We truly think of the Librem 14 as our dream laptop here at Purism, and because of that and because this is a brand new design compared to the Librem 13 we find ourselves nitpicking a bit more than usual as our design becomes a reality.
As part of this nitpicking process we make EVT (Engineering Verification Test) samples which allow us not only to fine-tune our manufacturing process, it also allows us to physically examine the laptop. Using kill switches, using the keyboard, examining the print on the case and keyboard–all these and other tests help us refine things so that the final product is something we are proud of. In addition to the more cosmetic bugs we list below, it also helps us find larger bugs. For instance we discovered issues not just with the microphone but also an issue that limited the 2nd SO-DIMM slot to 16GB RAM. We needed to re-do the PCB to address both of these issues.
We know a lot of people have been interested to see pictures of the actual Librem 14 instead of just renders. We have made the second round of EVT samples a few weeks ago and have finally gotten a chance to take some high-quality pictures to share. We are almost there! There are just a few more tweaks we want to make that will only add a few weeks to our shipping plan, but we think it’s important to get everything perfect. With the holidays this will likely mean shipping won’t start until the beginning of January.
Here are some pictures of an EVT2 sample so you can see the minor improvements we’d still like to make. In the front view you can see the keyboard layout is almost there. We want to tweak the print of the letters to be a bit thinner and improve the overall quality of the keyboard printing (you can see an example of room for improvement in the F3 key).
We also want to tweak the print next to the hardware kill switch LEDs so they are larger and on top of the LEDs. The hardware kill switches themselves are a bit too short–we want them to sit a bit higher so they are easier to trigger with your finger.
We are adding a hole near the DC barrel jack for a power indicator LED that will match the power LED on the top of the keyboard so you can tell whether the laptop is suspended even when the lid is closed. We are also removing the redundant microphone hole as we now have a digital microphone next to the camera in the LCD lid.
There’s no changes to point out in this side, but you can see the HDMI, USB-A, microSD, and USB-C slots.
No changes here but check out how nice the Librem 14 looks when closed!
We know many of you are as excited about the Librem 14 as we are. With these tweaks we know you’ll be pleased with the final result. And if you haven’t yet placed your pre-order for the Librem 14 now’s your chance.