Chromebook board compatibility

I’m hoping we can be totally clear about the new Chromebook board:

Where it is explained that this board is only compatible with the Chromebook edition. What does that mean? Is this addressed anywhere?

In other words if I have a framework laptop now, and want to move to a Chromebook, how much of this system gets wasted?


Your answer is in the launch blog post I believe. I know for a fact that the fingerprint reader is not compatible and some other bits as well.

That’s really the concern I’m trying to get at. It was not addressed in the blog post. And I feel like given parts replacement is the premise of the company, it should have been. I am hoping that I’m wrong when I interpret this to mean Framework changed their Frame so this new board wouldn’t fit.

I feel like this blog post is truncated. There’s mention of reducing waste at the very end, followed by nothing about this concern.

Physically it is compatible, it may have been on a linked hackernews thread that I read about incompatibilities. Really it’s a question of driver support, not physical compatibility. I know the Windows/Linux keyboard won’t have properly functioning function keys.

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Pulled from the Chromebook product page, it’s purely software compatibility


So it seems that Nirav has confirmed details on y-combinator.

The chromebook edition runs coreboot instead of the insyde BIOS, has no fingerprint sensor, the top cover is made with the older formed-aluminum method, and there is a new speaker system.

Searching more through the y-combinator thread, he also confirms details about upgrading a current Framework to the chromebook (particularly that there seems to be a different webcam needed for the chromebook mainboard)

However, the chromebook keyboard is compatible with the standard mainboards, which means that the standard keyboards may be compatible with the chrome board?

looks like there are incompatibilities that require the touchpad and webcam to be different

That’s all the details I could find, but I think it would be nice if Framework could work on pooling all this info together and making a post on this forum for all the people who want to know these details. It would make a lot of people happy to have all this info clearly laid out instead of having to hunt through a separate forum’s post.


Yep, we’ll be writing up some Knowledge Base content with more detail on this. It requires some detail, because there are basically two levels of compatibility:

  1. Compatibility that is thoroughly tested and validated for full functionality.
  2. Things that connect together that happen to work, but may or may not work well or do the thing you want them to do.

As a concrete example of this, purely physically and electrically, you can take a current 12th Gen Intel Core-based Framework Laptop and swap just the Mainboard for a Chromebook Edition Mainboard, but:

  1. The webcam and touchpad firmwares for ChromeOS are different, so they may or may not enumerate or work correctly.
  2. ChromeOS has a specific compatibility list for SSDs that doesn’t currently include the SN750, SN770, or SN850 drives we sell on the Marketplace, but does include SN730. In practice, the other drives will probably work anyway, but neither we nor Google will promise that.
  3. The keyboard is going to be confusing, because the function keys and some of the meta keys are different on Chromebooks.
  4. WiFi probably won’t work if you have an AX210.
  5. The speakers won’t be the same ones as what comes on the Chromebook Edition, though will otherwise work fine.
  6. The Top Cover will be the CNC one instead of the original 11th Gen-style formed one that Chromebook Edition comes with.
  7. The Fingerprint Reader won’t work, and will only act as a power button.

Each one of those things are items that can be resolved by picking up the relevant Chromebook Edition module from the Marketplace.


Glad to see you’ll be clarifying things. I totally understand that there are lots of complicated differences between the two, so hopefully everyone is able to be patient for the full compatibility list on the Knowledge Base! Thanks for working hard to answer everyone’s questions and keeping up the transparency in communication.


Aren’t Chromebooks most popular with students, who are notoriously rough on their computers? Maybe the bottom cover should be CNC milled as well to improve the ruggedness.

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