The modern notebook market bears little resemblance to what it was ten years ago. Brands that were once famous for the most reliable and maintainable models are now riveting endless clones of MacBooks. But in the midst of this gloom, at the beginning of 2021, the Framework appears. And it can probably become one of the best laptops for hacking.
The modern notebook market bears little resemblance to what it was ten years ago. Even brands that were once famous for the most reliable and maintainable models are now riveting endless clones of MacBooks with soldered RAM, a glued-in battery, and a wide and inconvenient screen.
And if among the "full-format" laptops you can still find at least something that was created by the engineers of the old school, then among the models with a 13.5-inch screen there is practically no choice: either a disposable toy with 16 GB of memory, or … nothing.
..And in the midst of all this gloom, at the beginning of 2021, the Framework appears. At that time, it only existed in the plans, but the promises of the guys are impressive: a real modular laptop in which nothing is soldered, all components are easily replaced and can be upgraded without losing the warranty. The Framework was supposed to be not just maintainable, like the old IBM or Lenovo ThinkPads, but a constructor with easily replaceable modules and the ability to upgrade to new processors.
I pre-ordered as soon as the opportunity arose, and was among the first to receive the laptop in mid-August. Now I can tell if everything is really as good as in the pictures.
There are no latches here, the upper part of the case is held on magnets and removed with very little effort. The keyboard cable is also long enough to be comfortably detached by hand (rather than yanking it out of the port when opening it like most other laptops).
Installing additional components is easy. Almost all the insides of the laptop are on the same level (do not overlap), and the component locations are carefully labeled. The only question that arose when installing the components was in what order to connect the antenna wires to the Wi-Fi adapter (white and black). The child can handle everything else.
So, the components are installed. We tighten the bolts back (I didn’t break any seals, they simply aren’t here) and … no, we don’t turn it on, but install expansion modules.
The fact is that by default in this laptop there are no USB ports, no HDMI, no card reader. All this is added by installing the so-called expansion cards in special recesses in the lower part of the case.