The Framework Laptop 16 is a modular, repairable, customizable, and upgradeable laptop with a 16 inch display, and AMD Ryzen 7040HS processor, 6 Expansion card slots that let you pick your own ports, and an Expansion module on the back that lets you add a custom discrete graphics card.
First unveiled in March, the new 16-inch laptop is the big sibling to the original 13.5 inch Framework Laptop, and the larger model is expected to begin shipping in the fourth quarter of 2023. It’s up for pre-order now with prices starting at $1399 for a DIY edition or $1699 for a prebuilt model with memory, storage, and an operating system.
In a lot of ways the Framework Laptop 16 sounds almost too good to be true. Once upon a time most laptops shipped with user-replaceable batteries, memory, and storage. But as PC makers moved to make their notebooks thinner and lighter, those sorts of features have fallen by the wayside. It’s still possible to find a notebook with accessible memory and storage slots, but the battery? Even if you can tear out the old one, good luck finding a compatible replacement.
But not only does the Framework Laptop 16 allow you to replace any of those components, the mainboard, display, and keyboard are all designed to be replaceable as well. That opens the door to not only repairing a broken part, but also upgrading the processor in the future if Framework launches a next-gen model in the future.
And there’s a good chance the company will do that. When the Framework Laptop 13 first launched a few years ago, buying one was a bit of a gamble: spend a bit more than the price of a typical notebook for a modular, customizable, and repairable system in the hopes that the company would stick around long enough for you to be able to buy spare parts and upgradeable components.
Now we know that Framework has followed through on its promises. The original Framework Laptop shipped with an 11th-gen Intel Core processor. Since then the company has shipped upgraded mainboards with 12th and 13th-gen Intel chips, and an AMD Ryzen 7040U version is coming soon.
The Framework Laptop 16 is even more ambitious than the 13.5 inch model. It has a bigger screen and larger body… and the company makes use of that extra space to pack a higher-power processor, two additional Expansion Module slots, a customizable keyboard area, (you can opt for a number pad, an LED light bar, or none-of-the-above), and the aforementioned Expansion Bay connector that lets you attach high-throughput accessories like a discrete graphics card to the back of the system.
At launch, there’s a single discrete graphics option available. It features an AMD Radeon RX 7700S GPU and sells for $400, bringing the starting price of a Framework Laptop 16 DIY Edition with a Ryzen 7 7840HS processor and Radeon RX 7700S graphics to $1799. Prices for pre-built systems with the graphics module start at $2099.
The GPU has a 100 watt TGP, 8GB of GDDR6 memory, 32 compute units, and support for frequencies up to 2.2 GHz.
Framework also offers the laptop with up to an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor and says the notebook has two 75mm fans, three heat pipes and a liquid metal thermal interface that helps keep the 45-watt processor cool.
Folks who don’t need the power of discrete graphics will probably get pretty decent performance from the integrated AMD Radeon 780M GPU that’s built into the Ryzen 7040 processors. It’s the same iGPU used in the Asus ROG Ally and other recent handheld gaming PCs.
And that could free up the expansion bay for other add-ons. The Expansion Bay has two 74-pin connectors that handle eight PCIe lanes and support for up to 210 watts of power, which could open the door not only for higher-power graphics cards in the future, but also other accessories. According to The Verge, the company is already planning to begin selling a storage expansion module later this year that gives the notebook two extra M.2 2280 slots that you can use to add high-speed storage.
Framework isn’t yet ready to promise that it will deliver additional GPU modules in the future. Other companies have made that promise and then failed to follow through in the past, so it makes sense for the company to be cautious. But so far Framework’s too-good-to-be-true promises of modular, upgradeable notebooks have all come true. So there’s good reason to think that if the company wants to offer next-gen GPU modules, it’s reasonably well positioned to make that happen.
|Framework Laptop 16 specs|
2560 x 1600 pixels
16:10 aspect ratio
100% DCI-P3 color gamut
9ms rise + fall time
500 nits brightness
Anti-glare matte display.
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 8 7840HS|
AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS
|Graphics||Integrated + discrete GPU module option|
|RAM||Up to 64GB|
2 x SODIMM slots
|Storage||Up to 2 SSDs|
1 x M.2 2280 slot
1 x M.2 2230 slot
|Ports||6 x Expansion Module slots (powered by USB-C connectors)|
1 x Expansion Bay for discrete GPU or other larger add-ons
|Wireless||RZ616 M.2 module|
|Keyboard & Touchpad||Modular and customizable|
(Optional modules include number pad, LED light matrix, etc)
|Audio||2 x 1-watt tweeters|
2 x 2-watt woofers
Dual microphones (with hardware privacy switches)
Hardware privacy switch
|Security||Fingerprint sensor (Windows and Linux compatible)|
Should retain 80% capacity after 1,000 charge cycles
|Charging||180W power adapter (optional on DIY models)|
|Dimensions||356.58 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
|Weight||2.1kg (4.6 pounds) w/o graphics module|
2.4kg (5.3 pounds) w/graphics module
|Materials||CNC 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