The framework is a startup based in San Francisco, and it has recently decided to embark on a journey towards its most ambitious project yet. According to sources, the startup will be creating a thin, lightweight productivity laptop that can be “upgraded, customized, and repaired in ways that no other notebook can.”
The founder of Framework, Nirav Patel told, me that the company aims to address his long-standing frustrations with consumer technology companies.
“As a consumer electronics company, your business model effectively depends on churning out constant tons of hardware and pushing it into channels, and into the market, and consumers’ hands, and then sort of dropping it and letting it exist out there. It encourages waste and inefficiency, and ultimately environmental damage.”
From what we know so far, the Framework laptop comes with:
- 13.5-inch 2256 x 1504 screen
- 1080p 60fps webcam
- 55Wh battery
- 2.87-pound aluminum chassis
- 11th Gen Intel processors
- up to 64GB of DDR4 memory
- “4TB or more” of Gen4 NVMe storage.
Buyers can swap out and upgrade various internal parts of the Framework, including the RAM, battery, and storage. But the company is trying to give even more freedom to its buyers.
— The first is that users can also customize and upgrade external components of the chassis, including the keyboard, screen, bezels (which are magnetically attached), and ports (via an expansion card system). This is something which we are hearing for the first time.
— The second is that Framework will be selling its modules in a centralized online marketplace. If your screen cracks or you feel like changing your bezels, you can find replacements that are custom-made for your laptop on the manufacturer’s site itself. The components are printed with QR codes that, when scanned, will bring you straight to a purchase page for their upgrades. It sounds pretty cool, I am impressed.
— The third is that users can also purchase a “DIY” kit of your selected parts, which you can then use to assemble the laptop yourself. It provides the user’s options like which OS to install. Be it any Linux distro or any Windows 10 variant.
Still, all this is just a conceptual idea for now and it all depends on whether the start-up can pull it off. And Framework is not the first company to go for such a venture. Big names like Dell and Intel have also undertaken similar projects only to disappoint in the end.
Patel, for his part, believes that “Other companies, they put it out there, and someone internally decided, ‘Eh, we’re going to focus on something else this year,’ and shut down the project. This is not something we’re dabbling in. It’s not a side project for us that someone thought was interesting. This is the core of our company.”
“We are releasing new modules, and upgrades, and accessories, and so on to drive the health of the ecosystem, and we’re going to continue doing that for as long as customers want us to,” Patel adds.
The framework will be taking preorders this spring, and the device is expected to ship this summer.