Framework goes all in on AMD for modular, user-repairable Laptop 16
The 16-inch version of the customizable, repairable and upgradeable laptop announced by California tech startup Framework back in March has now gone up for pre-order, with Ryzen silicon and Radeon graphics leading the component charge.
The Framework story began with a 13-inch laptop designed to buck the industry trend of making hardware that can be extremely difficult for consumers to repair, upgrade or customize themselves. A Chromebook joined the lineup the following year and now the company is aiming for more demanding users such as gamers, content creator and engineers with the Laptop 16.
The March preview was a little light on detail, but now the pre-order books have opened we can have a closer look at what's on offer.
The mobile workstation is offered in both DIY and pre-built editions, and is built around a durable but lightweight thixomolded magnesium alloy chassis with aluminum enclosures. The top cover is made from 75% post-industrial recycled aluminum, the bottom cover from 90% post-industrial recycled magnesium/aluminum alloy, and the laptop makes use of up to 35% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Framework offers Ryzen 7840 HS or 7940 HS processor options that have been optimized for gaming and content creation, and top out with an "overkill" Ryzen 9 7940HS flavor with up to 5.2 GHz boosted performance. To help keep the AMD powerhouse from running hot, the company has collaborated with Cooler Master for the onboard thermals, which feature dual 75-mm fans, three heatpipes and a liquid metal thermal interface – "enabling 45-W continuous processor load while also keeping the laptop cool and quiet."
The laptop can come stock with Radeon 780M integrated graphics with 12 RDNA 3 cores, but there's also the option to go for much more power courtesy of an optional discrete Radeon RX 7700S GPU with 32 compute units at up to 2.2 GHz. The chosen Graphics Module sports its own dedicated heatsink and powerful fans and makes use of a new Expansion Bay system for easy installation.
Up to 4 TB of primary NVMe storage can be had with the DIY builds, plus up to 2 TB of secondary storage, while DDR5-5600 RAM choices run from 8 GB to 64 GB. The pre-built options come with either 512 GB or 1 TB of primary storage – along with 16 or 32 GB of RAM – and the secondary socket is empty so folks can install their own.
The Laptop 16 features a custom 16-inch 2,560 x 1,600-resolution anti-glare display supporting variable refresh rates up to 165 Hz, AMD FreeSync, and 100% of the wide DCI-P3 color gamut. Brightness of 500-nits is available, the contrast ratio is reported to be 1,500:1, and there's a 1080p webcam with dual microphones in the top bezel, with included hardware privacy switches.
Three Expansion Card slots are available on each side of the laptop, 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 1.5 mm of key travel and per-key RGB backlighting, or move it to one side to accommodate a numpad, and then reposition the trackpad accordingly with the help of spacers. A programmable LED Matrix module is available too, as is a RGB Macropad.
Elsewhere, wireless connectivity shapes up as Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E. The 85-Wh battery promises full-day working, and can of course be replaced by the user if/when needed. Audio is served up via a four-speaker sound system driven by a smart amp. And there's a Windows/Linux-compatible fingerprint reader too.
The Framework Laptop 16 is available in three pre-built configurations running Windows 11 that start at US$1,699, and two DIY editions starting at $1,399. Input Modules, Expansion Cards and Expansion Bay Modules can be selected prior to checkout. The first batch is expected to start shipping in Q4.
For a limited time, folks who include a Graphics Module that's built around an eligible Radeon GPU in their pre-orders will be sent a free download code for the Starfield Premium Edition game.
Product page: Laptop 16