A San Francisco-based startup The frame Has just embarked on an ambitious project: a thin, lightweight productivity laptop that claims to be “upgraded, customized, and repaired in ways that any other The notebook can’t. ”
Framework founder Nirav Patel told The Reporter Door The company aims to address its long-term frustrations with consumer technology companies. Patel was one of the original Oculus employees and has also worked for Apple. During that time, he says he “saw an industry that broke incredibly across the board.”
“As a consumer electronics company, your business model relies on effectively churning out tons of hardware and pushing it across channels, and into markets, and into the hands of consumers, and then dropping it and being there Gives, ”Patel explains. “It encourages waste and inefficiency and ultimately environmental damage.”
To that end, Patel sees the framework laptop as more than a product – he sees it as an ecosystem.
The framework comes with a 13.5-inch 2256 x 1504 screen, 1080p 60fps webcam, 57Wh battery, and a 2.87-pound aluminum chassis. Inside, you’ll find an 11 GB General Intel processor, up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory, and “4 TB or more” of Gen4 NVMe storage.
As with all types of consumer laptops, buyers can swap and upgrade various internal parts of the framework, including RAM, battery, and storage. The company is trying to bring three additional benefits to the table. The first is that you can customize and upgrade the external components of the chassis to keyboards, screens, bezels (which are magnetically attached), and ports (via an expansion card system). If you are a hater of dongles and docks, you can select four ports that include common suspects (USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, microSD, etc.).
The second is that the framework will be selling its own modules in a centralized online marketplace, which is also open to third-party vendors and resellers. The idea is that if your screen cracks or you want to replace your bezel, you can find replacements that are custom-made for your laptop, rather than searching around on the framework’s site. K. The components of the framework are printed with QR code which, when scanned, will bring you directly to a purchase page to upgrade them.
The third is that in addition to a pre-built framework system, you can purchase a “DIY” kit of your selected parts, which you can use to assemble the laptop yourself. The DIY version offers some operating system flexibility: you can install “your favorite Linux distribution” or your pick of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro on it.
A fog is planned to ensure this. But the framework will not be able to achieve its upgradeable, sustainable future by simply declaring an ecosystem – it will actually create an ecosystem that will go past. And whether the framework will continue to build modules for this specific laptop model in the future, or whether the third-party partner will pick up the slack, is certainly a question mark.
If you are any type of PC enthusiast, then you probably know that the framework for such a scheme is far from the first company. Intel has given modular computers a shot in the past, resulting in very little – its comput card was a commercial failure, and its modular Ghost Canyon NUC (who were the hardware partners on board at launch) still did not receive any new components. Has happened. Alienware’s original Area-51M also never received its future-proof-upgradeable parts. Phone manufacturers have tried modular devices, as well as Google’s Project Ara smartphone, made of Lego-style bricks that users can rerun and swap, going nowhere. The reality is that hardware is harder to manufacture and modular hardware is even more challenging.
Patel, for his part, believes those OEMs were not sufficiently committed. “Other companies put it there,” says Patel, and someone internally decided, “Eh, we’re going to focus on something else this year, and close the project.” “This is not something we are stifling inside. It is not a side project for us that someone thought it was interesting. This is the core of our company.”
Patel says, “We’re releasing new modules, and upgrades, and accessories, and to drive the health of the ecosystem, and we’ll continue to do so as long as customers want us to.
The framework will take pre-borders this spring, and the device is expected to ship this summer. Pricing has not yet been announced, though Patel says it will be “compared to other well-reviewed notebooks”.