Framework still wins when it comes to motherboard upgrade, and input cover swap time.
It’s honestly so cool to see HP step up to the plate and show off their repairability like this. It’s true that they were already one of the better companies for repairability before Framework, and this seems to be one of their business class laptops, so those were already a bit better than their consumer grade laptops to be kind to business IT departments, but hopefully this isn’t a one-off thing and HP really is trying to challenge Framework in the rapairable laptop market!
Worth noting is that every time I’ve checked, lead times for this model are perpetually 2mo+. Currently, clicking into the configurator gives you a shipping time of “1/17/2023”, that’s 2.5mo away.
Also, I’d stay away if you’re a Linux user, HP continues their tradition of breaking things and offering zero f’s for support.
I considered getting the Elitebook 845 G9, but a number of items stopped me. 1) If I was going to go with a big three laptop is was going to be a Thinkpad as I have used them for years, and they are very easy to maintain and repair. 2) HP QA is garbage. Once upon a time I really liked their product but when I burned through three laptops in 7 years, primarily because they just did not last I said goodbye. 3) HP Bios is a locked down mess. Their Linux support if non existent, basically a big middle finger to anyone running into issues. Also if you started without issues don’t expect it to remain so. They can and will break shit, and give zero f’s about it. 4) I am not going to be able to take an Elitebook 845 G12 motherboard and put it in the G9 frame.
Sometimes I don’t think people realize how big a deal access to the Embedded Controller is. It really, really is. Also how important the longterm upgradeability is. The commitment to keep the design as is, and work around those limitations in the interest of providing a much more environmentally sound product is also something HP will never do.
I actually found the design ideas maybe something future Framework laptops can do to pack more into the same space (I think).
Dell, Lenovo were already there just that unlike the HP one, the specs on those machines were kinda poor and they were heavier and expensive. I guess you are paying for warranty and other services.
My annoyance with HP was the aluminium frame is really thin and dents and bends easily. I had some minor shorting with the USB-C charging port of my work 840 G6 too. I haven’t looked at the BIOS though.
I kinda liked the HP Envy/Spectre model but they were less repairable than Framework though.
I guess their imperative is still businesses (which have larger wallets) first though.
Regarding AMD processors, there’s a question of silicon allocation, which Framework is probably too small for AMD to even care and considering AMD’s documentation although being better than NVIDIA, is still nowhere as open as Intel, which I assume might have issues with the design of the mainboard and embedded controller.
Hm, that was my first choice, but as I got no answer on my questions (repairebility!), I bought the frame.work (with intel :-()
It’s unfortunate that the business AMD models are locked to the 660M as opposed to the 680M…
I dunno about the upgradeability. On the page it actually says battery is not user-serviceable haha…
I’d say the more the merrier! And it is amazing to see mainstream large companies even offer this publicly. I’d like to say “Thanks Frame.work” for pushing the envelope.
This HP laptop reminded me of the older Thinkpads (Hackpads?), though I have not had a good experience with HP itself in the last dozen years.
Not even Close to Framework, But atleast an AMD repairable.
Just an FYI for those looking at this, the Tuxedo InfinityBook Pro 14 Gen7 is basically a variant of the Tong Fang/Uniwill ID4H1 w/ an extended battery. Tuxedo’s parent company Schenker has a non-Linux version of the laptop, the Schenker Vision 14 (<–announcement post with a lot of info). The Slimbook Executive 14 and 16 are similar models (same chassis).
Notebookcheck recently reviewed the 12700H Gen Schenker Vision 14 w/ the 3050Ti dGPU for a more thorough/standard review.
I think if you don’t care as much about repairability, the specs on these laptops are pretty great - high refresh display, more ports, and of course the 99Wh battery means you’ll get all-day usage in most light loads even with the power-guzzling Intel H chip.
One interesting note w/ The Linux Experiment’s Geekbench scores though is that my 1260P Framework manage to get +8% single core and +15% multi-core numbers than what he got w/ the 12700H Tuxedo. Not sure what’s up w/ that.
I think for a lot of potential customers, the biggest weakness is that these laptops are only available from EU companies and don’t have ANSI US keyboard options. For me, the most disappointing thing has been the lack of basically any in-depth reviews online since launch (and nowhere near as active technical user community like here). As a result, things like suspend/resume reliability, long-term battery life/battery testing, BIOS/EC issues, other Linux niggles just don’t seem to get covered anywhere…
Well, I own the 12th Gen Framework and am now the proud owner of an Elitebook 845G9. There was a 50% off sale for HP Elitebook models during black Friday week and I landed one for about 1,250 USD after discounts, sales taxes and a 3 year next-business-day (with accidental damage coverage) warranty baked in. Model number is 6W4D2UA#ABA - Ryzen 5 6650U/Radeon 660M graphics, 16GB of RAM in one slot, 512GB Samsung PM961 equivalent SSD, 400 nit IPS screen (1920x1200), IR webcam (for Windows Hello), fingerprint sensor and smartcard raee. It’s a pre-configured model and the time from delivery to order was about 5 business days - ordered on November 28th, received on December 5th. The built-to-order (BTO) models quote at least Feb 2023 for shipping.
