Over the past few years a startup called Framework has proven that you can build a modular, repairable upgradable laptop that’s actually a pretty good laptop. And the company has delivered on its promise: the original Framework Laptop shipped with an 11th-gen Intel Core processor, but last year the company released a new mainboard with a 12th-gen Intel chip, allowing existing customers to upgrade their laptops.

Now Framework is doing it again with the launch of a 13th-gen mainboard. But that’s not the only thing the company is launching this year. Customers will also be able to opt for a mainboard with AMD Ryzen 7040 series “Phoenix” processor, whether configuring a new laptop or buying a mainboard to upgrade an existing laptop.

Framework has also introduced a number of new modules for its 13.5 inch laptops, plus a new accessory that makes it easy to use the mainboard as a standalone computer. And the first Framework Laptop with a 16 inch display is coming later this year (with a whole bunch of new features including support for upgradeable discrete graphics).

Let’s take these announcements one at a time.

Framework Laptop with a 13th-gen Intel Core “Raptor Lake” mainboard

Customers looking to buy a new Framework Laptop with a 13th-gen Intel Core processor can place pre-orders starting today for a laptop that will ship in May.

Prices start at $849 for a DIY edition (the price doesn’t include memory, storage, or an operating system) or $1,049 for a pre-configured system and Framework will offer three processor options:

  • Intel Core i5-1340P
  • Intel Core i7-1360P
  • Intel Core i7-1370P

If you buy a new Framework Laptop with an Intel chip, not only will you get one of Intel’s latest processors, but if you order a model with an Intel Core i7 processor you’ll also get a higher capacity battery, since Framework has upgraded the battery from 55 Wh to 61 Wh without increasing the size. The company says thanks to that extra capacity and Intel’s energy efficiency improvements, a new Framework Laptop with Intel Raptor Lake should get 20 to 30% better battery life than a model with a 12th-gen “Alder Lake” chip in both Windows and Linux.

While the new battery has a higher capacity, it’s the same physical size as the older 55 Wh battery, which means that customers with an existing Framework Laptop can upgrade their batteries without buying a new chassis.

The new laptop still ships with a 13.5 inch, 2256 x 1504 pixel display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, but the new screen has a matte finish. Again, existing customers who want the new display can buy one and install it themselves.

Other upgrades include new hinges that Framework says gives the laptop better rigidity, while still allowing you to open the notebook with one hand and louder speakers (unless you have the Framework Chromebook Edition, because these are the same speakers used in that model).

Framework is also adding new options for folks who purchased a Framework Laptop DIY Edition, including the ability to select the color of your screen bezel when building your notebook (there’s a new transparent bezel option, among others), and a choice of keyboard languages and designs.

All of the new parts are also available as modules, which means that existing customers can purchase them from the Framework Marketplace and upgrade an existing laptop.

The Framework Laptop is up for pre-order now in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Australia and it should ship to customers in those countries in May.

Framework also plans to open pre-orders to customers in Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Taiwan this summer.

You’ll need to put down a $100 deposit to pre-order the new laptop, but it’s fully refundable if you decide to cancel your order before it ships.

Just want to upgrade the mainboard of your existing Framework laptop? You can pick up a mainboard with a Core i5 chip for $449, a Core i7-1360P model for $699, or a Core i7-1370P version for $1049.

Framework Laptop with AMD Ryzen 7040

Framework representatives say the number one question they’ve gotten since the company released its first laptop was when there would be models with AMD Ryzen processors. The answer? Very soon.

The company is now taking pre-orders for models with Ryzen 7040 Series processors based on AMD’s “Phoenix” architecture. That means the chips feature Zen 4 CPU cores and RDNA 3 integrated graphics plus AMD’s new Ryzen AI engine.

Framework Laptops with AMD chips are also up for pre-order today with prices starting at $849 for a DIY Edition or $1,049 for a pre-configured model. But these laptops (and modules) won’t begin shipping until the third quarter of 2023.

Framework says most of the upgrades are on the mainboard itself, so the display, chassis, hinges, and modules for the AMD edition are all exactly the same as the Intel versions. That means that existing customers with an 11th or 12th-gen Intel mainboard should be able to swap it out for an AMD mainboard, while new customers will have their pick of Intel or AMD.

The new AMD models support up to 64GB of RAM and the laptops feature a new AMD-compatible wireless card with support for WiFi 6E.

Framework is offering unspecified AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 7040 series processor options, so it’s unclear exactly which chips these laptops will use. But so far AMD has only announced two processors that meet Framework’s description.

Ryzen 7040 Series “Phoenix” for ultrathin laptops (March, 2023)
ModelCPU Gen & nodeCores / ThreadsBase / Boost CPU freqCacheGraphicsRAMUSB4TDP
Ryzen 7 7840HSZen 4 (4nm)8 / 163.8 GHz / 5.1 GHz24MBRadeon 780M
(12 x RDNA 3)
DDR5 / LPDDR5Yes35 – 45W
Ryzen 5 7640HSZen 4 (4nm)6 / 124.3 GHz / 5 GHz22MBRadeon 760M
(8 x RDNA 3)
DDR5 / LPDDR5Yes35 – 45W

One other thing to note about the new AMD models is that while they support all the same modules as Framework’s Intel laptops, not all configurations will ship standard with all of the new modules.

Basically if you opt for an AMD-powered Framework Laptop, you’ll get the original speaker kit. And if you opt for a pre-configured model with an AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel Core i5 processor, you’ll also get a 55 Wh battery. But you can always go the DIY route if you really want a laptop with a 61 Wh battery and one of those chips.

