Framework is launching its first modular laptop with an unusual method to encourage sustainability. You can get a hold of a couple version of the laptop at varying price levels, but the most affordable one comes without memory, storage, Wi-Fi, or even an OS. This DIY laptop comes unassembled so that you can customize it to your satisfaction. Laymen-friendly tutorials can be found on the frame.work website, as well as those for basic repairs and upgrades. Hoping to spark a trend in the tech industry, you can find out how to cop your own build-a-laptop set and more down below.
Framework launches DIY modular laptop to create tech that lasts
Bringing new meaning to the old “give a man a fish” adage, Framework’s mission is to produce sustainable laptops which are meant to be fixed by the people who own them. This initial launch is seeing two main versions of the modular laptop: one fully assembled, the other DIY. And between the onboard memory and storage, processor options, and continually customizable expansion cards, there’s a lot to dive into.
Starting with the base Framework laptop, you’re looking at an i5/8GB/256GB modular machine running on Windows 10m with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. Starting at $999, this can be boost all the way to the professional i7/32GB/1TB option, including Windows 10 Pro and Wi-Fi 6 with vPro for $1,999. With speeds up to 4.8GHz, this isn’t any old study buddy you’re building. Every iteration of this high-performance laptop is backed by Iris XE integrated graphics and rests on a 13.5-inch frame.
The screen is one of the few constants here, with the 1504p picture quality backed by a 100% sRGB color gamut. What’s truly unique about this machine are the customizable expansion cards, which you can swap in and out to design what ports you’d like to see on your laptop at any time. These include USB-C and USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort and microSD, or even additional storage up to 1TB with 1GB/s transfer speeds.
Framework DIY laptop: the future of sustainable tech?
The DIY version lets you choose from the same three processor options, and you can opt to include any of Framework’s memory, storage, and other parts as well. However, the base DIY model starts at $750, and if you’d rather keep to your own parts, that’s as high as it’ll go. It’s designed to be fully customizable using only the included screwdriver. And while experienced PC builders are sure to be able to upgrade, the parts that aren’t exchangeable include the 1080p webcam, 2W speakers, fingerprint reader, touchpad, and keyboard. The battery is easily replaceable, but the basic one offers about 10-hours of use off a single charge.
Obviously, there are other options for learning to build your own computer. Outside of say, a community college, the Canakit Raspberry Pi Starter PRO Kit can be a great place to start tinkering. For price comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at the Acer Aspire 5 i7/16GB/512GB for $808 on Amazon. It offers similar specs to the mid-range Framework model, including integrated Iris XE graphics, for about half the price. This trend continues looking at options like Lenovo’s IdeaPad 3 compared to the base Framework model. At $588, and similar models going for even less, you have to ask yourself about the price of repairs not just immediately, but indefinitely.
As anyone who has ever tried to repair their own iPhone can tell you, a future full of fully fixable tech sounds remarkable. With planned obsolesce dominating so much of the modern tech industry, being sold not just a long-lasting laptop, but one that encourages you to fix it yourself, feels just short of a miracle.
What the Framework laptop offers isn’t just a quality machine, but an investment in your future computers, plus your ability to fix and customize them. If you want a one-stop solution, this isn’t the startup for you. But if you’re someone who’s interested in taking their tech back into their hands, there really isn’t a better place to start.
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