When comparing Librem 15 vs Dell XPS 12, 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 Dell XPS 12 is ranked 21st.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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.
Pro Amazing display
The XPS 12 has a 4K display that's one of the best in its class. The sRGB color space is covered by 100% and the screen brightness is great as well.
Pro Unique design
Like other laptops in the XPS series, the XPS 12 is not any different in the design department. It's a beautiful piece of hardware albeit a little strange for convertible laptops since it doesn't have anything that holds the screen and keyboard together. There's no latching mechanisms or prongs like in other similar devices. The screen slots in place and a combination of magnets, friction, and gravity holds it in place.
It may seem a bit unnerving at first but it works and it's very secure while still allowing the user to easily lift the screen off.
Pro Doesn't rely on a flimsy hinge
This 2-in-1 laptop has a rigid keyboard base on which you place the tablet part. This avoids using a flimsy hinge like other 2-in-1 laptops and offers a great tactile typing experience found in business-grade laptops.
Pro Great build quality
Both main parts (the keyboard and the screen) are made of high-quality magnesium alloy and the device is coated with a pleasant layer of soft touch paint.
Pro Great keyboard
The keyboard is on the same level as some business-grade laptops. Keys feel great to the touch and they have a slight curvature which makes hitting keys easier. They also offer a travel distance of 1.9mm, more than any other convertible laptop on the market.
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.
Con Works comfortably only on a desk or lap
When keeping the laptop on a flat surface such as a desk or one's lap, the viewing angles are good. But working with it in any other position (such as when lying down) you will have a hard time with the viewing angles. There's also the issue of the screen tumbling forward since it's not held in place by anything other than some magnets.
Con When using in laptop mode you can't tilt the screen to your liking
Since there's no hinge, you can't tilt the screen to your liking. It stays fixed at a 110 degrees angle.
Con Middling battery life
The XPS 12 has an average battery life of 3 hours.