Awesome concept, strange execution

The vast majority of the OP complaints can be basically boiled down to “it’s not a workstation ThinkPad”. I’ve seen how much Framework’s reparability/upgradability message has drawn the interest of the old-school ThinkPad fans, however I find that most are disappointed that it’s not an IBM-era or mid 2010s-era ThinkPad with a modern CPU.

The Trackpoint, IT-specialist-grade ports, battery slice, hell even the black-is-cool “utilitarian” paint color are absolutely niche features when you account for the general laptop-buying market.

“ThinkPad Clone” is not Framework’s mission, and ThinkPad enthusiasts are not the target audience. The target audience is “regular folks” who want a “regular” laptop from a company that doesn’t screw them over as a consumer. And IMHO they’ve delivered on that.

Would I like a TrackPoint/physical buttons, hotswap battery slice, 6 expansion slots, and 2mm-travel keyboard with dedicated Home/Insert/End/Delete and larger arrow clusters? Absolutely. I can also see how including those would result in a completely different product with completely different design tradeoffs.

I like the passion I see here from those who are advocating for ThinkPad features and am happy to see more of it, because they probably are influencing the folks at Framework while they iterate on their next product. But I also completely understand why they’re not setting out to explicitly compete with the likes of the ThinkPad brand.


As much as I love Thinkpad and Trackpoint, I think Framework has absolutely made the right choice to start with the thin and light market, as it’s where the glued/soldered laptops are the most common, whereas going up to a chunkier workstation size and adding features to please ex-Thinkpad users would not have a chance of making as large of an impact on reducing e-waste.

However, I desperately hope that Framework are planning on making a workstation laptop in the future, even if it was using the same motherboard but had a larger case with room for a discrete GPU on a separate board, larger battery, and perhaps either extra expansion card ports, or a couple of larger expansion cards that have more ports on them and more room inside for speciality hardware that third-party companies and individuals could make - maybe the GPU could even be inside one of these if performance wasn’t impacted too much.


We can’t know the specifics beyond what you describe, but I’m intrigued to know how having all of the cables connected directly to your lap-based laptop could be more optimal than using a long cable UBS hub or dock which would allow you to connect/disconnect all of your peripherals via one USB-C connection.

One long cable hub or dock would free up 3 bays which can be customized to your specific occasional use needs (within the constraints of ports offered in the yet to be launched marketplace).

No judgement. You have a situation optimized for you. I agree with others that your use case is likely an edge case.

Relative to the purchasing market? I don’t think so and I think you know that too.

Remember the initial release from Framework is to target the widest audience possible. The irony here is that by bashing Framework for what their first release doesn’t have is shooting the only means by which your dream laptop might happen. The industry as a whole is not interested in modular repairable laptops.

1 Like

I can’t wait to get my Framework in hand and start assembling it. Its time to retire the 2015 MacBook pro and exchangeable ports / upgrade ability played into my buying decision. I’ve grown used to having to work with a limited amount of ports and endless dongles and I suspect that I’ll be much happier with configurable ports - especially once I can order additional components for occasional use cases.


I’ll just say that yeah, as someone who owns a T430, I vastly prefer ultraportables. I personally hate the added weight, dongles, and having a billion cables coming out of my laptop. The thought of using my laptop in my lap with a bunch of cables, oof. USB-C is nice because if I absolutely need a bunch of connectivity I can take a hub, but Frameworks modularity let’s me have 90% of what I need. Hoping Framework or an intrepid third party makes a hub to house spare and oversized modules for those few outlying cases.

Laptop market has shifted. Wifi and Bluetooth have have improved dramatically in the last 10 years, both in terms of coverage and speeds. If I need to do anything intensive I remote into my desktop workstation. I would like to see a WWAN expansion eventually if possible, but probably can make do with a mobile hotspot.

I get mobile workstations are still a use case for some people, but pretty niche. I agree with the decision to focus on broader market appeal initially.

1 Like

No one’s bashing Framework. I love this thing. I bought one and I would buy another immediately if I lost or broke it and I won’t make a video saying it sucks. I did my part helping Framework succeed.

And all the OP’s points are valid.

Both things can be true at the same time. Don’t read things so simplistically.

1 Like

Yeah bashing is the wrong wording for sure. Asking for more niche things is NOT bashing framework. I’m merely saying that because something is important to you does not make it prevalent or popular.

I love my Framework as well, and I really look forward to seeing more from Framework!

1 Like

Maybe I haven’t seen such docks (the one I use with my work laptop has a pretty short cable that is not suitable for sitting somewhere off to the side with the actual computer on my lap), but even so, that would at best be one less wire… and much less convenient, because now if I want to plug something in, I have to reach for a second box that isn’t conveniently right on my lap. And I have to find somewhere to put the dock.

The mouse really ought to plug right into the laptop, or at least right by it.

Really, the only way I could see that working would be to have the laptop sitting on a tray that the dock also sits on, effectively turning laptop plus dock into one “unit”. Please, just give me double-height expansion cards. Six or more ports (I think a taller card could fit up to three ports, turned vertically?) is probably sufficient. Four is in “what do I have to do without?” territory.

As someone else said:

1 Like

WiFi will never have the same degree of physical security as wired. Bluetooth will never let you plug in a pair of passive headphones… or any other device (SD card reader?) that you’d rather not need its own independent power source. I’m still waiting for reliable, hassle free wireless file transfer between Android and Linux that doesn’t use the internet. I’m not aware of any high-reliability, high-performing standard for real-time, low latency wireless video transmission.

Maybe I’m just weird, but there are quite a few cases where I prefer a wire over having to worry about yet another battery. Not to mention that the whole “do good to the environment” thing Framework seems to have going on ought to prefer wired devices over wireless, at least for cases where the wireless device needs a battery. (So, maybe not networking, but definitely mice, keyboards, headsets…)

1 Like

That’s like saying robots will never have the immune system of a human. True, but wireless doesn’t need physical seceurity. Wired also bypasses so many layers of software security it’s crazy - just make it use HID device protocols and it talks directly to your computer, no questions asked. From a security standpoint, I would trust my travel bluetooth m+k setup and plugged USB ports (yes I can be that paranoid, but corporate espionage policy blah blah blah) much more than having open USB ports with easy physical access for whoever walks by.

For that application, security-wise, again, USB would not be the way to go. Audio jacks are guaranteed to be passive. Again, USB, never a guarantee.

For file transfer between Linux and Android, you have a point there, but someone else here might have an answer. The main thing I can think of is being able to transfer on the same LAN, which is definitely doable but depends on your definition of using the internet.

On to your point for video transmission: Miracast should work for a lot of devices and most use cases. It won’t work for ultra sweaty gamer time sadly due to latency, but fitting that niche is WirelessHD. It’s a standard for massive data throughput (25 GB/s I believe) but I believe requires a purpose-built transmitter for it (which would take up a card probably). Not unfeasible for it to be built into a future laptop though, if it becomes popular.

“Physical” might not be the right word. What I meant was that, while it makes no difference to someone trying to hack you remotely, it makes a huge difference to someone trying to hack you locally. It’s harder for someone to break into my house and plug into your LAN than to “steal” a poorly secured WiFi network. Even a secured network has the potential for someone to trivially plant a surreptitious device to capture your traffic to try to crack at leisure. Why expose an additional attack vector if there is no need to do so?

Yes, I admit, I’ve given up and use WiFi for some uses. I still strongly prefer wired when possible. (If nothing else, it’s faster. Also, my WiFi exists outside of my wired LAN and is not allowed to talk directly to LAN clients.)

My headphones do use an ⅛ jack :slightly_smiling_face:. But I’m not paranoid about security there; I just don’t want to have to deal with more batteries.

Methinks your threat environment is rather different than mine… which is fine. I’m significantly interested in my stuff Just Working, and with the least maintenance (i.e. having to recharge/replace batteries), which IME isn’t the case with wireless.

1 Like

'm quite happy Framework received the attention - a lot has happened since May 17th when I first wrote this. Thanks for the replies and this includes Nick. Those replies are a kind of a interesting survey. Since 4 months or more have passed and having spoken personally to different people I have refined my opinion. I will summarize here what different people around me thought of the Framework idea. Following are opinions of a small
user inquiry:

Although some here were quick to discard my initial impressions from the product, when the first reviews arrived, ALL of them mentioned that the laptop resembled Macbook. Which I claimed at first. Not that is too bad, but:

  1. Design - So, why not look different ? (and by NO means did we want another Thinkpad-like design - some posters here decided I wanted IBM-era Thinkpad. That is not the case. Basically even Lenovo’s line doesn’t shine with anything interesting lately.)
    The argument was that if the laptop didn’t look like most other stuff on the market, it would alienate popotential customers. However my impression is that the sheer fact it is a new company has the most significance regarding scaring or winning customers. People got the impression that it tries to look “sleek” just as other shitty manufacturers try to conceal lack of function with form. It seems the design itself managed to put off some people before they could dive into the actual awesomeness of the machine hardwarewise. Why not go all the way, be unique and interesting ?

