Community reviews

Because the reason might be the rawhide repo is already Fedora 36 right now. You might need to install not rawhide repo but Fedora 35 repo. I don’t know the exact commands.

The following command options are to specify the Fedora 36 repo, and trying to get Fedora 35 package. There is a mismatch here.

--enablerepo=rawhide --releasever=35
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@junaruga Thank you for that tip. After a little internet searching, I installed it with the following (update instead of install):

dnf --disablerepo="*" --enablerepo=rawhide --releasever=36 update libfprint

Sadly, that did not resolve my problem of not being able to re-enroll my fingerprints. I clicked the button to delete fingerprints, and it acted as if it had done it, but a subsequent attempt to register a previously registered fingerprint failed with the same error as before – Failed to enroll new fingerprint.

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Here’s my latest writeup:

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@Ian_Darwin Nice review

Small correction needed:

you can add DDR4 SODIMM memory up to 64MB

I guess 64MB should be enough for everyone :slight_smile:

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Umm, yes. :frowning: Finger memory sometimes shines through. Has been emended.

Before that: 64K should be enough for everyone.

Before that: 3 or 4 of these new “computer” things should be enough for the world.

@aquaticDolphin Thanks for the nudge.

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My review:

Assembly

Disassembly was well thought out and extremely easy. The included Framework screwdriver with its Torx T5 was all that was required.

The 4 captive screws and the 1 “pusher” screw is a brilliant arrangement, the cover popped off easily, I flipped it over and slid it halfway down the internals, covering the battery as recommended. The keyboard and touchpad cable is folded and split so it expands this way without putting tension on the cable or connector.

Installing the M.2 drive and the memory was easy. I was not overly familiar with the SODIMM latching mechanism arrangement but it seemed idiot-proof: the memory could only go in one way determined by the notch and the retention mechanism not only held the module down by the top but also firmly in place against the socket by the holes in the module and tabs in the retention mechanism.

The only part I had been warned about and dreaded was the wireless card installation. Yes, it was tricky. I was very careful not to damage the tiny connectors by pushing them down at an angle and the wires were stiff enough to twist the connectors so they wanted to go down this way. I had to pull a fair amount of slack out of the wires to ensure they were coming in from the bottom to avoid the cable torsion pulling off the connectors. Finally they both snapped into place. I routed the wires carefully and had to redo this several times. Placing the retention bracket with the wires in place behind it was tricky and took several attempts.

Perhaps I pulled a bit too much slack out of the white wire but it does clear everything and the connector is definitely oriented towards the bottom.

A final inspection to ensure everything was well-seated and I closed the lid and tightened the screws.

First Boot

I plugged my Ventoy drive in containing various Linux installation media. I plugged the power in - an orange LED indicated it was charging properly. I pressed the power button which lit up. The screen did not turn on but I was led to expect memory training would take a few minutes. After 15 minutes and no screen, I realized something was wrong, held the power button down to power down and powered up again. This time I noticed the boot code LED was flashing a sequence of green and red LEDs. That LED flashes by very quickly. I could not be sure if it was red on “DDR initialized OK” (bad but not the end of the world) or “Internal display initialized OK” which would be very very bad.

I opened it up again, checked all connections and checked the display connection very closely. I couldn’t find anything. When I sealed it up again and tried booting (no dice) I thought it might be a bad stick of RAM and removed one. With one stick removed it finally booted up. Just before declaring I found one bad RAM stick I reinstalled it and it booted up!

Without detecting a valid OS boot drive it immediately took me to a first boot menu as expected. It saw the Ventoy drive fine but would not boot from it. After several attempts I put the Linux Mint “edge” install media in an old USB thumb drive and it booted fine from that. I installed Linux Mint very easily - the edge ISO contains a 5.11 kernel that allows the wireless card to work out of the box. I documented the rest here.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard is good, decent travel, nice and clicky, a bit of a soft landing. My older laptop, an MSI GS30-2M Shadow, has a keyboard that is almost as good, but the keys are smaller and have a harder landing. My corporate laptop, a Lenovo Thinkpad E560, has a lighter spring feel and a harder landing as well but similar travel and “clickiness”. So the Framework keyboard is good but not the very best thing about the laptop. However I very quickly got used to the split arrow keys. They work fine, no problem.

