Framework’s laptops stand out from the competition due to their modular, repairable, and upgradeable design. Each Framework laptop has an Expansion Card system that lets you choose the ports you want your laptop to have (the modules connect to USB-C connectors on the motherboard). And all key components are designed to be easy to replace: you can even swap out the motherboard to switch processors.

But that flexibility comes at a price: literally. Framework Laptops tend to cost a bit more than models from other brands with similar specs. Framework has started to address that by offering discounted prices for laptops with older chips or refurbished hardware. And now for the first time the company is selling a Framework 13 model for less than $500.

There are a few things to keep in mind about that $500 laptop. First, it’s a “Factory Seconds” B-Stock laptop, which means that it’s made from a combination of new parts and parts that have been scrapped from other laptops. It’s gone through the same tests as a brand new model, but not every part of the laptop is new.

Second, this is a Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition, which means that it ships with everything except memory, storage, and an operating system. You’ll need to supply your own. But if you’re willing to risk using refurbished RAM, you can save some money on that too: Framework is selling refurbished memory for half price.

And the third thing to note is that this model is basically a first-gen Framework Laptop with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor. Framework doesn’t currently have any Factory Seconds or refurbished laptops with AMD Ryzen processors or 12th or 13th-gen Intel Core chips.

The $499 B-Stock units also ship with an original Framework Laptop 13 and may have “slight cosmetic issues” including “fine lines on the surface that are noticeable from certain angle and/or backlight non-uniformity visible from an angle on a white screen.”

Framework has helpfully shared a few GIFs to demonstrate those issues.

If you want an A-Stock unit with a newer matte display without those imperfections, you’ll have to spend at least $679.

But the nice thing about the company’s laptops is that the mainboards are interchangeable. So if you want to upgrade to a newer processor, you can buy a new mainboard… just be prepared to spend as much on that new board as you did on the laptop itself, if not more. Prices for mainboards that are currently in stock range from $399 to $1049.

Still, it’s nice to see that Framework is both committed to reusing/recycling spare parts and bringing down the cost of ownership at the same time.

In other recent news from the company:

  • Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition refurbished laptops with 13th-gen Intel Core chips are now available for $779 and up.
  • The first batches of Framework Laptop 16 units have shipped and is in the hands of customers. Customers who place an order now will have their laptops shipped in the second quarter of 2024.
  • Initial Framework Laptop 16 documentation is now available in GitHub, including schematics for the mainboard. More documentation will be shared in the future.
  • The company has a bunch of non-working DisplayPort Expansion Cards lying around, so it’s decided to bundle them together into 20-packs and sell them as Expansion Card shells for developers that want to repurpose them by replacing the PCBs and/or ports with something different. A 20-pack sells for $49.

via Framework Blog

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  1. This is a smart decision but I’m sad to hear that it is Intel only that this time. I will definitely consider one of these when AMD is available as an option.

  2. maybe someday that company will start selling 4k120Hz Oled 😉
    We waiting for usb-c 4 gen 🙂

    1. you make an excellent point… what is the point of a theoretically upgrade-able /repairable laptop if it cannot actually keep up with technological progress of hardware? what if all I care about is keeping up to date on the newest useless display technologies and have no intent to upgrade to the next useless cpu / gpu?

      1. wow, someone is pissed!!
        seriously, though – 120Hz isn’t that useless, same goes for 4K and OLED.

        1. Framework should probably focus on only on being easily repairable. Explain how it promise you the ability to perform a laptop hardware upgrade of your desired choice 9 years from now? I would be impressed if it can offer a replacement part for all basic components 7 years from now.

      2. for some people 4k is better, for others FHD. In my opinion there should be a choice. There’s no need to be nervous.

    2. “We waiting for usb-c 4 gen 🙂”
      It is already supported on all models except for the 11th-generation Intel ones. The 12th and 13th Intel boards have four Thunderbolt 4 ports and the AMD mainboard has two USB 4 ports (the others being 3.2).

  3. It’s cool and all but from the description and images of the display issues it’s basically a defective display which for me is a no go. The A-stock is more interesting in that sense, but it comes to the point that for me personally I’d rather configure my own newer model. Still good to have more affordable options but the B-stock is iffy

      1. You can, but then you’re spending at least $499+$179 = $678, and your article already tells us that the A-stock models start at $679. There’s probably some advantages you get at that point anyway. I’m not sure how much of a problem the screens are, but if you don’t like them, I’d say the entire B-stock option is probably not right for you.