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Finally, a Laptop With a Truly Upgradable GPU

Framework is maturing into a very impressive company.

Framework Laptop 16 facing toward the user.

One of the biggest downsides of a gaming laptop is that you can’t upgrade the GPU—or any other components, usually. But the most well-known modular laptop company is here to change things. Its new Framework Laptop 16 offers upgradeable graphics without any stupid compromises or external gear.

Previous Framework laptops offer three modular upgrade bays, which can accommodate a variety of expansion cards (USB-C cards, SSD cards, etc). But the Framework Laptop 16 contains six upgrade bays, plus a fully modular keyboard system that gives you a ton of customization options. You can center the keyboard, or toss in a numpad, or add some macro keys, or install a small secondary display (though these more ambitious modules are still in development).

Interestingly, you can also adjust the trackpad’s location using spacers. Though I should note that, unlike previous Framework laptops, the Framework Laptop 16 doesn’t have a built-in headphone jack. You may need to sacrifice one of those six expansion bays if you use wired headphones (though you can always replace the headphone expansion with something else when it isn’t needed).

Of course, upgradeable discreet graphics is the highlight of this laptop. If you look at the rear of the Framework Laptop 16, you’ll see a flat black rectangle. This is actually a PCIE “Expansion Bay System;” if you don’t mind a heavier, fatter laptop, this rear expansion bay is where you’ll install a GPU. (Framework also plans to offer a dual-SSD expansion that fits in this same location.)

We assume that Framework will collaborate with AMD or NVIDIA to build these modules, though the company hasn’t announced any such partnership. For what it’s worth, Framework says that “the community” can develop custom modules for this system, and official modules will be compatible with external enclosures. (So, you’ve got a lot of options here.)

I should also clarify that, like other Framework laptops, the Framework Laptop 16 is upgradable and repairable from top to bottom. You can swap out the motherboard and CPU, replace the display, and so on.

Framework plans to open pre-orders for the Laptop 16 later this year. Detailed specs and pricing are unknown at this time. For those who are curious, Framework will share documentation on GitHub.

Source: Framework

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »