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Minifree's New Laptop Is Fully Open-Source

If you're all about Open Source software, Windows, macOS and Chrome OS aren't for you. But that doesn't mean you can't use a standard laptop for a non-commercial experience. Minifree's libreboot C201 is a $730 laptop that runs exclusively on open source software.

The computer is actually an Asus C201 Chromebook, which costs $300 new on Amazon as of this writing. It runs a 1.8 GHz Rockchip CPU, 2GB of RAM and has 16GB of storage. so it's not exactly a high-end performer. It also features a 1366 x 768 display.

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It doesn't come with Chrome OS on it, though, but the open-source Debian OS. Minifree also added a Wi-Fi dongle from Atheros with open-source drivers instead of relying on the wireless card built in to the computer.

If you're OK with using the built-in wireless card and associated drivers, you could buy the Chromebook itself and flash the latest libreboot release on your own. That would save you over $500. But to some, privacy is priceless, and to them, paying the full price is probably worth it.

Chromebook Guide

Andrew joined in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.