When comparing Novena Laptop vs Librem 15, the Slant community recommends Librem 15 for most people. In the question“What are the best laptops for Linux?” Librem 15 is ranked 9th while Novena Laptop is ranked 20th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Optional heirloom case
There is an optional heirloom case available that comes with a built in keybpoard. The majority of the case is made out of wood.
Pro Built with security in mind starting from each chip placed onto the motherboard
Pro Optional physical kill switches for microphone/camera and wireless/bluetooth
Pro Good connectivity
3 USB 3.0 (one being type C) and 2 USB 2.0 with the HDMI feels very nice to have on such a lightweight laptop. Sadly no Ethernet port, otherwise it would have been perfect.
Pro Good keyboard
Keyboards are usually bad on laptops, companies reusing small version ones on bigger size laptop with big paddings. Purism managed a good quality and use every bit of space to get a keyboard that feels good to use.
Pro Runs privacy focused software
Librem runs PureOS, a privacy focused operating system, and runs software that respects your rights.
Con Processor is ARM based and slow
The device processor is ARM based which means it will be quite slow and will have limited Linux support.
Con Would be difficult to actually use in a lap
Being that the screen is on the outside of the device, a portable keyboard is necessary. Thus using on ones lap would entirely too difficult.
Con It's quite expensive
You'll be paying a higher price for Purism's commitment to secure, privacy, and freedom respecting electronics.
Con Wifi is weak
Any other laptop or smartphone will have better signal than the Librem 15. Having a strong signal is very rare (you need to be in the same room within 10m of the router), it is still working but a Ethernet port as back-up would have been very much appreciated. This is probably due to the FOSS constraint for the hardware.
Con Speakers are bad
The sound feels really wrong, the trebles are way too high and there is no bass.
Con Touchpad not centered
Touchpad is not centered due to addition of little used numeric keypad keys on the right.