Feel free to rub it in our faces… I’m (im)patiently waiting for my batch 3 but I want to hear all of the dirty details… How goes it, happy, not happy, what you expected? not?
Batch 2, super happy here. Exceeded my expectations as far as fit & finish - from looking at the exterior of my machine, I don’t believe anyone would ever suspect that I’ve disassembled & reassembled it several times. Physically, everything is tight & solid-feeling. I’m pleasantly surprised about the 3:2 screen ratio - I’m enjoying it and not missing the old widescreen ThinkPad at all. Performance is absolutely fabulous.
My only two major disappointments are the sleep performance and the glossy screen. My experience is that using
s2idle consumes way too much power on standby, and using
deep takes way too long to wake up and has been unstable / caused system crashes. However, it sounds like this could be rectified in an future firmware update, even on Linux. I suppose I have been spoiled by the matte screen on my old ThinkPad, so the glossy screen has taken some getting used to. Color, brightness, etc. are all excellent, though.
One more minor negative - I agree with some other folks like @Stan_McIntosh (I still feel your pain man!) that connecting the WiFi antennas was really difficult. I wish in retrospect I could have ordered a DIY edition but with a factory installed WiFi card.
Overall Grade: A-
Batch One, received DIY with goodies first week of August.
Plugged in all the pieces, Yes, the Wi-FI antennas were a little finicky.
First boot, took a little time, then offered to install Windows from the USB created by the Media Creation Tool.
No problems there. As expected, the Wi-Fi was not recognized, glad I had read about the FrameWork Drivers Pack and downloaded that first.
Installed the drivers, and away it goes.
Speedwise, it’s a beast.
Then created a Ubuntu 21.04 install USB stick and installed that on a 250 gb expansion card.
After some fiddling, got the fingerprint reader working, see the post above.
Still a beast.
Recommend that if you are going to dual boot, change the startup time-out to allow a little time to hit the F12 key, or F2 for bios.
I don’t usually close the lid and suspend the laptop.
It wakes up so fast it’s not needed for me.
My old 2011 HP, Turn it on, go get a coffee, drink it, then log in. and get another cup of coffee and drink it before you expect to do anything useful.
This device, you can’t even get up from the chair.
Build quality is consistent with my Lenovo laptops.
Size - It’s just a bit longer front to back than my daughter’s MacBook Air (last Intel version) and slightly narrower.
Thanks @nrp and team. May this be the first of many great things.
Batch one, received in early August.
Sourced my own memory and NVMe storage, got the i5 and non-vPro AX WiFi adapter.
Took me maybe 10 minutes to assemble, 5 of which was spent getting the WiFi leads connected. I installed Windows 10 21H1 Edu on it, and gave it to my partner as a birthday present. Zero problems with it so far as far as I’ve heard. It’s replaced her Macbook Air. She loves the trackpad and keyboard and the screen aspect ratio. She has a full-on desktop, but uses her laptop for research. etc. when she’s not in front of the desktop.
I’ll pick one up for myself to replace my Thinkpad T470s as soon as we’re allowed to order more than one. I was very pleased with build quality and especially with the performance. The flexibility of the port system is hard to overestimate (e.g., only needing to add an HDMI or DP module when you need specifically to output to either, but otherwise using whatever ports in whatever combination and location (left or right-side charging for example) you want).
Batch 2 received in mid-August.
I actually went with the pre-built version (the mid-range machine with Windows installed). So, far I’m very happy with it. A solid, well-built machine with performance that is just fine. I’m not using it for gaming or anything really strenuous like that but for web surfing, video streaming, etc. it’s excellent. I’m very happy that I bought it.
Batch 2 DIY edition delivery, using two sticks of my own old RAM (2 x 16GB 2133MHz DDR4), Wifi card, and my own SSD. Honesly pretty chuffed at how it turned out. Assembly was fast and easy, with the majority of the time spent bullying gently encouraging the Wifi antenna wires away from the speaker assembly.
Fit and finish are wonderful considering it’s their first product. My girlfriend (who is very computer savvy but usually couldn’t care less about aesthetics) immediately commented that it’s very pretty, and it has a polish befitting even Apple (she hasn’t handled it for more than a minute yet so she’s wrong but it’s high praise nonetheless Plus, in full production maybe she’ll be right)
Performance is as you would expect a powerful ultrabook to be. It’s not a Razer Blade 14 with crazy core counts and a 3080 somehow stuffed into a 14" frame (how did they do that, a blender?), but even with my older components inside the response to inputs is snappy and fluid, all while having one of the most nicest screens I’ve seen on a laptop. My eyes are not benchmarking equipment, but I will say that everything has just been very easy on the eyes. No fatigue or straining to view or read anything. I haven’t used it outdoors yet, but I also have a matte screen I’ve been waiting to apply for that eventuality.
Battery life is similarly great (I come from gaming and corporate work laptops with constant +30% CPU load from security bloatsoftware…). I’ll primarily be using this laptop in two use cases, light gaming and hobby CAD work while travelling, and a very low power config for general use with aggressive core parking and p-states. I’m getting 8+ hours on light browsing in Windows 10 with my pretty basic power saving configuration (and 25% display brightness, all I need indoors). I have yet to really dive into setting up Arch so I can update more when I find the time to make that happen. With battery saving in mind I might end up pulling one of my sticks of RAM and seeing what the power impact is, but for now I like the idea of having dual channel memory for when I need the juice.
