, microphone, a physical switch to disable both of them, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This is an interesting hardware perk in itself. Think of them as privacy hardware “kill switches”. They’re a good thing. Additionally, the Librem 13 runs on Coreboot firmware, rather than the Intel Management Engine, which is a far better security comptroller. As you may already have noticed, this laptop isn’t an award winner for specs, but it does push protection. In actuality, this is more than a shallow attempt, this is a tried and true example that not just big-name, modern laptops with their bright high-res displays, and ultra fast 7th gen chips aren’t the only devices who want to address the same Free Software, privacy, and security concerns.

Topics: Technology News Laptop Trends Laptops & Ultrathin Ultrabooks Tech Reviews

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