Framework’s Lightweight Laptop Offers Unique Hardware

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The proposed 13-inch laptop from the IT startup Framework is its very first product and includes hardware features that no other company has offered in the past.

Its most notable feature is its four modular slots, which replace the usual collection of hard-wired laptop I/O ports. Each slot has a deeply recessed USB-C port that can accept a module that offers the user an external USB-A, USB-C, DisplayPort, HDMI or MicroSD port.

The laptop features the company’s fastest CPU with Intel i7-1185G7, 32 gigabytes of fast RAM, a 1TB SSD and even Intel Wi-Fi 6E. Checking almost every box resulted in a price of $1,900 and could exceed $2,100 once it hits the market.

The DIY Framework arrives significantly disassembled- the motherboard is in a largely assembled laptop, but the NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi card and system memory all need to be assembled along with a selection of Framework’s custom I/O modules.

With hardware, operating system, and drivers installed, the Framework laptop is a solid device. Users will love the near-square displays, and the aspect ratio is very appealing. It is sharp, bright, and offers more vibrant colors than most laptop displays.

The keyboard and touchpad are pleasant but the worst feature of the keyboard is the usual compressed arrow key layout.

In normal operation, the laptop is cool and quiet – but if you drive it hard with a half-hour multi-thread Cinebench run, you have to turn up your fans. At maximum load for several minutes, the keyboard heats up noticeably – but fortunately, the touchpad and its surroundings remain as cool as when unloading the laptop.

The real weakness of the Framework laptop, however, seems to be its battery life, as, despite its solid 55Wh battery capacity, it does not quite reach the nine-hour runtime.

For more information, read the original story in Arstechnica.


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