I’d be plunking down my money for a Chromebook (or to reserve one) today, if only I could configure it more to my preferences in an economical, non-wasteful way.
I’m reluctantly willing to live with the 12th generation i5, but I really would like the matte display, 61Wh battery, and 3.5kg hinges. It would be painful to pay about $300 (incl. tax and shipping) extra for the components I want, and then end up with all of the original parts which I’ll need to sell or recycle.
While all of the Framework laptops have configuration restrictions, the Chromebook seems especially locked-down: except for the expansion cards, nothing is configurable, even after the recent new product announcements.
Has anyone heard anything to give me some measure of hope for the [near] future?
Since the Chromebook was announced a few months after the 12th gen laptop, there may be a delay before an upgraded model is announced. The difficulty is that because the mainboard has the Google Titan C security chip, it is a different design from the regular mainboards, meaning that 13th gen intel or Ryzen mainboards will require some redesigns before they can start to appear.
As for the 61Wh battery, the Matte Display, and the 3.5kg hinges, it is likely that Framework is trying to hold off until they announce the next generation of processors to start selling those in the pre-built Chromebooks, to avoid changing the manufacturing process, avoid introduccing a new SKU, and to prioritize the new products they just announced. That or they need to go through an extra process with Google to be allowed to sell the new parts in their devices (they have talked in the past about Google being strict about the specs of Chromebooks, which is why the 12th gen Chromebook has a better battery life on the standard 55Wh battery than the regular 12th gen laptop.
As for news, Framework has a track record of not announcing things until they are ready, so the fact that there is no news about the Chromebook, means that they aren’t ready to start selling it yet, and you’ll just have to keep an eye out for updates. You could also purchase the 12th gen model as is, and instead of buying all the upgrades separately, you can swap the parts you want to replace with other users who want those original parts (there has already been some talk of users who are buying 13th gen and Ryzen laptops wanting to swap their mandatory Matte displays for glossy ones).
Thank you, @Azure, that is helpful and makes a lot of sense. I think I’ll just have to wait, though it will be painful.
If a robust swap market develops, maybe I’ll consider that, though the very idea of shipping components around the country/world to compensate for manufacturing limitations runs counter to one of the very ideas that makes Framework so appealing in the first place.