Librem 15 Linux Laptop Set To Close At Around $400k USD
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 31 January 2015 at 12:47 PM EST. 17 Comments
HARDWARE --
While new Linux laptop projects keep popping up and many of these open-source friendly hardware projects never materialize, the Librem 15 at least has managed to shoot past its original funding goal.

The Librem 15 is what we originally talked about back in November as the expensive "Free/Libre Software Laptop" using a NVIDIA GPU. Those behind this open hardware project came to their senses and dropped the NVIDIA GPU option after realizing what a horrible mistake that would be for a laptop billed as open-source friendly -- NVIDIA on the desktop side really isn't open-source friendly and the Nouveau driver leaves a lot to be desired.

After extending the original crowdfunding campaign, they added more hardware options and managed to obtain their needed funding. The manufacturing goal was $250k USD and thanks to the extension they're now set to close the campaign at the end of today at around $400k. With the extra funds, they're planning to add hardware kill switches for the microphone/camera and for all RF/WiFI/Bluetooth adapters. Those behind the project are also looking at replacing the HDMI port with two mini Thunderbolt ports.

While the campaign is set to end, there's still many open questions about this laptop such as what models will have matte screens, whether they will be able to have a Backlit keyboard, whether HEC/TPM will be part of the laptop, whether the laptop chassis will feature the Librem logo, and various other details. This late in the game it's a bit frightening that there's still so many open topics.

It's also not confirmed yet whether the BIOS / component firmware will be 100% free, which at this point it doesn't look like it will be any different from the other Coreboot-compatible laptops but they hope to be fully free in the future.

Considering the current Librem Laptop pricing with 4GB of RAM, 500GB HDD, CD / DVD ROM, 1920 x 1080, and Core i7 Haswell processor starts at $1849 USD, I'm quite happy with my new Broadwell-based ThinkPad X1 Carbon with its excellent build quality and it cost less while having better hardware and will almost surely be freed up with Coreboot in the future. At least though the Librem hardware ends up being more interesting than the out-of-date Gluglug laptops that are refurbished ThinkPads.

Those wanting to view more last-minute details about the Librem 15 can visit CrowdSupply.com.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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