Review of Librem v1 laptop - after 4 years

Jul 23rd, 2020
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  1. Originally posted at :
  3. Hi guys, I was among the first to buy Librem laptop when it was released. I even bought it with SSD installed, and it (SSD) was indeed a very good investment:
  6. So here are my thoughts after 4 years of using it :
  8. 1. Warranty / support : you may not get it. I tried to to repair my laptop for several defects, emailed to support on 2018 as instructed. I was prepared to pay for shipping, or repair cost in case this is considered out of warranty repair. Never got a reply :
  10. 2. Broken hinges : yup it happened. And I am very careful with this laptop, I'm not those guy who open / close their laptop with abandon, then just toss the laptop somewhere when they're done, not me. Anyway with non-existent support , I was hopeless at first - until a friend offered his help to fix it. I was lucky to know someone with that capability :
  12. 3. Broken key : this was a major pain - until several months and I adapted. Now it's an annoyance :
  14. 4. Fan always on full-blast : on a silent room, my laptop will always be the noisiest. Confirmed I got a defective hardware : but no solution.
  16. 5. Short battery life : I guess this is the consequence of point 4.
  18. 6. No way to set battery charging level : to extend battery life, you can use TLP on Linux to make the laptop start charging on 40% and stop charging at 50%. With lithium-ion battery, this can help prolong battery life. Turned out this feature of TLP is only supported on Thinkpad laptops. A workaround exist though - when you're using Windows-compatible laptop, you can set this on Windows, then the setting will carry on to Linux. I guess that's not possible with Librem :
  20. 7. Librem kept hitting 99 C temperature, so the performance slows down due to throttling. This is even with the fan going full-blast at all time (see point 4). Found a workaround though - if I propped it with a pen/marker - the temperature will drop to around 80 C :
  22. 8. Unstable Bluetooth : during this plague I do a lot of teleconferences, like many others. I bought a wireless (bluetooth) headset for this. It's unreliable though - it kept getting disconnected. After I bought tp-link's UB400 bluetooth adaptor, the problem disappeared. The headset will connect reliably with the laptop :
  24. 9. No Kensington Lock : therefore it's impossible to use this laptop on public areas for prolonged time. Check the current product page, still can not find this mentioned on the technical details.
  26. 10. Backlit keyboard broken : it won't lit up anymore. And due to point 1, I don't think it will ever be fixed. This is a very useful feature for me - I woke up very early, so this enable me to work without disturbing my wife. Now I use a dim desk lamp to lit the keyboard, but of course this is not ideal and still rather bright for a sleeping person.
  28. Otherwise I'm happy with my Librem laptop.
  30. I'm going to buy a new laptop soon, but due to point 1, I'm gonna have to buy something else. Probably Thinkpad, with AMD processor, it also fulfill all of these wishlist points :
  32. cheers !
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