Framework makes modular, repairable, and upgradeable laptops. Up until now all of the company’s notebooks have featured 13.5 inch displays and a chassis that’s changed little enough from one generation to the next that you can easily put a new mainboard in an old laptop to upgrade the processor, memory, storage, and other components.
But a larger model called the Framework Laptop 16 will launch this fall. First announced in March, it will have a bigger screen, more ports, and support for an optional discrete GPU module. And now Framework has begun sharing more details about the upcoming notebook, starting with the screen.
The new laptop will have a 16 inch LCD screen that features:
- 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution
- 16:10 aspect ratio
- 165 Hz refresh rate
- 9ms rise and fall time
- 1500:1 contrast ratio
- 100% DCI-P3 color gamut
- 500 nits brightness
- Matte finish
Framework says the goal was to use a display that’s “excellent for gaming, content creation, and general productivity, while also being thin, light, power efficient and cost-effective.”
To get all of those things, the company worked with display maker BOE on a semi-custom screen that takes an existing BOE part and adds support for higher brightness, contrast, and color gamut.
The display is also designed to be easy to remove and replace, which should make repairs relatively simple. And it’s possible that Framework could offer different display panels in the future. For example, the display described above doesn’t support touch, but the Framework Laptop 16 mainboard does have the inputs you’d need to add a touchscreen. So if Framework decides to offer a touchscreen display in the future, you should be able to remove the non-touch display and replace it with one that does support touch input.
So that’s the new display. Here’s a refresher on some of things we already knew about the upcoming Framework Laptop 16.
Like the Framework Laptop 13, the new 16 inch model has a modular port system. But while the smaller laptop has four USB-C connectors that allow you to choose your own ports thanks to Expansion Cards, the Framework Laptop 16 has six Expansion Card slots that you can use to equip the notebook with USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, or audio jacks or even a removable SSD.
The Framework Laptop 16 will also let you customize the input area: the keyboard and number pad are now modular. So if you like number pads, you can buy a laptop with both modules and arrange it with the number pad on the right or left of the keyboard. Prefer to skip the number pad? Then you can center the keyboard.
There’s also a new Expansion Bay that will let users add discrete graphics (or additional storage, batteries, video capture devices, or other add-ons) to the laptop. The GPU modules hangs off the back of the Framework Laptop 16, which gives Framework the flexibility to offer modules in different sizes and shapes in the future, since they don’t have to fit within the frame of the laptop. And that should allow you to upgrade to a new GPU module several years from now, assuming Framework continues to offer new modules.
But signs look good so far. Framework has only been around for a few years at this point, but after launching its first laptop with 11th-gen Intel processor options in 2021, the company has followed up with new versions sporting 12th and 13-gen chips. And the first AMD models are up for pre-order and expected to ship soon.
Even more impressive? Unlike most PC makers, Framework hasn’t once required customers to buy a whole new laptop if they want to upgrade. Every time the company has launched a new 13.5 inch laptop, it’s also offered the option to buy just a new mainboard, allowing you to upgrade the internal components while keeping your existing chassis, keyboard, touchpad, and display.
So there’s good reason to think that Framework will be able to deliver on its promise of continuing to offer spare parts and upgrade options for the Framework 16 for at least a few years after it launches.
They should either drop Windows entirely or offer 139$ discounted on non-Windows machines. Until then I will have no interest in Framework as Microsoft Windows does not have a repairability mindset.
I have never really wanted to get a high end laptop in the past, but the 16 inch Framework looks REALLY tempting. Plus, it’d easily replace a desktop for me since it’ll be completely upgradeable. Either that or an AMD 13 inch Framework, cause that could play the games I want to play pretty well already. And coding and game development will work just fine on that one too, so I’m kinda stuck haha.