After the success of the Laptop 13, Framework returns with a new challenge: the Laptop 16. The challenge is even more ambitious. We now know the prices of this Laptop 16, and The Verge had the chance to approach it.
Following Framework’s first Laptop 13, the American startup continues its momentum with a second product: the Laptop 16. Available for pre-order today, this device takes personalization to a whole new level, going well beyond the framework of memory and storage.
The main feature of the Laptop 16, as its name suggests, is of course its larger size with its 16 inch diagonal. But this is only the beginning of the list of new features. This new laptop is even more customizable than its predecessor, allowing almost every component to be swapped out. Not only memories and storage, but also each individual port, motherboard, battery, speakers, and more. And that’s like the first 13.5-inch Laptop. The rest is brand new.
Arguably one of the Laptop 16’s most impressive features is its fully modular keyboard. Composed of detachable parts similar to Lego bricks, it gives you unprecedented freedom of customization. Want to align your keyboard and trackpad right, left, or center? No problem. Want to add a splash of color? Easy. Do you need a numeric keypad? Just slide it into place. And how about a dazzling array of LEDs to add an aesthetic touch? The modular slats of the Framework 16 make it possible.
The icing on the cake is definitely the Framework expansion bay. This feature allows a dedicated mobile GPU to be inserted into the laptop. Even better, later this year you can add an extra pair of SSDs.
First impressions of the Laptop 16
According to The Verge, who had the chance to take this new laptop in hand, the Laptop 16 has an impressive dedicated GPU: a Radeon RX 7700S with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory at 18 Gbps and a total power of 100 W. This makes the device perfect for gaming.
There’s no denying that developing the Laptop 16 was a real challenge for Framework, given the multitude of customization options. However, this scalability requires some technical expertise, even more so than the 13.5-inch version. The Verge has some concerns about the accessibility of this customization, scalability, and repair.
When you insert this laptop’s optional GPU, you also insert a pair of 75mm Cooler Master fans. And if you look closely as they slide into the case, you’ll see that they don’t just cool the GPU – they cool the whole PC.
Another subject, cooling seems to be a point to improve, which will be crucial for the performance of the device. Autonomy will also be a point to watch according to the American media. This will have to be checked when laptop 16 is released, knowing that it was already a subject of discussion for the first Laptop Framework.
” Framework 16 allows for replacing and possibly upgrading the entire GPU “, but The Verge has concerns about the promises related to the scalability of the dedicated GPU. Despite the announcement made by Framework and AMD regarding their willingness to support GPU scalability, they could not formally guarantee this possibility. This could be a hurdle for users considering purchasing the Laptop 16 primarily for its expandability potential. Nevertheless, remember that the Laptop 13 benefited from new generations of Intel processors and also benefited from an AMD option, as promised by Framework. Hopefully this will also be the case for the Laptop 16.
Laptop 16 Availability and Pricing
The first copies will be delivered from the fourth quarter of 2023, or the end of the year. As usual, Framework offers two prices: the first, 1,579 euros, consists of buying its SSD, its RAM and installing Windows 11 on its own. This is what they call the DIY for Do It Yourself. The second prize, 1,919 euros, includes everything. We are talking here about an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU, 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) of memory and 512 GB of storage. The PC is fully assembled and functional.
You can opt for several configurations, up to an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU, 1 TB of data and 32 GB of RAM… for 2,369 euros. So, at these prices, you tell yourself that you will be entitled to a dedicated GPU. Well no. The expansion module with AMD Radeon RX 7700S is sold for 450 euros more. Either a minimum configuration, mounted with dedicated GPU, at 2,369 euros. You can then change and add modules according to your needs.
As you can see, the prices are salty. But it is certainly the price to pay to benefit from a unique laptop on the market. Nevertheless, there is still a lot to discover and test before we can give a definitive opinion. The laptop’s modular capabilities look particularly impressive, and the removable GPU holds great promise, but the device’s future success will largely depend on Framework’s ability to support and further develop this modularity system. It should not disappoint either by its performance or its autonomy.
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