  2. Target audience → some mentioned this was typical ultraportable not intended for the IT crowd and sacrifices were necessary. But why then the second home page picture shows code editing ? I have asked some Apple users and they don’t care about Framework. It’s a niche product trying to appeal to non-niche customer base instead of setting for some middle ground between the two. Actually determining what is niche and what is not is difficult - for everything people here said were very niche, I could argue the same.

  3. Screen, design of panels, webcam, etc → that was such a brilliant move. Most other companies are still stuck in 2008 resolutions regarding vertical screen estate, not to mention soldered RAM or their cameras. People want this laptop just because of the screen and easy maintenance. However on a good laptop maintenance could very well happen once every 3 to 5 years or… never (basically most of our systems never needed any maintenance and back then changing the drive didn’t include opening everything), so yeah. It’s good to be easily serviceable, but secondary to user experience.

  4. Port selection → Nobody around me is buying Framework just because of the I/O. Three ports… . Now, let me clarify → it’s ok let’s say in 70% or 75% of work cases. But you do very well understand people buy things expecting to satisfy a more general use-pattern. Three ports is like buying a Smart because you don’t carry a lot everyday. Ok, but what happens when you need more once or twice a month ? The Smart gets totally useless and you need a second car.
    The fact that one has to carry TB docking or multiple dongles cancels out any gains on thinness and lightness by adding and complicating much more than just weight. In that regard framework is jut like any other laptop. In some cases you may exchange one or two types of ports, so here is an idea:

  • leave the charging port and one normal usb always available, as they are always needed and then add the 4 card options. Or add 6 to 8.
  1. Trackpoint + the 3rd scrolling button - this one is my personal request, not a result from the inquiry → actually if the machine had a trackpoint I would buy one just to support the cause. However I can’t use trackpads, they cause pain in my hands. The trackpoint is a solution to conscious users interracting with input a lot and also by people with injured hands, shoulders, carpal tunnels, invalids etc. It is the most ergonomical way to use a computer to this day. I won’t go into detail why it is so. If some of you don’t like or need it, I’m happy for you. And I pray you don’t add to the already huge percentage of physical longterm damage the population has from using laptops/PCs.

  2. Lack of GPU → this wasn’t considered as a drawback by anyone. It is just a 13 inch notebook. Maybe in the future there could be a bigger Framework edition with GPU.

  3. external WWAN and M2 drive slot → now those would make it the king of modularity. Connection everywhere with one touch and second disk with one hand movement. Laptops these days don’t take advantage of the fact disks are 4 times smaller than 10 years ago. Having two bootable drives could shoot this machine above all the rest. Of course this is just an idea for the future.

I keep my fingers crossed people will support this as much as they can and we will see how Framework keeps growing. Even if we never get the things we want, it is the right step for a better future.

1 Like

I’m the Apple niche that it’s appealing to.

Mac OS is as strong as ever, but a trickle of software developers have been disenfranchised by Apple’s increasing demand for control over its hardware, which diminishes the importance of values like ownership, the right to repair, and free-culture.

I’ve embraced the Framework laptop and committed to making Linux (Pop!_OS specifically) more MacOS-like where I can make a difference. (I’ve started the website as a gathering place for geeks who care about it as much as I do.)


I am an Apple User. I have a Macbook Air M1 sitting right next to me. I specifically chose Framework as my Windows work laptop because it gives me a thin and light package without being glued together or preventing me from upgrading as needed. Every other 13" product I could find does not offer that level of interchangeability.

I actually, and regularly use both Mac and Windows as well as some linux OSes each and every day. Picking one, does not preclude the others.


Interesting to see where OP got all their market research data from :thinking: :rofl:

@matthew3 You can use a ftp server on your android. All you do is install a 2mb app on your android. Start the app and turn on wifi or mobile hotspot. Get your Linux on same network and use your file manager (nautilus, thunar etc) to access your android filesystem. Really handy thing.

You can do the reverse as well. Although not very beginner friendly or as easy as the previous solution; host an ftp on your linux and use a third party ftp supported file manager on android.

What are you waiting for? Download Termux and rsync over SSH like you would on a normal computer. Works great!

Warpinator (file transfer over LAN) has also been out since 2020. It was released by Linux Mint team but can work on any distro.

1 Like

I’ve been quite happy with KDE Connect, which works when Linux and Android are connected to the same wifi/LAN. It also allows pushing notifications, checking battery levels and sending SMS from your laptop. And the best part is there is a gnome extension (GSConnect) that completely replaces the Linux-part of it, so I’ve been using it without even using KDE :slight_smile:

1 Like

@Matthijs_Kooijman I too am using a fork of kde-connect up until last week ago. I still do but there are some things that drive me crazy like, you can’t send more than one file at a time from desktop to android and the sftp is just so slow I can hear my hair grow