Anyone hoping for a smaller, stripped-down FW16 - -

Given the high demand for the FW16, would it make sense to produce a low-TDP variant that competes with cool-and-quiet laptops such as HP’s Elitebook 865 and Lenovo’s Z16?

A low-TDP variant would not have a rear expansion-bay and would not accomodate a dGPU. The cooling system could be lighter and cheaper than that in the high-TDP version. The mainboard would not have an 8-lane PCIe connector and would use a lower-powered CPU such as AMD’s R7 7840u or R5 7640u.

Compared with the existing FW16 design, a low-TDP variant would have several advantages:

  • Smaller chassis and smaller bevels: Eliminating the rear expansion-bay allows the laptop to be smaller. The lower bevel of the display can be shrunk by half an inch. The width of the chassis shrinks by a similar amount.
  • Lower weight: smaller chassis, lighter cooling system.
  • Lower production cost: no 8-lane connector, cheaper cooling system, R5 CPU.
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There’s been a fair bit of interest in a battery expansion bay. Would one of those + a power saving performance profile (should be doable in OS?) on the HS chip get the job done?

I think the smaller model already mostly covers the demand for thin-and-light.

You could design a whole new laptop (chassis, display, board…) that is marginally smaller than the 16 without giving up screen size. For a few hard-fought centimetres, I don’t expect it’s worth the effort.

Or you could design just a new mainboard for the existing laptap with a cool-and-quiet U-series processor. Seemingly that would be most of what you want without breaking compatibility.

Then plug a helium balloon into the expansion bay for the weight.


I think the part with the low powered cpu is unnecessary and i think it will not happen anytime soon in the next couple of years. If you want to have a low powered CPU, just download throttle stop and just set a powerlimit of xx Watt.

Your low-powered device is done.

Then, instead of asking for a whole new device only because of the fan, you could ask for a smaller expansion-bay and a smaller display.

The rest will not happen, i give you guarantee. The differences are to small i guess.

Dont get me wrong, i also though the 16" model has a bit of a unnecessary big screen-bevel, and i would also like to have a 16" version, which looks not like having a big, fatt ass. But it will not change that soon i guess.

So better ask for specific parts, which are (more or less) “easy” to develope, because you dont have to replace the device.

More devices= more difficult to make the device upgradeable for long time.

how about using the same board (down-throttled) and the same display in a smaller body without expansion bay? goal is < 1600g for 16" screen. use case: work/travel, not gaming or tinkering. [mostly copied from another forum]

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Would it make sense? Possibly, at some point. Everyone’s wants and needs are different and I’m sure there is a market out there for the smallest, lightest, longest battery life laptop possible with a 16" display.

As for me, if I just want a portable, lightweight, long-life laptop for light-duty, general use, I’d rather have one in the 12.5-13.5" range.

The 16" model appeals to me specifically for the greater power for more intensive tasks, the modularity of the input system, and the expansion bay and GPU module. If all that were to be taken away to slim down and lighten the computer, I’d just get the 13" for even lighter weight and greater portability. But for some, clearly the larger 16" display itself is the appeal.

I suppose the way to let Framework know it’s worth it is to let them know you’d be a buyer for something like that. Maybe it will happen some day.

You’ve just invented the FW16 air :grinning:


This sounds good to me. If it were produced then I would buy it.

I think its a cool idea but also not something realistic at this point in time due to how young the company is. Framework is still small and adding another SKU to their product line up would be risky unless there was a guarantee they could sell a ton of them because even with minimal tooling changes, every time they change something in production it adds to costs.

A company like Apple or Dell has the luxury of selling tons of SKU’s due to their size and established user base.

I think that many, perhaps the majority, of people on this forum share your viewpoint. But 16" cool-and-quiet business laptops are produced by all the major brands so there must be a market for them. Having said that, it’s difficult to say whether those potential customers would buy a cool-and-quiet laptop from Framework, or whether they would stick with major brands offering 1st class business support.

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My hope is that with Framework for Business they can get more companies to start using their products. Inroads with any major company’s IT teams would be huge as far as driving adoption and business in general to Framework.

I’d like to simply see a u-series cpu option available for the existing chassis, and the battery expansion.

The depth (distance from front to back) of the laptops mentioned above are:

  • Lenovo Z16: 237 mm
  • HP Elitebook 865: 251 mm
  • FW16: 270 mm (without dGPU), 290 mm (with dGPU)

So the FW16 is 33 mm (1.3") deeper than the Z16.

And the LG gram 17 is 259mm deep (and 1350g light) for a 17" screen.