What I really like is the trackpad. It’s much better than my other two laptops. It’s larger, and the surface is incredible to the touch. It’s glass so it’s very very smooth and silky-feeling, yet hard. It should be very durable. The plastic touchpad surface on both of my other laptops is wearing shiny and slightly sticky which feels awful to the touch compared to the Framework.

Expansion Modules

This is a great idea and I do not find that “only having 4 of them” is a detriment. I was able to use exactly what I need, nothing more and nothing less. I kept it simple and have installed two USB-C modules and two USB-A modules, one of each on each side. This way I can charge the laptop from either side, have one high speed USB-C port available for data transfers and two USB-A ports available. Perhaps I should trim it down to 1 USB-A port but I still have many more USB-A peripherals than USB-C peripherals. The USB-A port worked perfectly with my old thumb drive for installing the OS and the USB-C port works fine for charging and docking.

Charger

Speaking of charging, the official Framework charger is excellent and I’m glad I got it. It is incredibly small and light. The included USB-C cable is nice and long, the wires are very heavy gauge and the cable is tough. The right-angle connector means that it doesn’t stick out as much from the laptop as it would otherwise.

Screen

I don’t find the glossy screen much of a problem except for taking photos of it with it off for review purposes. I just put on a light background and the light from the background washes out most reflections. The 3:2 aspect ratio is nice, it makes the screen seem much larger than it is - the 16:9 screen in my 13" MSI GS30-2M Shadow seems positively tiny by comparison.

Scaling was a bit of an issue but I got it to work as outlined in my Linux Mint thread.

The screen is very bright, clear and sharp, due in no small part to its lack of a diffusing anti-glare coating which many have gotten used to I believe. I have no problems with colour balance and have tweaked it using Redshift colour-adjusting software as mentioned in my Linux Mint thread.

Size, Weight and Construction

Its size and weight make it very easy to carry. The 3:2 screen means there is lots of real estate for large keyboard keys and a huge trackpad. It’s deep for its size. It’s not as wide as my MSI laptop but a little deeper.

The aluminum chassis is very rigid and very solid. The fit and finish is excellent, I do not see the keyboard cover lifting or any gaps and the screen bezel is firmly held in place with no gaps.

Performance and Cooling

I’ll cover benchmarking in another thread but the executive summary is that the Intel Core i7-1165G7 is fast. Single-core, it often approaches my 105W TDP desktop AMD Ryzen 9 5900X.

When the CPU is pushed hard, the fan makes itself known for sure, but it’s mostly blowing air I’m hearing. It doesn’t spool up all that quickly and it’s not whiny.

The temperature tops out at 82°C. It can stay there continuously so it seems to be throttling at that point. One core can attain 4.7 GHz and all cores can briefly attain 4.1 GHz, exactly according to Intel’s specifications, but long term they will settle down to about 3.8 GHz. I did see a brief spike to 95°C with one core at 100% before thermal throttling and cooling brought it back down.

Battery Life

I have not tested this extensively yet but it seems good to me. I’ve used it on battery almost every night, mostly web browsing. In about 3 hours it goes from 100% to about 70%. My software is reporting it still has 4 or 5 hours remaining. I’ll take that with a grain of salt but I see no reason this laptop should not get 6 hours + on a charge. Maybe not 8 hours.


In short, I am THRILLED to have this laptop. It feels well and truly MINE and to be able to get into it with not only the permission but the assistance of the company behind it is wonderful. I am very eager for future upgrades. Perhaps not the very first upgraded motherboard released but maybe 5 years from now when several CPU generations have led to significant improvements.

My MSI laptop is still somewhat relevant but only because it was so fast at the time that it’s still competitive today. It was more expensive than the Framework. Had I not spent as much as I did on it, it would be about as competitive as my budget corporate laptop, which is newer than the MSI but much slower. It will be a while before the 1165G7 is severely outclassed, but it’s fantastic knowing there’s the possibility of upgrading the laptop while keeping the rest of what’s great about it, and costing less than a whole new one.

