FRAMEWORK ANNOUNCES THE 2023 EDITION OF ITS MODULAR LAPTOP
Framework has announced the release of its 2023 edition of the modular 13-inch laptop. This launch includes a 13th-Gen Intel configuration, but most significantly, it includes the option of the AMD Ryzen 7040. This news is significant because it is the first time that an AMD option has been available, and as we have seen with the Ryzen 7000 series, the battery life is better than the Intel processor. Framework designed their computer to be repairable and fully upgradeable, but the battery life of the prior version was disappointing.
AMD VERSION AVAILABLE BUT WAIT FOR REVIEWS
Framework will not provide battery life estimates, so it is reasonable to wait for reviews before deciding between the two versions. The entry-level AMD model comes in a Ryzen 5 7640U with six Zen 4 cores and a base frequency of 3.5GHz and max turbo of 4.9GHz, with AMD’s integrated Radeon 760M graphics with eight compute units. The higher-spec AMD model offers the Ryzen 7 7840U, an eight-core, sixteen-thread chip with a base clock of 3.3GHz and max turbo of 5.1GHz. Its integrated Radeon 780M graphics are equipped with 12 compute units. Framework says it designed the cooling system in the laptop to handle a continuous load at 28W on these chips.
COOLING DESIGN, USB PORTS AND MODULARITY
The Framework cooling system can handle the heavy job on these chips. The laptop’s chassis is similar between the Intel and AMD versions, so those who own an Intel system can upgrade to AMD by buying the AMD mainboard on its own. You’ll also need to upgrade to DDR5 RAM, and Framework recommends you install an AMD-compatible Wi-Fi card. The new Intel and AMD mainboards are both available for preorder with a refundable $100 deposit. The Framework laptop offers QR codes that make it easy to find each part’s replacement. Various parts such as the bezels and keycaps can be swapped out. The rear two the USB-C expansion ports on the AMD models support USB 4, complete with support for external GPUs, and the other two USB-C ports support USB 3.2, and the front left one has DisplayPort Alt mode for connecting an external display.
REFINEMENTS ADDED FOR THE DAY-TO-DAY USER EXPERIENCE
Framework has made a few more upgrades to the day-to-day user experience. They have released a higher capacity battery (61Wh—55Wh was previously available) that’s also compatible with existing Framework laptops. In the Framework Marketplace, a new Display kit with a matte top layer and a more stable Hinge Kit are now available (with waitlists) and come standard on the new laptop. The new laptop is the same as the prior version, except for its mat coating. Framework’s 80dB Speaker Kit is integrated into the Intel model, delivering what Framework calls “increased loudness.” As for the AMD version, Framework says that they are “tuning the audio circuitry to achieve both loudness and fidelity with the original Speaker Kit.”
PRICING AND SHIPPING
The Intel and AMD models are both currently available for pre-order, with the first Intel shipments coming in May and AMD coming in Q3. The prices start at $849 for DIY kits and $1,049 for prebuilts, with a refundable $100 deposit due at the time of pre-order. The company will also expand shipments to Spain, Belgium, Italy, and Taiwan this summer.