If you’re not a fan of Windows 10 or Apple’s decision to transition to ARM-based laptops has you less than excited, Purism has a laptop you may want to consider instead.
Purism is a company setup to produce “freedom respecting, privacy protecting, and security focused products,” and its latest product to deliver on that promise is the Librem 14 laptop. Launched this week, the Librem 14 builds on the previous success of the Librem 13 by using a 14-inch 1080p IPS panel, but managing to fit it into the same footprint of the Librem 13 chassis thanks to smaller bezels.
The Librem 14 base configuration includes a six core (12 threads) Intel Core i7-10710U, 8GB of RAM, a 250GB SATA M.2 SSD, and it runs PureOS, which just like the laptop hardware is a freedom respecting version of Linux focused on keeping you and your information secure (it does this with sandboxed apps, HTTPS everywhere, ad blocking and tracking protection by default, and only ships with free and open source software). In terms of connectivity, there’s USB 3.1 Type A and USB 3.1 Type-C ports, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack, and a memory card reader.
One of the major selling points of Purism laptops is its unique hardware kill switches, which physically disconnect the camera, mic, wireless, and Bluetooth connections when required. Even the BIOS is open source and the laptop uses PureBoot to secure the boot process (no Secure Boot here) and allow a user to self-sign their own operating system. There’s also support for the LibremKey, which is a USB security token offering encryption, key management, and easy tamper detection.
The base price is $1,119, but that includes an early bird discount of $300. It’s possible to increase the RAM up to 32GB, add a second storage drive, and push the storage size up to a maximum of 4TB. You can also add a privacy screen for an extra $29. If you max out the spec the price goes north of $3,000, but then you’re getting quite the powerhouse in return. Pre-orders are expected to ship in Q4 2020.