When comparing Librem 15 vs Lenovo ThinkPad T480, 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 Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is ranked 10th.
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.
As it's a ThinkPad, the keyboard is great. It has all the keys you want (looking at you, Apple), and they feel like proper keys
Pro Incredible value for money
$200 less than a comparable XPS, about half the price of a MacBook Pro - If you want value for money, this is your machine.
Pro Comes with a webcam shutter
You can cover the webcam's lenses completely with a mechanical sliding shutter, eliminating the need for sticking a tape over it. Note that this is only available on configurations with a 720p webcam - any configurations with the InfraRed webcam lacks the shutter.
Pro Best IO in a modern laptop
2 USB 3 ports, 1 USB3 (type-C), 1 thunderbolt, HDMI, audio jack, card reader, and the beloved RJ45 are all there.
Pro Build quality
Despite Lenovo having made some shockingly bad stuff, it's rather reassuring to see that they've respected the legacy of the ThinkPad brand. The plastics used don't feel cheap, but rather durable. The screen hinges are sturdy, and despite the lack of weight, nothing feels flimsy.
Pro Great performance
Even in simple, every day tasks, I notice better performance compared to the laptop I have been using at work (MacBook Pro 16Gb ram i7). Simple things like opening my .vimrc file are noticeably faster on this machine.
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 Only ships with windows 10
Although there is an option to downgrade from the default windows10 PRO to the windows 10 HOME (I think that's a $50 or even $100 saving), there's no option to have it ship without an operating system at all.
Con Not the most exciting form-factor
It's still a thinkpad... sturdy, but still a boring square covered in black plastic.