The Librem 14 is our dream laptop and we know many of you are looking forward to getting yours. In our last post we talked about some of the final tweaks we made that resulted in shipping being delayed until January. The bad news is that we won’t be able to start shipping Librem 14s until February, but the good news is that everyone will be getting our (as of yet unannounced) extended battery option by default! Read the rest of the article for details.
If you talk to anyone in manufacturing they will tell you that this has been a particularly challenging year for the supply chain. Whether you are talking about toilet paper, N95 masks, rubber gloves, or semiconductors, the global pandemic has made supply chains less reliable, and lead times and shipping times incredibly unpredictable. We already ran into supply chain challenges with the Librem 14 earlier when Intel announced CPU shortages, and most recently when we were preparing the first run of production Librem 14s we hit another issue: we couldn’t get the 3-cell batteries we were planning to use until after Chinese New Year! If you are familiar with manufacturing in China, you know that the entire country essentially shuts down for weeks, so this is far from ideal. However it turns out we could get our 4-cell extended battery in time.
When we first designed the Librem 14, it was with a 3-cell battery and second M.2 storage slot. Later on, we evaluated having the option to include a 4-cell extended battery increase the capacity by 33% with the expense of covering up the second M.2 storage slot. Because of that, we decided at the time to make the 3-cell battery the default, and offer the 4-cell extended battery to customers as an after-market optional upgrade.
These recent events have caused us to re-evaluate that plan. We realize most customers will probably never use the second M.2 storage slot of their laptop, but they would appreciate having the extra battery capacity. So we are going to default to the 4-cell extended battery on Librem 14 orders, unless the customer fills both M.2 slots, in which case we will fall back to the 3-cell battery.
For existing orders with both disk slots populated, this would mean your order gets delayed until March when we get 3-cell batteries, but if you don’t want to wait, we will work with you if you want to modify your order (simply contact our support team with your order number). For everyone else, we will start shipping their Librem 14 with the 4-cell extended battery in February.
Thank you so much for your patience while we finish up the Librem 14. Hopefully the surprise upgrade to an extended battery will help take some of the sting off of the extra wait!