Preorders are now open for a 16-inch version of the customizable, repairable and upgradeable laptop launched by California tech startup Framework in March, with Ryzen chips and Radeon graphics leading components for a fee.
The Framework’s story began with a 13-inch laptop designed to swim against the tide, making hardware extremely difficult for consumers to repair, upgrade, or customize on their own. Chromebooks joined the lineup the following year, and now the company aims to cater to more demanding users such as gamers, content creators, and engineers with the Laptop 16.
The March preview was a little light on details, but now that pre-order books are open, we can get a closer look at what’s on offer.
Available in DIY and pre-built versions, the mobile workstation is built around a durable yet lightweight thixoformed magnesium alloy chassis and aluminum enclosure. The top cover is made from 75% post-industrial recycled aluminum, the bottom cover is made from 90% post-industrial recycled magnesium/aluminum alloy, and the laptop uses up to 35% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Framework offers Ryzen 7840 HS or 7940 HS processor options that are optimized for gaming and content creation and deliver boosted performance up to 5.2 GHz in the style of the “ultrakill” Ryzen 9 7940HS. To help keep AMD’s mighty device from overheating, the company partnered with Cooler Master to develop an onboard cooling system featuring dual 75mm fans, three heatpipes, and a liquid metal thermal interface – “enabling 45W of continuous processor load while keeping the laptop cool, Quiet.”
The laptop can be equipped with Radeon 780M integrated graphics with 12 RDNA 3 cores, but can also opt for an optional discrete Radeon RX 7700S GPU (with 32 compute units clocked at up to 2.2 GHz) for even more power. Selected graphics modules have their own dedicated heatsinks and powerful fans, and take advantage of the new expansion bay system for easy installation.
DIY builds offer up to 4 TB of primary NVMe storage, and up to 2 TB of secondary storage, while DDR5-5600 RAM options range from 8 GB to 64 GB. Pre-built options come with 512 GB or 1 TB of primary storage, and 16 or 32 GB of RAM, and the secondary slots are empty so people can install their own.
The Laptop 16 features a custom 16-inch 2,560 x 1,600 resolution anti-glare display that supports variable refresh rates up to 165 Hz, AMD FreeSync, and a 100% wide DCI-P3 color gamut. Brightness is rated at 500 nits, the contrast ratio is claimed to be 1,500:1, and the top bezel has a 1080p webcam with dual microphones and includes a hardware privacy switch.
Each side of the laptop offers three expansion card slots for custom port selection – including support for USB 4, USB-C with Power Delivery and DisplayPort.
Users can choose to center the keyboard, which offers 1.5mm of key travel and RGB backlighting for each key, or move it to one side to accommodate the number pad, then reposition the trackpad accordingly with the help of spacers. Programmable LED Matrix Modules and RGB Macropads are also available.
Elsewhere, wireless connectivity manifests itself as Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E. The 85 Wh battery is guaranteed to work all day and can of course be replaced by the user when needed. Audio is provided through a four-speaker sound system driven by a smart amplifier. There is also a Windows/Linux compatible fingerprint reader.
Framework Laptop 16 is available in three prebuilt configurations running Windows 11 starting at $1,699, and two DIY versions starting at $1,399. Input modules, expansion cards and expansion bay modules are selectable prior to checkout. The first batch is expected to start shipping in the fourth quarter.
For a limited time, users who include a graphics module built around an eligible Radeon GPU in their pre-order will receive a free download code Star Premium game.
Product page: Laptop 16