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Great review, the only time that I get the fan going full blast is during photo editing (Canon DPP4) and Spotify, other programs and Edge browser open. I’m very happy with the purchase and hope Framework is around for years to come. I’ll be interested in what the v2 or v3 laptop with be capable of.

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Here’s my quick review after a day. I am typing this from my Framework laptop. So that you have a reference point, I am coming from a M1 MacBook Air and Surface Pro 6. Here are some of my impressions. I hope that this helps someone make a decision on committing to the Framework life.

TLDR
I knew coming in that Framework won’t be the perfect laptop and that there will be compromises. And there certainly are. Personally, my biggest compromises are battery life, the heat and that crazy LED from the power button. The short battery life holds it back from being a modern laptop where you just don’t have to think about battery life during the day. Coming from the M1, the temperature on the lap kinda came at a surprise with a conclusion “hmmm…it’s Intel”. The LED from the power button is an unprovoked assault on my retina. A fix is coming but it’s gonna take a long long long time.

With all that said, Framework is MY laptop. It’s all mine to do as please. The sense of freedom is exhilarating. I won’t hesitate on breaking the screen if I want to, by applying a screen protector. I LOVE the Framework laptop. I expect to use it for 10 years. I hope that Framework succeed in its mission and over that 10 years, my Framework laptop would slowly morph into a still very capable device yet nothing like the Framework laptop I hold in my hand today.

Specs

  • DIY i5
  • Crucial 32GB x 1
  • SK Hynix Gold P31 1TB
  • Non-vPro AX210
  • Type C Card x 4
  • Type A Card
  • HDMI Card
  • 250GB Storage Card

Build Quality
Build quality is definitely not at the same level as the MacBook or the Surface. It feels solid but I could see some weird things even in my first 30 minutes with the machine. The first thing I noticed was the eject button for the expansion cards were exposed at different levels for the left and the right. Also, there’s a gap between the trackpad and the input cover.

DIY Experience
It was fun. Even the annoying bit of installing the wireless card felt rewarding. I felt a sense of achievement and control. It’s MY laptop and I can do what I want with it. Not just dressing it up but make real changes to it. I just have a rush of feelings I had from working on my very first desktop. I love it!

Display
It’s beautiful and there’s nothing to complain about other than the extra shiny surface, which could easily be resolved with a matte screen protector, assuming I don’t break the screen in the process.

Speakers
They are on a weak side. I really wouldn’t mind removing one of them to get a bigger battery. I don’t really use speakers on my laptops anyways.

Keyboard & Trackpad
It’s a bit spongy but feels much better than most laptops nonetheless and I doubt I would have any trouble using it going forward. The trackpad feels cheaper than both the Mac and the Surface. The surface of the trackpad is rougher than I am used to.

Hinge
The hinge feels a bit weird too. It was a bit tight as you open the lid position and wobbles at the opened position around 100°. I hope that Framework improve the hinge going forward and maybe sell a new hinge at some point?

Performance, Fan & Temperatures
I do find the performance lagging. Compared to my M1 Mac, it feels like the Framework has to struggle to do similar tasks without having to ramp up the fan. I was working at my desk with a clean flat surface. Between Dropbox and iCloud trying to sync the files, the fan was going all out like a little jet engine. On the other hand, the temperatures were kept at a very comfortable level. After Dropbox and iCloud finished syncing, I used MS Office with Edge and messaging app open. The Framework ran it without the fan on and it was just a little warm. As I used it on battery on my lap for about two hours, it does get a bit too warm for my liking. The fan didn’t run during that time.

Battery
Windows battery report is showing that only 53,207/55,009 out of the designed capacity. But this is expected rise to designed capacity after a few charges. I used the laptop on battery doing some non-intensive work and I got 4 hours and 22 minutes after going from 100% to 20%. Compared to the Mac, it’s abysmal but not so different from the Surface Pro. It took 33 minutes to get back to 50% using a 60W charger while the screen was on and not being actively used. It took another 90 minutes to get to 100%. After that I unplugged it closed the lid for 7 hours, in which I lost 6%.

