what is the Framework Laptop 16 modular laptop capable of

what is the Framework Laptop 16 modular laptop capable of

The Framework Laptop 16 is positioned as a device that is easy to upgrade, modify and repair. For this, according to the developers, only one T5 screwdriver is enough. During its existence, the company released several laptops. Recently, a 16-inch device with updated characteristics went on sale. Today we will talk about its repair possibilities. Details, as always, below.

What kind of device is this?

Let’s look at its characteristics. By the way, it is worth reminding that before the release of this model, the company produced only laptops with a 13.5-inch screen. Now, going to meet the buyers, the developers have offered a variant with a screen with a diagonal of 16 inches.

Here, for example, the characteristics of the display:

  • resolution: 2560 × 1600

  • format: 16:10

  • refresh rate: 165 Hz

  • response speed: 9 ms

  • screen brightness: 500 nits

  • coating: matte

According to the manufacturers, the screen is ideal for playing games, working with media or performing normal office tasks. Unfortunately, the screen is not touch-sensitive, but the company may add such an option in the near future.

Due to the increased size of the new device, six modules can be placed at once, including USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, audio output or a module with SSD. There is even an extension with discrete graphics, it is not included by default. The main thing is that there is such an opportunity. The motherboard supports connection using PCIe x8, which gives enough bandwidth for graphics. The new eGPU module can be connected to a Thunderbolt 4/USB4 host, including a Framework 13 laptop.

And here are the characteristics of the device itself:

  • processor: AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS

  • graphics: AMD Radeon 780 (integrated), AMD Radeon RX 7700 (8GB GDDR6, 100W TGP)

  • RAM: 16GB DDR5-5600 (2x 8GB)

  • internal memory: 512GB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4 SSD

  • display: 16-inch, 2560 × 1600, 165 Hz, anti-glare coating, FreeSync

  • network: AMD RZ616 Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2

  • ports and connectors: six user-selectable modules

  • camera: 1080p, it is possible to turn it off

  • battery: 85 Whr

  • OS: Windows 11 Home

  • dimensions: 356.58 × 270.95 mm

Cost: $1749 + $400 for graphics module.

Design and features

The body of the device is made of aluminum, on the top panel there is a company logo. When opening the lid, the user is in for a surprise – there is no keyboard, it needs to be installed. By the way, thanks to the modular structure, you can change the location of the touchpad – it is installed either directly under the keyboard, in the center, or to the left.

There is a place for a digital keyboard, which many users lack. All this is installed quite simply – a special system of latches allows you to fix the keyboard module, touchpad, etc. in the desired place. Another plus is that if any of the panel elements fails, the damage can be easily fixed by replacing the component with another one.

Keyboards are different (sold in the company’s store). The standard one is supplied in a set and has a white backlight. If RGB is needed, then this version will cost $50. There is also an RGB digital block panel, also sold separately. In general, the manufacturer produces modules for any taste and color.

An interesting nuance: you can customize the keyboard using VIA, a software platform that usually works with all kinds of customizations such as Lily58 Pro and others. It is possible to configure different levels of key combinations, bind macros, etc. conclusion of information – for example, time.

Ports and connectors:

The design of the modules is open, open source, so their development can be done by third-party companies. At the moment, there are, for example, the following options:

  • dual USB-C

  • RFID reader

  • Raspberry Pi Pico

Of course, you will have to pay for the modules. The cheapest option for 6 units will cost $54, it is exclusively USB Type-C and Type-A ports.

By the way, it is possible to install a discrete video card in a large expansion slot. It looks something like this:

As mentioned above, the discrete video card will cost $400, the only option currently available is the Radeon RX 7700S. If it is not needed, well, you can save.

Changing modules is quite simple. However, for this you need to remove the keyboard and touchpad, after which the slots for installing add-ons are opened.

Even an inexperienced user can cope with this procedure, as the company has released detailed instructions. And the owners of modular laptops regularly publish their own.

What about autonomy?

Everything is not bad. If you watch videos, flip web pages and do nothing else, the battery will last for about 8 hours. This is better than many other laptops with comparable specifications. Here’s a test conducted by Tom’s Hardware journalists:

How much does this beauty cost?

There are different changes with different prices:

  • Performance Pro: with AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD – $1,749. Discrete video card – another $400

  • Performance: everything is the same, only Windows 11 Home instead of Windows 11 Pro — $1,699

  • DIY-edition: without RAM, memory and OS – $1,399, with Ryzen 7 7840HS or Ryzen 9 7940HS – $1,599

  • the most productive configuration: AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS, 32GB of RAM and 1TB — $2,099

Additional keyboard modules, expansions, etc. are also available for sale. The price ranges from tens to hundreds of US dollars.

In the dry residue

Despite the high price, the laptop is worth the money. The fact is that it allows you to assemble the system according to needs, gradually adding some capabilities. For example, a user can first purchase a basic configuration, then buy an external video card and get a gaming device without overpaying for a new device. Also, the number of expansion modules is gradually increasing, or rather, their variety is increasing.

Of course, you can buy other laptop models for $2,100 – for example, the HP Omen Transcend 16 with RTX 4070 graphics and a 14th generation Intel Core processor. But without the possibility of an upgrade or simple repair. In case of failure of even a not particularly significant element in a gaming laptop, not to mention something serious like the motherboard (the same multi-controller), you will have to pay a very substantial amount.

In general, this laptop is probably still more suitable for a geek than for a user unfamiliar with technology and repair. But the concept is gradually developing, more and more manufacturers are paying attention to the right to repair and upgrade their devices.

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