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The Framework Laptop 16 is one of the most unusual laptops expected to launch this year… and that’s saying something at a time when we’re expecting dual-screen notebooks like the Asus Zenbook Duo and Lenovo Yoga Book 9i, and models with E Ink lids like the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 4 SPE.

But the Framework Laptop 16 is the first notebook with an expansion bay on the back that lets you attach an optional discrete GPU when you want it, remove it when you don’t, and… at least theoretically, upgrade to a new GPU in the future. Like all Framework laptops, it also has an Expansion Card system that lets you choose your own ports and swap them on the fly and a removable mainboard. It also introduces a new modular input area, letting you choose the position of your keyboard and decide whether you want a number pad, RGB macropad, or none of the above. But is it a good laptop? The first reviews are in, and they’re… not exactly conclusive.

Framework’s 13.5 inch laptops are nearly no-compromise systems that cost just a bit more than other laptops with similar specs, but offer significantly more customization, upgrade, and repair options.

But there are more moving parts in the company’s 16 inch model, and while this laptop does offer better performance and more customization options than its smaller siblings, it’s also a bigger, heavier computer that costs a lot more (especially if you want the discrete GPU), and doesn’t necessarily compete well against the best gaming laptops (the only dGPU available right now is an AMD Radeon RX 7700S, which is comparable to NVIDIA’s RTX 4060).

That’s not to say that nobody should buy the Framework Laptop 16. You’re just going to want to make sure it meets your needs… or consider it if you value customization and the promise of upgradeability in the future over bleeding-edge graphics performance today.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

Framework Laptop 16 reviews are in [Framework Community]

The general consensus is that this is an incredibly ambitious project: it’s the most modular, customizable, repairable, and upgradeable laptop to date, with a 16 inch display, customizable ports, input, and internals… plus an expansion bay for an optional discrete GPU. But it’s expensive, noisy under load, and not the best gaming laptop available. It’s less of a slam dunk than the company’s 13.5 inch models, which are more competitive with comparably priced & sized computers, and easier to recommend.

LinkStar H28K is a compact travel router with dual gigabit Ethernet based on Rockchip RK3528 SoC [CNX Software]

This pocket-sized router has a Rockchip RK3528 processor, 4GB of RAM, 8GB of eMMC storage, a microSD card reader, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports plus a USB 2.0 Type-A port for data and a USB Type-C port for power. It doesn’t support wireless connections, but could be used to set up, monitor, or control wired connections. It sells for about $40.

Firefox 122 release notes [Mozilla]

Firefox 122 displays images and descriptions in search suggestions (when provided by search engines), improved website translations, a new .deb package for Ubuntu/Debian/Mint Linux users, plus Android improvements (you can set it as the default PDF reader and enable global privacy control).

Leia is building a 3D empire on the back of the worst phone we’ve ever reviewed [The Verge]

The Red Hydrogen One was supposed to have two stand-out features: a high-quality camera, and a glasses-free 3D display. It never really delivered on the first, and the technology that powered the second wasn’t really all that useful… at the time. But now the company behind that display is the biggest player in the glasses-free 3D display space which seems to be… growing?

Moto G04 and Moto G24 announced with 6.6″ IPS LCDs and Android 14 [GSM Arena]

Are smartphones with 60 Hz displays on the way out? Even budget phones like these two entry-level models are starting to arrive with 90 Hz screens, despite price tags starting as low as €119 and €129, respectively.

Motorola G24

120 Gbps Thunderbolt 5 and more PCIe 5.0 lanes coming to Intel’s Arrow Lake desktop CPUs, Barlow Ridge controller debuts [Tom’s Hardware]

Take this with a grain of salt for now, but rumor has it that Intel’s next-gen desktop processors could be among the first to feature a Thunderbolt 5 controller for up to 80 Gbps bi-directional data transfer speeds, or up to 120 Gbps / 40 Gbps.

Keep up on the latest headlines by following @liliputing_liliputing.com on Mastodon. You can also follow Liliputing on X and Facebook.

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  1. Mozilla seems to be getting update to people quickly. It is five days after version 122 was released and sometime during those five days my browser was automatically updated on my main computer (which is kept running 24/7). Microsoft could learn a few things from Mozilla.

  2. About the 90Hz entry-level phones… The Moto G23 (I have one with 8GB RAM/128GB storage, and yes true 8GB RAM) already had a 90Hz screen, which I only use at 60Hz to save battery, and can be bought very cheap. The G24 seems to be a very minor refresh with a brighter screen, but if it only has a 4GB RAM option it’s a downgrade in practice. Other than that, same specs.

  3. Brad… I just want a laptop that has a coin-cell battery to preserve BIOS settings.

    My cheapo VAIO took a bad fall recently, and one of the battery cells was busted internally. Plus my screen was damaged (but still works).

    I had to remove the battery because it was a fire hazard. Now everytime I boot up my computer, I have to go into the BIOS and disable secure boot. It’s a pain.

    I just want a laptop, like my Legion, that has a coincell battery to preserve data/time and BIOS settings. Do either of the Frame.Work laptops have that?

    Increasingly, laptop manufacturers are cheaping out, and are using the main battery to preserve BIOS settings.

    If Frame.Work actually uses a coincell battery ( to save me the hassle ), I may buy one and recycle this piece of junk VAIO.

      1. It would appear that it does. Thanks man! I think, as money becomes available, I’ll start buying parts until I can build a framework laptop.

  4. I can easily see myself buying a Framework (is its hardware even open?) and now I have a janky version of a laptop at the same price as the top end laptops… and in 3-4 years the company goes under… But at least I can easily disassemble my outdated and discontinued laptop with a screwdriver.

    Does Framework have a phablet or a headset version? Assuming they are still around, can they promise your laptop being future-proofed 7-10 years?

    1. Silly question given a regular laptop isn’t future proofed at all. Seriously try and get parts for a mainstream laptop, you usually have to buy an entire doner. Yet I have seen frameworks have their entire mainboard replaced going from an 11th gen CPU to a 12th gen with available parts.

      That said, it’s not for me, too expensive for what it is.

      1. I bet if you calculate the cost of Fwrk upgrade vs a new laptop you wouldn’t save anything. Plusbig also have to suffer a jank display at same cost.

          1. You are actually right… for now, at least.