What now? Several PC manufacturers have tried to take advantage of the situation and made attempts to build user trust by offering laptops with Intel ME chip disabled. Yes, probably the chips can be disabled through a feature designed to leave the management engine inoperable on machines purchased by government bodies.
Dell Laptops With Intel ME chip disabled
The American PC manufacturer Dell is willing to disable the vulnerable Intel chip on selected machines if the user is willing to pay $20 fee (spotted by a Reddit user).
You can disable the chip on Dell’s New Latitude 14 Rugged Laptop. Visit the product page and choose “Intel vPro – ME Inoperable, custom order” which will increase the bill amount by $20.92.
Purism Laptops with Intel ME chip disabled
Purism was probably the first company to announce that their Librem series laptops would come with the Management Engine disabled out of the box. For the Laptops released in the recent past, the company is providing the same via software update. It was a little bit difficult for Purism as their laptops run the open source firmware ‘coreboot’.
You can find Librem13 and Librem 15 shipping with ME firmware disabled at this product page.
System76 Laptop with Intel ME chip disabled
Unlike Dell, System76 is offering to turn off the ME chip on all of their new machines. In a blog post, the company provides the list of all affected laptops.
They have released an open source tool which can be used to disable ME chip on all of their laptops. Users can download the tool from this GitHub page.