Framework has been selling modular, repairable, and upgradeable laptops with 13.5 inch displays since 2021. But while you can replace the mainboard, battery, and most other components, there are a few things that are hard to do without introducing a new chassis: like adding a bigger display or support for discrete graphics.

Enter the Framework Laptop 16. Expected to begin shipping later this year, the laptop has a bigger screen, a new expansion system that enables user-replaceable discrete graphics, and a modular input section that lets you decide whether you want a number pad or not, among other things. Framework first introduced its bigger, more versatile laptop in March and the company has been slowly revealing more details over time as it gets closer to launch.

The Framework Laptop 16 features two SODIMM slots for up to 64GB of DDR5-5600 memory, and M.2 2280 and M.2 2230 slots for up to two SSDs. It also has a 16 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel LCD display with a 165 Hz refresh rate and up to 500 nits brightness. But the display isn’t the only thing that’s changed.

Framework says the new 16 inch laptop has a slim metal chassis and a modular port system with 6 USB4 connectors that you can use to add USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, or audio jacks, among other things (there’s also support for SSD modules that let you expand your storage without opening up the chassis).

That’s two more modules than the 13.5 inch Framework Laptop supports… although the smaller model does have a built-in 3.5mm audio jack that’s absent on the Framework Laptop 16. Instead, Framework has introduced a new audio module that allows you to put the headset jack anywhere you want it (or leave it out if you don’t need it… or add up to 6 headphone jacks if you want a whole bunch of them for some reason).

One of the most exciting new features is an updated Expansion Bay that allows you to connect a discrete graphics module that hangs off the back of the laptop. This will be an optional feature, allowing folks who are happy with integrated graphics to stick with that, while folks who want more GPU horsepower will be able to opt for a removable eGPU model.

Since the GPU attaches to the back of the laptop, Framework says it will be possible to make modules in a variety of shapes and sizes (including width and depth), which gives the company flexibility to adapt to next-gen GPU requirements in the future.

So if these modules prove popular enough for Framework to keep producing new modules, you may be able to buy a laptop this year that features the latest discrete graphics available at the time and upgrade to an even more powerful GPU in a few years. And even if Framework goes out of business or stops offering GPU add-ons, the company open sources the specifications for its module designs, which means that ambitious hardware hackers might be able to make their own GPU upgrade modules.

Framework says its discrete graphics modules will also be usable independently of the Framework Laptop, allowing you to buy a GPU expansion system and plug it into other laptop or desktop computers for use as an eGPU.

And the company says the PCIe x8 interface that enables discrete graphics can also be used for other high-speed expansion modules. For example the company has developed a dual M.2 SSD interface that could be used to add up to 16TB of additional storage to the Framework Laptop 16. Other possible applications include AI accelerators, video capture devices, batteries, or card readers.

Another exciting new feature for the 16 inch model? A customizable input section.

Want a keyboard with a number pad on the right side? You can buy the standard keyboard plus an optional number pad and set it up like a traditional 16 inch notebook keyboard layout.

Don’t like number pads? No problem. Just pay for a system with a keyboard and slide it over to the center.

This modular system also makes it possible to put a number pad on the left side. And it’s theoretically possible to slot other input devices into the keyboard area, such as trackpads or touchscreen displays.

Framework says there will be a variety of Input modules in small, medium, and large sizes. Large modules will include things like the keyboard, while number pads fall into the medium category. Small modules could include things like custom color panels or functional modules like a haptic slider or LED matrix: it’s unclear how many of these modules will be made by Framework itself but, again, the designs are open source for anyone who wants to build custom panels.

As for the keyboards themselves, Framework plans to offer a number of options including single-color backlit keyboards with a variety of language layouts and RGB backlit options.

The company says many of its Input Modules are powered by a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller, and Framework is releasing the source code for the firmware (it’s based on QMK) that powers those modules, which should help makers who want to design their own inputs.

Framework has also announced that the system will ship with an 85 Wh battery and a 180W power adapter and will feature four speakers: two woofers and two tweeters.