13th Gen Intel CoreAMD Ryzen 7040 Series
Processori5-1340Pi7-1360Pi7-1370PRyzen 5Ryzen 7
SpeakerSpeaker Kit – 80dBSpeaker Kit – 80dBSpeaker Kit – 80dBSpeaker Kit – OriginalSpeaker Kit – Original
HingesHinge Kit (2nd Gen) – 3.5kgHinge Kit (2nd Gen) – 3.5kgHinge Kit (2nd Gen) – 3.5kgHinge Kit (2nd Gen) – 3.5kgHinge Kit (2nd Gen) – 3.5kg

Just buying an AMD Ryzen mainboard? A Ryzen 5 model will set you back $449, while Framework will sell Ryzen 7 boards for $699.

Framework Marketplace updates

All of the new modules mentioned above will be available for purchase individually from the Framework Marketplace, which means that existing customers can upgrade their displays, hinges, speakers, or batteries… and new customers will be able to buy replacement parts.

That means you can effectively turn an original Framework Laptop into a 3rd-gen model in a manner of minutes. In fact, during a launch event, a Framework employee performed a full upgrade on an existing laptop in about fifteen minutes.

Wondering what to do with your old components? Framework already offers a way to repurpose old mainboards as standalone desktop computers with a 3D-printed case, and some folks have also used them for custom projects such as modernizing a classic Lenovo ThinkPad 701C or building Cyberdecks, tablets, or terminals.

Now Framework has unveiled an option for folks without a 3D printer. This spring you’ll be able to buy a Cooler Master case for the Framework Mainboard for $39. It’s a slim chassis that exposes all of the modular port areas, can be mounted to a monitor, and is compatible with all Framework Mainboards including models with Intel or AMD chips.

The company is also developing concepts that will let you re-use the battery as a power bank after it’s been removed from the Framework Laptop, which could come in handy if you want to upgrade to the new 61 Wh battery without generating e-waste.

Framework Laptop 16

The company is also introducing a brand new 16 inch modular, repairable laptop. Not only will it have a larger screen, but it will support up to 6 USB4 modules including a new 3.5mm headphone module (so you can put the headphone jack wherever you want or leave it out if you don’t need it).

Framework is also introducing a new expansion system that will let you attach a discrete GPU and/or other accessories. Since the GPU modules are designed to attach to the back of the computer, it allows for a variety of sizes and weights. This provides the flexibility to allow users to upgrade to higher-performance GPUs in the future without worrying about whether they’ll fit inside the chassis.

We’ll have more details about the new 16 inch laptop in a separate article shortly.

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  1. Now this I like. I have been building my own desktops since 586 with the satisfaction of being able to choose and upgrading whatever components from the vendor I prefer. It has always been annoying not having that same ability for laptops, ever since they were introduced. I hate being forced to buy the limited options offered by Dell, HP, et al, who in most cases have been bribed/coerced to only offer particular configurations (looking at you Intel).

    Framework will be getting my money.

  2. Nice to see improvements, and a schedule that keeps up with the software bloat. But I’m still not going to run out and buy one while I’ve still got a perfectly serviceable computer with a 360 degree hinge and pressure sensitive stylus and they aren’t offering a model with those features.

    1. Given the modular upgrades they just announced, I wouldn’t be surprised if 360-degree hinges and a display-with-active digitizer are available as optional upgrades in the future. But they haven’t made any announcements yet. Maybe that’ll change by the time you’re ready to replace that laptop.

      Personally I was in the market for a new high-performance laptop last fall and I would totally have opted for a Framework Laptop if it weren’t for the fact that the model I reviewed with a 12th-gen Core chip got such lousy battery life.

      So I picked up an Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 with Ryzen 9 6900HX/Radeon RX 6700 instead, figuring AMD’s chips are outperforming Intel’s in battery life these days. I’m not convinced that’s actually true for this laptop… performance and portability are great, but battery life is not.

      But it’ll probably be at least 3-4 years before I’m ready to replace it. So I hope Framework is still around at that point. I’d love my next laptop to be a modular, repairable system so that my next upgrade after that could be a mainboard replacement rather than a whole new laptop.

      1. Do modular laptops don’t make sense? 10 years from now will the laptop form factor still exist?

        1. Some people have predicted that Apple’s VR/AR headsets will be designed to be worn all day every day and completely replace both phones and computers, although I have my doubts. Apple doesn’t like releasing one product that eats into sales of its other products, for one thing, and for another, we’ll still need keyboards to type quickly, typing is always going to be important, and hands hovering in empty space are never going to be as precise as a hand moving against a surface with friction.
          Lots of people will also always need to be touching something else while using the computer to accomplish certain tasks.
          And finally, a display that stands up on its own regardless of what objects the device is sitting on is always more useful than a display that requires a relatively large, completely flat surface to do the same.
          Laptops (or at least tablets with lappable keyboard bases) are always going to be in demand because of this.

  3. Can you do a write up on how to sell old computers in 2023 minus the big hassle, so we can upgrade? Older ones are still good valuable but some of us have more vigorous needs

  4. “Customers will also be able to opt for a mainboard with AMD Ryzen 7040 series “Phoenix” processor”
    Finally! they are going to sell a ton of these. IMO, they should have launched with AMD, but better late than never.

  5. It’s about time, I’ve been following them and wondering when they were going to upgrade their boards.
    Personally though, I’m waiting until DDR6 comes to market before I upgrade to a new system. DDR6 is supposed to double the throughput of RAM compared to DDR4, which will help with A.I. inference.
    Still, it’s nice to see they are still active. I’m considering them for my next computer purchase.
    I’m not concerned about their cooling solution for these lower power processors, but it would be nice if they’d release a system with a dedicated GPU, too.

    1. The great news is they also announced a system with a dGPU, it’ll be a new 16 inch version using an PCIe expansion bay on the back that can detach and used for dGPU’s or dual M.2 SSD’s, or whatever else people can come up with.