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iFixit Calls Framework’s New Laptop “Almost Perfect”

The Framework laptop on iFixit's teardown bench

Since Framework designed its modular laptop to be repairable and upgradable, it (hopefully) comes as no surprise that, in iFixit’s recent teardown video, the laptop was awarded a perfect 10 out of 10 score. This makes it a solid choice for anyone wanting a laptop they can repair themselves.

Framework is transparent with its process and makes its Framework Laptop easy for you (or repair shops) to repair and upgrade as you see fit. The affordable—yet still powerful—laptop has a smart and well-thought-out design that makes repairs and upgrades a simple and efficient process, even for those who aren’t super tech-savvy. It’s even available in a DIY edition for those who want to be the one to apply any finishing touches to the laptop.

And now, after watching iFixit’s official hands-on teardown, we have a granular look at just how right they are. Let’s take a look:

The video shows the box the laptop ships in, including “the only tool you’ll need to fix anything inside,” which is a screwdriver with a pry tool on the other end. It also has a box containing each of the components, including an Intel wireless card, 16GB of RAM, 256GB Western Digital NVMe SSD, a 32GB thumb drive for installing Windows, six modular port options (including USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DP, and MicroSD), and three framework patches.

To get inside, all you need to do is unscrew five captive Torx screws on the lower case, flip the laptop over, lift the magnetic keyboard assembly, and voila! All major components are labeled clearly and even feature QR codes that, once scanned, will take you to the Spare Parts page on Framework’s site.

Because the laptop was designed to be easy to repair (and upgrade), Framework ensured that you’d have no trouble replacing components beyond memory and the processor, like the battery or speakers. You won’t see any adhesive or have to worry about removing other components just to get to the one you want to work with. You can replace a battery in under five minutes!

Interior view of Framework's laptop

Framework also uses a magnetic bezel design, which is nice to have should you ever need to replace your display (or if you want to swap out the bezel at some point). For the motherboard, which is also replaceable, you’ll only need to remove five screws, plus another three to detach the heat sink. The board is sparse but still easy to work with.

The company also acknowledges that it is not the first to introduce the idea of an easy-to-upgrade gadget, but also that many others before it lacked the followthrough to continue supporting consumers. Framework states that it will “be keeping replacement parts available for all modules for the foreseeable future” and that it is “definitely happy to work with third parties as well to make compatible modules.” This is nice to see, given the industry’s long-time struggle with Right to Repair issues.

IFixit’s only issue with the laptop is simple: the four USB-C ports in the motherboard are soldered into place. However, because they ultimately connect to the modular ports that give you control over what they can connect to, it’s not a major gripe. The teardown easily revealed an affordable and smartly designed laptop that’s easy to repair, which is exactly what Framework was shooting for. Nifty!

Source: iFixit

Suzanne Humphries Suzanne Humphries
Suzanne Humphries was a Commerce Editor for Review Geek. She has over seven years of experience across multiple publications researching and testing products, as well as writing and editing news, reviews, and how-to articles covering software, hardware, entertainment, networking, electronics, gaming, apps, security, finance, and small business. Read Full Bio »