Framework Laptop 16 specs
Display16 inches
2560 x 1600 pixels
16:10 aspect ratio
165 Hz
100% DCI-P3 color gamut
AMD FreeSync
9ms rise + fall time
500 nits brightness
IPS LCD
Anti-glare matte display.
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 8 7840HS
AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS
GraphicsIntegrated + discrete GPU module option
RAMUp to 64GB
DDR5-5600
2 x SODIMM slots
StorageUp to 2 SSDs
1 x M.2 2280 slot
1 x M.2 2230 slot
Ports6 x Expansion Module slots (powered by USB-C connectors)

  • 2 x USB4
  • 1 x USB 3.2 w/DisplayPort Alt Mode
  • 3 x USB 3.1

1 x Expansion Bay for discrete GPU or other larger add-ons

WirelessRZ616 M.2 module
WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
Keyboard & TouchpadModular and customizable
(Optional modules include number pad, LED light matrix, etc)
Audio2 x 1-watt tweeters
2 x 2-watt woofers
Dual microphones (with hardware privacy switches)
Webcam1080p/60fps
Hardware privacy switch
SecurityFingerprint sensor (Windows and Linux compatible)
Battery85 Wh
Should retain 80% capacity after 1,000 charge cycles
Charging180W power adapter (optional on DIY models)
Dimensions356.58 x 270 x 17.95mm (14″ x 10.6″ x 71″) w/o graphics module
356.58 x 280.2 x 20.95mm (14″ 11″ x .82″) w/graphics module
Weight2.1kg (4.6 pounds) w/o graphics module
2.4kg (5.3 pounds) w/graphics module
MaterialsCNC Aluminum top cover
Magnesium alloy thixomolded bottom cover
155° hinges with 6.1kg force profile
Starting Prices$1399 DIY Edition
$1699 Pre-built configurations
$1799 DIY Edition + Graphics module
$2099 Pre-built + Graphics module

Framework hasn’t announced pricing details for the 16 inch laptop or its expansion modules yet, but we should know more in the coming months.

Framework’s announcement

This article was first published March 23, 2023 and most recently updated July 14, 2023

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  1. This is my opinion, which you are free to hate.

    I love the concept behind Framework, I wish it were the norm for the entire laptop industry, but it isn’t.

    Left out the most important detail, the potential price. If the thing is overpriced it won’t matter if you can extend its life with various parts if it is still cheaper to dispose your old computer every 2-10 years depending on your usage cycle.

    Right now I can buy a 16in touchscreen that accepts most pro-Stylus pens for professional digital art Samsung laptop for just a bit over 1000$ that easily blows this new Framework out of the water, except for GPU addon and other modularity options.

    It won’t make sense for almost all people economically given the existing alternatives.

    Feel free to tell me how wrong or stupid I’d rather want to know why I’m wrong. What use case am I missing that makes the Framework easily price over 1000$ when building let alone the more than $800 baseline build?

    1. I guess the part you are wrong about, is that you have no point of reference.

      Let’s say you always buy large laptops (15-18in). And if you started out with the best value FrameWork 16, then you upgraded it along the way, what would your final price be. Then if you were to buy an equivalent standalone laptop, and then upgraded it as per the FrameWork 16. Now compare the price, experience, and differences.

      If they are the same price, the disposable laptop has the advantage that you also get to keep the old unit. You can use it for secondary tasks (Home Network, etc etc) or more likely give it as a Hand-me-Down to family. However, I doubt this is the case. Most likely you would have to sell the old unit to make the upgrade price smaller. The problem is that old and used laptops don’t really sell for much, so you aren’t recuperating as necessary. These are market specific aspects obviously (eg Germany vs Romania).

      Now let’s say the disposable laptop costs you more, but it still might be worth it. The upgraded models may come with bonus improvements. Such as better trackpad, keyboard, mics, webcams, speakers, screens. And if nothing else, it just is newer hardware… so you’re at least getting rid of old scratches and dings.

