- The new Librem 14 from Purism is a privacy-protecting powerhouse that is light enough to carry around.
- The company even ships the product with photographs so you know its hardware hasn’t been tampered with.
- The cost for one of these depends on the chosen configuration, but it can generally be considered honestly-priced.
Purism, the San Francisco-based computer hardware, and software company that focuses on security, privacy, and user freedom, has presented the Librem 14. This is a 14-inch screen laptop featuring hardware kill switches that enable the user to be 100% sure that the camera, microphone, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth are indeed switched off. In addition to this, the Librem 14 has the Intel Management engine disabled and neutralized, while all unneeded firmware is also disabled or stripped out. In the area of protecting the user against hardware tampering, there’s the Librem Key that performs a series of checks upon boot, and the PureBoot that makes tampering a lot harder. The laptop is photographed upon shipping, and an image is included as proof for the recipient.
Once the user is in the PureOS interface, which is Purism’s Linux distribution based on Debian, they may enjoy GPG encrypted email services, Apparmor sandboxed software packages, ad-blocking, tracking protection, and HTTPS everywhere. So, the Librem 14 is a highly secured and private-minded laptop without a doubt, but how much of a suitable machine is it for pro-grade work? Purism decided to give this laptop enough power to make it ideal for professionals on the go, so it’s basically promoted as an ultra-portable workstation.
More specifically, it comes with the 10th generation of the Intel Core i7, 10710U, which is a six-core / twelve thread beast clocked at 4.7 GHz. The DDR4 RAM can go up to 32 GB of size and runs at 2133 MHz, while there are 2 SATA + NVMe-capable M.2 slots for the permanent storage options (250GB to 2TB). Moreover, Librem 14 features three USB 3.1 ports (two type A and one type C), an HDMI 2 port capable of 4K at 60Hz, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a backlit keyboard with comfortable key travel. Everything is neatly packed in a sleek aluminum body, totaling an overall weight figure of 1.4 kg.
All in all, this is a Linux-based beast that brings unique levels of privacy protection to the user. Its main problem is the lack of Linux ports for many software tools that professionals prefer to work on when using other platforms like the macOS or even Windows. If this isn’t an issue for you, the “early bird” price starts at $1,199 with 8GB of RAM and 250GB of SATA M.2. The 32GB RAM/1TB SATA will set you back $1,687. Depending on what other hardware and firmware updates you’ll go for (there are plenty of options), the cost for a Librem 14 laptop may climb as high as $3,693.