Why the 3 year warranty? Mostly to guarantee parts supply. I dealt with the Premier business techs via all 3 firms and can deal with the hardware maintenance manuals/instructions - but getting the tech to understand that you know what you are talking about and overnight you the correct parts? That’s the challenging part. Louis Rossman is partially correct - unless you know someone at an HP certified parts depot, you can’t really get parts easily from HP retail…but the trick is, you need to know someone at a parts retailer who can hook you up.
Normal parts unavailability through their clueless sales department isn’t really an HP thing - it’s an industry-wide issue going back years. I only use the parts suppliers as a channel of last-resort since they might not have the part, and even with they do, it’ll cost you, but paying 200 bucks from HP (the price to upgrade the warranty from the retail depot to NBD Premier response with accident coverage) to make my life easier for the next 36 months isn’t ridiculous, especially since after 3 years, there will be parts coming off corporate off-lease hardware pools.
Note that even with the warranty some manufacturer might run out of parts and offer to swap out your hens-tooth rare machine parts for a refurb newer model. This happened to me once or twice managing XPS13 2-in-ones that had premier warranties.
As for the RAM, SSD and battery on the G9? Upgradable. WLAN? Probably, but the big 3 are known to implement BIOS whitelisting, so don’t be shocked if dropping an Intel AX210 onto the G9 will kick back with a BIOS boot error.
Initial performance out of the box was rather lackluster, mostly due to single channel memory:
Passmark of 2385 is fairly bad, especially when compared to my HP mt46 (same as an Elitebook 845G7 with a Ryzen 3 4450U)
Note the oddly low 2D/3D performance off the Radeon 660M when it’s gimped with only a single memory channel - not sure if it’s due to other external factors, but SVG rendering seems to visually stutter during the 2D test set.
Here’s what happens after I opened it up and popped another 16GB In the other slot:
There is nearly a 350% improvement in 2D performance scores, and almost 50% in 3D scores. This translates to the Radeon 660M (6 core RDNA) being at par, or perhaps slightly better performance-wise versus the Ryzen Vega 7s on the Ryzen 5 5650U…which is not bad.
We can contrast that with a Framework that has a 12th Gen i5-1240P, 64GB of RAM, Samsung PM980 SSD and the latest Intel ARC/Xe drivers.
Judging by “butt-dynamo” messing with BOTW/CEMU on the Elitebook 845G9, it gets roughly 5 to 7fps more overall versus the XeLP 80EU on the i5-1240P, or roughly 7-12fps versus the Vega 6 on my Ryzen 3 4450U.
Heat generation so far had been excellent - 15 minutes with BOTW and the machine had not seen the “LaGuardia Airport at 9a” fan action of both the 11th or 12th Gen Framework machines.
Probably not. HP do use bios whitelisting and have done for years. my 2011 probook only has two ‘authorised’ WLAN cards and they’re both bottom of the barrel draft-n broadcom cards. Some companies whitelist SSDs as well.
Have you seen this
Don’t buy from tuxedocomputers if you’re not in Germany and near their service center. Because you won’t be able to source parts. I went to several repairmen and all they did was shook their heads at me when I wanted to change keyboard from ISO to ANSI. It’s silly.
To the point where I’m afraid that I won’t be able to fix anything when it breaks. It’s not a pleasant feeling to think that they’re not on my side.
This is slightly off-topic, but have you tried asking their support? On their website they say that they keep replacement parts for multiple years available.
This is off-topic. But they don’t provide ANSI keyboard for my laptop. So there is no way to source it because even if they produce it for similar laptops under a different brand (literally the same laptop but with different logo) in different markets and even EU (long story) they don’t care to allow to sell this part to me. I was having numerous phone calls and email conversations. And then they said “we can check your computer if you’ll send it to us, it will take up to 6 months” – wait, what?
And the technician looked at his catalogue of spare parts and said that he couldn’t help me.
These laptops are super rare and unique so the parts must be that too.
This is not a practical thing if my local technician can’t look into it.
Other downsides I see to the InfinityBook:
- Requires nvidia graphics card to get video out of the left side. (Adding a discrete graphics card will make power consumption worse, and choosing nvidia is always a bad idea if you plan on using Linux.)
- Charging through type-c on the right side requires “min. 20V/3.25A (65W)”. With my framework laptop I’ve charged it with a 5V 1A USB type A powerbank from before usb type-c was even a thing, using a simple A to C cable. Naturally the laptop had to be powered off for any charging to take place because 5W is not a lot of power but I like knowing that literally anything I plug into this thing will make it charge.
- No hardware kill switches. Seems you can disable webcam and microphone in the bios but thats just a software kill switch.
- The ports are soldered directly to the motherboard so if you trip over a cable and ruin your port, you have to deal with a lot more than just getting a replacement $9 card from the marketplace.
- All those gross legacy ports