For negatives, I had some teething issues initially, I had to reseat the RAM on first power on to get it to boot properly, and I had some issues on Windows 10 installation where it would randomly power down partway through. Those disappeared as soon as I finished the install properly though, so it may have been due to my old usb stick that I have install utility on, who knows. I am unfortunately one of the early batch people with touchpad problems (clicks won’t register unless I try to push through to another dimension), but surprisingly Windows precision drivers’ multi-touch taps feel alright to me (so I’m finding that I should have learned them long ago). The support team has been awesome and responsive in all issues I reported to them, and they immediately gave me return instructions for the input panel and placed a warehouse request for delivery. The responsiveness of the team has blown me away, which has made the little niggles I’ve experienced not a pain to deal with.
When all of this is combined with the fact that I actually feel like this is a laptop I own, that I’m not bullied into leasing the thing with extended warranties in case some tiny component bricks itself and I have to throw away the chassis, all my data, etc., it’s been amazing. The fact I could also buy a brand-new device and give a new lease on life for hardware I had sitting around for years was almost like retroactively fulfilling an imaginary warranty on all those components I got to reuse, too. Not to mention that the near total control over which internals I pick and the hardware kill switches makes me feel much more secure. With my frequency of travel to countries like China where my work has significant corporate espionage concerns, that’s also worth quite a lot.
Overall an easy A+ first batch product for me. It’s a rare experience to be so hyped for something for months, and not feel any disappointment when reality hits, even when there are hiccups. Unlike lots of other products from startups or small companies I’ve tried, they’ve avoided overpromising, underdelivering, and ignoring customer complaints. This laptop is a major win and speaks volumes of the Framework team.
I’m really pleasantly surprised by the speakers. I worked on a 2015 MacBook once and honestly these are better. I have never owned another laptop that I would actually use the speakers on.
What’s the desk setup you have? I had mine resting on a wooden work table (so very pitted with cuts, scratches, dings) and they didn’t sound wonderful to be honest. That being said I can’t remember the last time I used laptop speakers without explicitly trying to test them, so I forgot to even mention that in my much too wordy response above.
I was also pleasantly surprised (and shocked) with the speakers upon first, and continued, listen and echo @Aaron_Muir_Hamilton’s sentiment. I’m okay with listening to music on the Framework…which is rare on any laptop for me, since I regularly listen to music on my JBL LSR305 reference monitors. Though lacking some separation, there’s a surprising amount of (imo) clean bass.
EDIT: Oh my, they sound way worse in Windows (imo)…treble is overemphasized to the point it sounds shrill, and that clean bass is no longer there. Hum, interesting. Added some more sound quality info here
Prior recent laptops: Dell XPS 15 9550 and Huawei Matebook X Pro 2018.
On my wooden desk too, or coffee table, or bed, I haven’t noticed much degradation between them (unless the speakers are e.g. covered on like a pillow). Come to think of it, maybe whatever Linux (Fedora) audio plays a part, as I’ve read different distros differ in audio quality. I can boot into Windows and compare, then I’ll edit this post. (Added edit above).
Gonna keep the bragging here brief: honestly nothing else fit the bill. This is the rare 13-14"(if only, though I think there’s another laptop out now) that has a 3:2 ~2K screen, latest Intel (XE performance!), and supports 64GB of RAM. Very good Linux support out of the box = chef’s kiss. The ease of dis/assembly, being a serial tinkerer, is just amazing. The attention to detail like the captive screws, magnetic assembly, physical killswitches, etc. etc. and this forum/support communication, double chef’s kiss. Disclaimer: I’m not a chef
All other aspects of the laptop, I will say they’re good to very good, with nothing really standing out as bad. Though obviously things could be improved.
I think @Frosty hit the nail on the head with this:
I’m going to take my to the local cafe, and show it off!!
(i.e. I’m proud and feels so privileged about the Framework promise, product, and able to participate / support its goal. Really want to promote it to more people.)
To @RandomUser’s point, I’m really looking forward to the first time I get asked “I don’t recognize that gear logo—what kind of laptop is that?”
The build experience was fun, the build quality is very good, and the performance is great. But honestly what I’m most impressed with so far, even though it hasn’t affected me personally yet, is their responsiveness in these forums. So many companies let their forums become a wasteland where problems go to die, and it’s clear that Framework doesn’t want that to happen. (And credit where it’s due, Framework’s target audience also means there’s a higher signal-to-noise ratio from average users, too.)
batch 2, DIY. middle tier i7 CPU option with wifi 6 card (non-vPro).
I paired it with 32GB DDR4-3200 memory from TeamGroup: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08T17RQ87/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and a 256GB Samsung nvme drive that I had laying around.
Installed Ubuntu 20.04.3 w/5.11 kernel and adjusted several visual elements for a clean experience.
had to apply the workaround to get wifi working:
sudo mv /usr/lib/firmware/iwlwifi-ty-a0-gf-a0.pnvm /usr/lib/firmware/iwlwifi-ty-a0-gf-a0.bak
otherwise it’s been pretty smooth. This will be my attempt to see if I can live without Windows. Some software might be troublesome but we’ll see. I’ve already installed Steam and even though this will not be a “gaming” laptop per say, it easily handles older titles at good framerates even with just the Intel Xe graphics.