      However, there is also merit in keeping the old hardware. It’s something you’re familiar with. And not all changes are for the better, most new electronics are following a trend of being more locked down, being fragile, difficult to repair, and removing features. If someone back in 2011 said phones will lose the Headphone Jack, everyone would’ve called him a liar. It’s a similar affair to many manufacturers removing the HDMI port from their laptops. So you may upgrade your disposable laptop with a new model but hate how the new model makes some key regressions in features and experience. Just ask anyone who had an Early 2015 MacBook Pro 15 Retina, and then saw The New Late 2016 MacBook Pro 15…. for a tiny performance uplift but huge downgrades overall, those owners would stick with their device for a longtime and wished they could merely upgrade the chipset. Many did end up getting the Late 2019 MacBook Pro 16 instead, which was a 6-Year gap. Or they jumped onto the new platform with the M1 Max chipset later in 2021 making it an 8-Year hold on their trusty old laptop.

    2. I will say I didn’t see it in full perspective

      1.can custom modules > a laptop thats fixed and don’t have module

      2.other laptop don’t have module is ok , bit keep that in mind u bought a laptop doesn’t mean u can use all of them , so more like u spending money for some features u don’t even bother to use

      3.a thing that can’t custom always lost to the thing that can custom , since u can spend less to change thing instead of spending a lot to change “all of them” which ppl always underlook , think just change it and call it a day

      4.this laptop potential > professional Samsung laptop

      5.if u prefer Samsung laptop I will rather argue that getting a Mac book air for drawing more better and more last longer on outdoor use and more cheaper than samsung one with basic specs

      6.laptop always lacks of customisation, makes a lot of things need to be change aka “just buy a new one and is expensive” depends on ur preferences , so with this case the laptop u mentioned can’t even compared to laptop that can customize

      7.u can argue old pc (desktop) also can do that but those can’t bring out for the consumers who cares about bringing it out or just like laptop for some reason , ur points cant even stand , I mean not even single one

      8.if this laptop can custom but expensive , still better than other laptop that just give u “fixed” specs depends on ur preferences and lets be honest , not all the time the spec that company offers hits our spot , so with this case customisation comes in very handy

      9.take Asus Rog line up as exmaple , cheap and expensive different in features , u cant even use “customize” to do that , meanwhile frameworks laptop can , exmaple , I want cheap but with different setup that can be as same like u going expensive laptop for that , if u know u know , I not gonna talk too much about that , if u read tech articles long enough u can understand easily

    3. Framework computers do, unfortunately, come with a price disadvantage. It’s not as big a disadvantage against the average consumer computer, but that is mostly due to manufacturers offering the same specs for a wide range of prices on the assumption, probably correct, that people don’t know how much a laptop should cost so just buy one in their price range rather than shopping for deals. If you do shop around for deals, you can get a computer that’s about as powerful for half the price.
      The reason I bought a Framework anyway is that my last laptop lasted nine years. I ended up deciding I wanted a new one because the battery had reached an annoying state, Apple would no longer give me Mac OS updates, and I had had to replace the disk once and it was a custom, more expensive version. The processor, meanwhile, was still fast enough for my purposes (yes, sometimes I would want a faster one, but not enough to really need one). Since I’m planning on having this computer for quite a long time, I value that I can get a new battery when it starts to be annoying, not have a dying battery be the reason to buy a completely new computer. Likewise with various other parts which I’ve seen degrade in the past. If you frequently replace your computer, whether the Framework will suit will depend on why you do that. If you’re doing it because you like having the newest or you need processor updates frequently, the Framework may not offer an advantage to you. If you do it because something’s broken, you probably can benefit from the repairable design.

  2. “And even if Framework goes out of business or stops offering GPU add-ons, the company open sources the specifications for its module designs, which means that ambitious hardware hackers might be able to make their own GPU upgrade modules.”

    Errm, and how exactly would someone do that? Contact TSMC and make a contract? It’s not like someone with a solder iron could just make one. I don’t know, without more details about this expansion slot, it’s hard to say.

    Would it just be like other eGPUs? Then it would be possible.

    1. Aftermarket graphics cards for this thing would probably be a lot like aftermarket graphics cards for older models laptops with discrete graphics, before they started soldering the GPU to the motherboard. I suspect that if anyone ever does that they’ll probably be contracting with some factory that has the requisite machinery, using recycled GPUs.