Perhaps best of all, however, is the openness of the device. Only a few features require a closed-source firmware blob, but the system is functional and bootable without, Huang notes.
The Novena's circuit board is pictured in the annotated diagram above. Source files for the current prototype are available on the Novena wiki.
'A low-volume laptop'
The project was launched in June, and prototype motherboards arrived last week, Huang says.
Next, he plans to spend a few months validating features and porting drivers and a Linux distribution.
It certainly sounds compelling, but be aware that the device's price may not be as low as some we've seen.
"I'm not looking to break any low-price records for this laptop--if you just want a cheap Linux laptop, you're better off buying a netbook or EeePC," Huang noted. "This is a low-volume, hand-crafted laptop made with uniquely open source components, so the pricing would be consistent with such crafted goods."