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Framework today unveiled its upgradeable, customizable, and repairable laptop.
The company designed the laptop in response to big companies like Apple making it expensive to repair or upgrade devices.
Founder Nirav Patel said in a blog post that the time has come for consumer electronics products that are designed to last. He founded the company in 2019 with the aim of empowering consumers to take care of their own products, increasing longevity and reducing electronic waste in the process.
The Framework Laptop is a thin, lightweight, high-performance productivity notebook with a 13.5-inch screen. It can be upgraded, customized, and repaired in ways no other notebook can, Patel said.
“We’re here to prove that designing products to last doesn’t require sacrificing performance, quality, or style,” he said. “The Framework Laptop meets or beats the best of what’s in the category.”
It has a precision-formed and milled aluminum housing, coming in at 0.62 inches thick and 2.86 pounds. The 3:2 aspect ratio screen has a resolution of 2,256 x 1,504 pixels, a 1080p 60fps webcam, hardware privacy switches, and a keyboard with 1.5mm key travel.
It uses a quadcore 11th Gen Intel Core Processor, along with up to 64GB of DDR4 memory and Gen4 NVMe storage expandable to 2TB or more.
The expansion card system does away with adapters, letting you choose the ports you want and which side of the notebook you want them on. With four bays, you can select from USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, MicroSD, ultra-fast storage, a high-end headphone amp, and more.
Along with socketed storage, Wi-Fi, and two slots of memory, the entire mainboard can be swapped to boost performance as Framework launches updated versions with new CPU generations.
High-use parts like the battery, screen, keyboard, and color-customizable magnetic-attach bezel are easy to replace, with spares available directly through the web store.
In addition to releasing new upgrade modules regularly and ensuring replacement parts are available, the company is opening up the ecosystem to enable a community of partners to build and sell compatible modules through the Framework Marketplace.
Most consumer electronics devices are disposable one-offs by design. But the single best way to reduce the environmental impact of electronics is to make them last longer, Patel said.
In addition to enabling longevity, the company is focused on improving sustainability across the life of its products. The Framework Laptop has both 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) aluminum and 30% PCR plastic. The packaging is 100% PCR material with no single-use plastics, and the company says all of the product shipments are fully carbon offset.
The Framework Laptop is available in a range of preconfigured models running Windows 10 Home or Pro. For people who love to tinker, Framework also created the Framework Laptop DIY Edition, a laptop available as a kit of modules you can customize and assemble yourself, with the ability to choose Windows or install your preferred Linux distribution.
The company also includes a screwdriver in the box so you can upgrade over time. The device will ship in the summer of 2021.
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