The company developed the laptop in response to large companies like Apple making devices expensive to repair or upgrade. The company acknowledged that due to global supply chain constraints, the number of Framework laptops available at launch will be limited.
Founder Nirav Patel said in an interview with VentureBeat that the time has come to develop consumer electronics products that are built to last. He founded the company in 2019 with the aim of empowering consumers to take care of their own products and extend their lifespan while reducing electronic waste. Patel showed me in a video demo how he could pull out small modules that changed the functionality of various ports, from standard USB ports to USB-C ports and so on. It was very easy to swap out parts.
“We build repairable, upgradeable, and customizable consumer electronics products,” said Patel. “The aim is to give consumers the opportunity to use the products for as long as they want. Going back in computational history, this was the default. You bought a machine with the expectation that it would not be a sealed box and it is an item that you can change, upgrade, and upgrade. And the expectation in the PC space in general has always been that you have the power and flexibility to customize the machine to do the things you want it to. “
The Framework Laptop is a thin, light, and powerful productivity notebook with a 13.5-inch screen. It can be updated, customized, and repaired in ways that no other notebook can, Patel said.
“Over the past few decades, both personal computers and other categories of consumer electronics have continued the trend of being sealed and latched and pinned in such a way that a consumer who buys this product knows they know. It really will only be a few years until part of it is worn out, or obsolete, or breaks, ”said Patel. “And they are forced to buy another one and repeat that over and over again. It’s a pretty bad experience for consumers. But it’s also pretty bad for the environment and we only generate this huge amount of e-waste that continues to grow every year. And so, Framework was a way of solving this problem in a way that actually made sense as a company and as a product model. “
Measuring yourself against Apple is a big challenge, and Framework only has 14 employees. But there are forces on his side. The Federal Trade Commission recently sent a report to Congress describing repair practices in the industry and was not happy with the status quo.
Along with socket memory, Wi-Fi and two memory slots, the entire motherboard can be swapped out to increase performance when Framework launches updated versions with new generations of CPUs.
Highly usable parts such as the battery, screen, keyboard and color-adjustable bezel with magnetic attachment can be easily replaced. Spare parts are available directly from the webshop.
In addition to regularly releasing new upgrade modules and ensuring that spare parts are available, the company is opening up the ecosystem so that a community of partners can create and sell compatible modules through the Framework Marketplace.
“We have built a product that is as thin and light and powerful and capable as the notebooks consumers buy today,” said Patel. “But any part of it can be replaced by the end user, be it to fix something, replace a battery that naturally wears out after years of use, or even upgrade and replace the entire motherboard with a new one CPU generation to switch to more power. “
Most consumer electronics devices are unique by design. The best way to reduce the environmental impact of electronics is to extend their lifespan, Patel said.
In addition to enabling long life, the company focuses on improving sustainability throughout the life of its products. The Framework laptop is made from 50% recycled post-consumer aluminum (PCR) and 30% from PCR plastic. The packaging consists of 100% PCR material without single-use plastics. According to the company, all product shipments are fully carbonated.
The Framework laptop is available in a number of pre-configured models with Windows 10 Home or Pro. For people who enjoy tinkering, Framework has also developed the Framework Laptop DIY Edition, a laptop that is available as a kit with modules that you can customize and put together yourself. You can choose Windows or install your preferred Linux distribution.
The device will be delivered when the company completes its production models this year.
Regarding the semiconductor shortage, Patel said, “It’s definitely a big challenge. We have a great supply chain team, we have a great group of partners, and we have been expecting this for months. And so we placed our long-term orders and forecasts and got almost everything we need for the foreseeable future. There is actually a single chip that we are limited to. And that’s why we pre-order batches to improve people’s visibility. “
The Framework laptop uses the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and can be upgraded to Wi-Fi 6E, up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, and 4TB or more of Gen4 NVMe memory. The entire mainboard is also exchangeable and enables upgrades to future CPU generations.
In addition, the framework laptop is highly customizable. With the expansion card system, you can choose the ports and side you want and choose four ports each: USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, MicroSD, ultra-fast storage of 250 GB and 1 TB and more. Magnet-attached bezels can be color-matched to your style, and the keyboard language can be swapped out as well.
Framework made upgrades and repairs straightforward. The only tool you’ll need is the included framework screwdriver, Patel said. There is a QR code on each module that you can search for step-by-step instructions, support information, and a link to order a replacement on the Framework Marketplace. The aim is to provide better service to consumers than companies who believe they know what is better for consumers.
“This attitude of existing companies just gives us, as a new brand, the opportunity to come to these consumers and these repair shops and say, we hear you,” he said. “We have developed the product that meets your requirements.”
Patel believes the industry should only make its repair and upgrade practices transparent to consumers so that people can choose what they want.
- Base unit (from $ 1,000) – With i5-1135G7 processor (8 MB cache, up to 4.20 GHz), 8 GB DDR4, 256 GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6 Windows 10 Home.
- Performance (starts at $ 1,400) – Twice the memory and storage, plus a faster CPU for powerful multitasking. It has an i7-1165G7 processor (12 MB cache, up to 4.70 GHz), 16 GB DDR4, 512 GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6 and Windows 10 Home.
- Professional (starts at $ 2,000) – Even more storage and storage, plus enterprise management capabilities. It has an i7-1185G7 processor (12 MB cache, up to 4.80 GHz), 32 GB DDR4, 1 TB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6 vPro and Windows 10 Pro.
- DIY Edition (starting at $ 750 for a barebone configuration) – “The only high-performance notebook that you can customize and assemble from a set of modules,” the company said. You can choose from a range of storage, storage, Wi-Fi, and operating system options, or you can bring your own, including your favorite Linux distribution.
To make pre-order easier, the company only takes a fully refundable deposit of $ 100 at the time of order. You’ll get heads up as you prepare to ship the system and then collect the balance of the order. It also offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
The company is opening pre-orders today in the US, Canada in the next few weeks. Orders will be received in other countries in Asia and Europe before the end of the year. You can sign up to be notified when these are available in your region. The company was founded in January 2020 after Patel spent some time in places like Oculus, Apple, and Facebook.
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