Things to expect: In a sea of laptops that cannot be upgraded or repaired every year, a small company called Framework is trying to open up a new market with a work laptop that offers many customization options and is partly made of recyclable aluminum And made of plastic. Hope they decide to make gaming laptops in the future.
One of the main complaints about laptops introduced in recent years is that manufacturers almost always prioritize thin and light design over upgradeability and maintainability. Many PC laptops still have replaceable and/or upgradeable components, such as RAM and SSD storage, but for MacBook owners, these are soldered to the logic board, while other things such as batteries and Touch Bars are even for repair professionals. It̵
In the field of smartphones, consumers have to deal with similar phenomena, but some companies like Pine64 and Fairphone have adopted repairable, modular and even environmentally friendly designs to keep pace with the times. This week, a startup company called Framework announced a laptop based on a similar principle, whose components are easy for users to replace or upgrade as needed.
The new laptop is equipped with a 13.5-inch, 3:2 ratio display with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels and a brightness of more than 400 nits. Its components are housed in an aluminum case, which has a hair thickness of less than 16 mm and a total weight of 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg). You can configure it with one of three 11th generation Intel Tiger Lake processors with Xe integrated graphics-i5-1135G7, i7-1165G7 or i7-1185G7-and Wi-Fi 6E modules for wireless connections at most.
The CPU is an important and irreplaceable component because it is designed as a BGA package and soldered on the motherboard. However, the Framework team stated that it will release new motherboards when newer CPUs appear in the future, so theoretically, this shouldn’t be a big problem. And thanks to the experience and lessons of Alienware Area-51m R1, Intel finally simplified the work of the department.
You can pair the processor with up to two 32 GB DDR4-3200 RAM modules for a total of 64 GB, and for storage, you can configure up to a spacious 4TB M.2 2280 NVMe SSD. This slot supports four-channel PCIe 4.0 drives, so you can install any fastest consumer SSD there.
In order to achieve connectivity, the Framework team came up with a beautiful solution for the USB-C transition-all four ports are embedded in the housing so that any port required by the use case can be installed through a removable module. Since these are connected via USB-C, you may be able to lend them to friends or colleagues who need USB-A, HDMI, microSD slot, DisplayPort or even a headphone jack. The system also allows you to choose which side these ports are on, which will come in handy in more situations you can imagine.
The screen can also be replaced, and the magnetically fixed frame can also be replaced. The frame accommodates a 1080p webcam and microphone, and is equipped with a physical privacy switch for both. The keyboard has a 1.5 mm key travel, and you can choose a localized version according to your needs. Powering all the components of the Framework laptop is a 55 Wh battery, which is not glued to the case, so users can also replace it.
The Framework team plans to provide Windows 10 or Linux for this laptop starting this summer. There is no price information yet, but we do know that it will also be available as a “DIY” kit for those who want to assemble their own laptops. As for many user-replaceable parts, they will be sold on the Framework market, which will be open to third-party sellers of components.