Librem 15: Sexy Open Source Laptop Wants Your Money

Most computers run either Windows, Mac OS or Chrome OS, but for the enthusiasts out there Unix can be an option. A new crowdfunding project for the Librem 15 laptop is prepared to whip up some Linux-based excitement. Available through crowdfunding site Crowd Supply today, the Librem 15 is a high-end laptop (starting at $1,899) that runs free software. 

That free software refers to the fact that you have the liberty to change the laptop's operating system. The Librem 15's OS is based on the GNU operating system, which, with the relevant know-how, you can modify the code of to make it work however you want. Clearly, this notebook is for the tinker/programming enthusiast who wants a lot of control over the way their computers work. 

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With a basic configuration that starts at $1,899, the laptop is a high-end aluminum device with an attractive brushed metal cover and a full-sized backlit keyboard. You can get a powerful and good-looking laptop for much less, such as Dell's XPS 13 ($1,049) or Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air ($999). Of course, those computers come with the operating system locked in and are 13-inch models, while the Librem is a 15-incher. 

The Librem has a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display, and is powered by an octa-core 2.3-GHz Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GT840M graphics chip. It also packs a CD/DVD ROM drive, three USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, a 720p webcam, SDXC card slot and a LAN slot. Manufacturer Purism claims the Librem 15's onboard 48 watt-hour lithium polymer battery will last up to 8 hours. 

The base model comes with 4GB of RAM and 500GB HD of storage, while pricier versions come with 1TB HD or 250GB SSD of storage and up to 8GB of RAM. 

Librem 15 is similar to the Novena open source laptop, which let computer aficionados have access to both the software and hardware of the notebook. The Novena sold for a cheaper $1,199 (base configuration), and could be built into a laptop or desktop, depending on your choice of enclosure. That project made $700,000 on crowdfunding site Crowd Supply, twice its goal amount. 

Cherlynn Low
Staff Writer
Cherlynn joined the Laptopmag team in June 2013 and has since been writing about all things tech and digital with a focus on mobile and Internet software development. She also edits and reports occasionally on video. She graduated with a M.S. in Journalism (Broadcast) from Columbia University in May 2013 and has been designing personal websites since 2001.