A new fully modular computer is now available for shipping that specifically embraces the consumers ability to make their own repairs.
News of the Framework Laptop comes amidst the Biden administration’s recent push for a heavy program of anti-trust laws. One critical point of the executive action, generating much interest in the tech world, is the administration’s proposal for sweeping ‘right-to-repair’ laws.
To quickly jog the memory, right-to repair laws seek to break down the legal and technological barriers put up by large tech companies.
Companies like Apple, Microsoft and John Deere continue to purposefully manufacture complicated products and limit the licensing of parts suppliers and repair shops allowed to work on their products, forcing consumers to pay radical prices for repairs that should be—in reality—much cheaper.
In a world of tech products that increasingly apply costly pressure on the consumer to pay for repairs, Framework Laptop has taken the road less traveled by launching a new product that encourages owners to repair and modify their own equipment.
Below are more details into the features, specs and design of this new line of products and how it empowers owners by placing the right-to-repair back in their hands.
Framework Modular Laptops: Options, Features & Price
On the Framework website, you can find four options available for pre-order: the base model, the performance model, the professional model and the DIY Edition. Below are the starting prices for each version:
- Base Model: $999
- DIY Edition: $749
- Performance Model: $1,399
- Professional Model: $1,999
There are no differences between the first two, but the base model costs $999 (with fully refundable $100 deposit) and the DIY edition costs $749 (again with the $100 deposit). As shown by their names, the difference between the two is if you want to build it yourself.
As for the Performance and the Professional model, the difference in price comes from quality of processer and the amount of RAM and SSD. The differences are listed below:
|Processor||Core i5-1153G7||Core i7-1165G7||Core i7-1185G7|
All four models are touted on the Framework website to be “Deeply Customizable” and “Modular and Upgradable.”
The company also claims on their website, “You can choose to bring your own memory, storage, WiFi, and operating system, or pick from the many options we offer in the Framework Marketplace.
With a range of bezel colors keyboard languages and open design specifications on Expansion Cards, the variety of possible Framework Laptop configurations is endless.”
Below are some of the non-negotiable specs:
- Battery: 55Wh
- Display: 13.5” 3:2 – 2256×1504, 100% sRGB color gamut, and >400 nit
- Camera: 1080p 60fps
- Weight & Dimensions: 1.3kg, 15.85mm x 296.63mm x 228.98mm
- Graphics: Iris XE Graphics
Framework Laptop Reviews & Critiques
Now that the devices are available for shipping, reviews are beginning to stream pop up from various tech experts.
Much of the praise echoes the right-to-repair advocacy aspect of the machine, as well as the four swappable expansion card slots. And in general, reviews are mainly positive when judging on overall performance.
A poster child for the right-to-repair movement, Framework’s modular laptop is one of the smartest designs I’ve seen in a long time.
The Framework Laptop is more than just [a] worthwhile experiment in modularity, it’s also a great laptop.
But on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who applaud the scale at which Framework has rolled-out such a fully user-serviceable product, but were ultimately underwhelmed by the performance, battery life, track pad, and overall banality of the machine outside of the repair aspect.
“Framework’s laptops might not be the best option, but we should normalize the concept of upgrading your laptop’s components instead of the whole laptop.”
Paving the Way
As the battle concerning right-to-repair laws wages on, it will be a fascinating study to watch how larger companies react the moves of companies such as Framework.
As many of the reviewers point out, a fully modular approach is not new to the world of tech. But timing may just be everything, and Framework has entered the market right on que.