Framework also publishes repair guides specifically so that third-party repair shops can easily repair these laptops if you can’t or don’t care to. When I first heard Framework’s sales pitch I thought it sounded ridiculous, but not because it was a bad idea. To the contrary, I think it’s a great idea, but I didn’t believe a modern startup would really design a piece of consumer tech that could be so easily repaired, modified and tinkered with; years of increasingly anti-customer designs and business practices from the likes of Apple, Microsoft et al had ground down my trust in tech companies and their promises.
My favorite 2022 laptop is from 2021 and that’s the problem. Of course, I think the Framework laptops, which hit the market in summer 2021, are the most user-serviceable and upgradeable laptops I’ve ever seen. Framework is a team building a business out of selling laptops that you can take apart and repair or upgrade yourself. They’ve designed the laptop to be easy to open and reassemble, just using a few screws and a screwdriver included with each unit sold. Inside, all parts are labeled with QR codes that link to repair guides and where to buy replacement parts.
When Framework sent us a review unit I scoured it for weaknesses: Performance shortcomings, corners cut with cheap parts, poorly-designed guides, bloatware, the works. I found almost nothing to complain about, and certainly no smoking gun to suggest Framework was anything less than serious about its mission to build a more repairable, recyclable laptop that isn’t bulky, ugly or prohibitively expensive. On the contrary, the fully assembled framework looks pretty much like any other slim ultraportable device.
I’ve written extensively on why I think frameworks are the future of laptops. Happily, I’ve named my favorite laptops of the year. With 2021 coming to a close, we were all excited for CES 2022 and all the interesting new laptop designs we expected to debut there. If the framework could do a great job of building a laptop that is more accessible to owners than ever before and the fix seemed so easy, even stupid me could fix it. Laptop manufacturers will pay attention to this point.
You’d find in a coffee shop, and its performance and pricing put it among the best laptops from Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Samsung, and others. I know I can compete. Not to mention the innovative expansion card system. This allows you to assemble your collection of cards and replace them as needed into the framework’s four expansion card slots to add any ports or extra features you need. You can read the full review of the framework to see how the laptop works and what it’s like to take it apart and play around with it, but the important part is that it fascinates me.