Freedom isn’t free.
In fact, it runs about $260,245 at last count. That’s what it’ll cost to make some 115 or so Librem 15 laptops featuring software and hardware that’s mostly free of proprietary software.
I wrote about the Librem 15 in December after its makers made an interesting discovery: a modern laptop with an Intel CPU can indeed be made without using locked down firmware. As it turns out, all you have to do that is actually build the laptops yourself.
There were some concerns the Librem 15 would not be fully funded by the end of December, since the holidays isn’t exactly the time people most are thinking of buying an open source laptop that starts at $1,650. The campaign was extended to the end of January and actually hit its goal with more than a week to spare.
There’s been enough interest that Purism said it’s now exploring the option of making a 13-inch laptop with the same open firmware. The 13-inch model could begin fund raising this summer.
Why this matters: For the most part, the Librem 15 still doesn’t matter to those who trust big tech. In fact, most happy will thumb their nose at it, but for those who pursue technology free of closed software and firmware, its creation is actually a big step forward.