The Framework Laptop is designed to be modular, repairable, and upgradeable. The battery, ports, display, and even the motherboard are user replaceable. And thanks to a modular port system, you can not only choose the ports you want, but you can swap them out at any time.
That modular port system is designed around a series of USB Type-C connectors. But while those USB ports support 40 Gbps data transfer speeds, they weren’t technically certified as Thunderbolt 4 ports… until now.
In a nutshell, Thunderbolt certification means that you should be able to use any Thunderbolt-compatible accessories including docking stations and graphics card enclosures. Up until now, you’ve probably been able to use most of those with a Framework Laptop… but it wasn’t guaranteed.
Now Framework says that all it takes to gain full Thunderbolt 4 certification is a firmware update, which should be available in the coming weeks.
If you’ve got one of Framework’s new Chromebook Edition laptops, the operating system will automatically download and install that firmware update for you. Windows and Linux users will be able to download and install firmware version 3.06 manually to gain full Thunderbolt compatibility sometime in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately Framework does not expect to bring Thunderbolt certification to laptops with 11th-gen Intel Core processors. But the company says a firmware update is on the way which will bring improvements for security and power consumption.
You can find out more about the Framework Laptop in Liliputing’s Framework Laptop review.