Power Button
The light on the power button bothers me. Thankfully, in bios version 3.05, we will get ability to adjust the brightness on it. For now, there’s a post-it note on the power button. Curiosity got the best of me and I looked up with version we are on and it’s only 3.02. And worse, 3.03 is still in beta. It will be forever until we get 3.05, in my mind. So, the post-it note was retired and an electric tape was employed.

Docks

  • Caldigit USB-C Pro Dock connects via Thunderbolt and works great. It is connected to a single 4K display, Denon receiver, webcam, keyboard and mouse.
  • Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Docking station also works great. It is connected to dual 1080p displays, speakers, webcam, keyboard and mouse.
  • Belkin USB-C Express Dock 3.1 HD works great as well. This one connects via USB protocol, not Thunderbolt. It’s connected to a single 4K display, speakers, webcam, keyboard and mouse.
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Configuration:

DIY i5 & BYO Wifi + Storage:
  SK Hynix Gold P31 1TB
  Intel AC9560ngw
  Some unbranded RAM I found on aliexpress (16GB @3200)

Expansion cards:
  4x USB-A
  2x USB-C

I others, I chose the DIY configuration to save on money. I was actually surprised that the RAM I got actually worked without issues. However, I can’t comment about performance about other expansion cards, as I only have the USB-A and USB-C ones.


Boxes!
When I first got the notification on my phone that FedEx has delivered my package, I was thrilled, but only to be concerned with how the box turned out. When I eventually opened it up, I was relieved that nothing bad happened to the contents within. The framework team did an awesome job at keeping the laptop safe from FedEx’s abuse.

First Look
This is the first laptop that I have bought brand new. I’ve been rocking old second hand laptops, so this was a pretty big change for me. When I first opened the box, my first thought was that the laptop looks so much like a MacBook. It’s sleek, it is surprisingly light, the keyboard is bouncy, and the screen is surprisingly crisp like a new bag of chips.

Assembly
After admiring the look and feel of the laptop, it is time to assemble it. Like an impatient adolescent, I immediately flip my framework over, grab the torx screwdriver, and start unscrewing the five screws. I was a bit too trigger-happy at my new toy, I didn’t read the quick start guide and spent three minutes wondering where and how to open the laptop from the bottom.

The one first thing that stood out to me in this disassembly process were the capacitive screws. There is no need to worry about them disappearing after unscrewing them. As for the laptop cover, it is surprisingly difficult to remove with just my hands. Using the given screwdriver end, made the whole disassembly way easier.

Being a clumsy guy, I also found it easy to pull the keyboard off the motherboard with the finger loop on the ribbon cable. Adding the storage was a breeze, but connecting the antennas to the wifi card took some time with my fat fingers, but the process was surprisingly fast, and not as tedious as I thought.

Putting everything back together was also a breeze, so not much else to say here.

Into the computer (Debian linux)
I opted to install Debian 11 (aka Debian Stable) on my configuration. Amusingly enough, the laptop is able to boot off the USB with secure boot enabled, but I ended up restarting the laptop into the BIOS to disable secure boot.

The way I installed Debian requires two USB sticks: one for the official installation media, and another one to hold firmware for the installer to read and grab.

Long story short, here’s my installation process:

  1. Disable secure boot in BIOS
  2. Plug in installer USB and start installation
  3. Plug in firmware USB after the installer asks for it
  4. Complete the rest of the install
    eg: partitioning, setting passwords, encryption, etc

Issues in linux

  • The fingerprint reader does not register (libfprint too old in current Debian 11)
  • Mic doesn’t work in the TRRS audio port

Aside from that, the whole linux experience was smooth and flawless. I’m not using the latest wifi card, so my experience is obviously different from others. I also don’t use the fingerprint reader, so that is also not a priority for me, but I can always figure it out later.

Battery
After a full charge, the battery was able to last me around 6.5-7.7 hours on full brightness on both the screen and keyboard, while listening to music while setting up my environment. The most strenuous task I did was installing programs/packages after updating. Power consumption hovered around 10 to 15 watts, and jumped to 20 at the highest on battery.

Screen
Setting the screen to full brightness really burned my eyes in a dark room. Looking at a webpage with a white background made the contrast between the black keyboard seem like it had dots between the keys. The display itself, however, has a great color range and contrast that is great for content creation. The 3:2 ratio definitely helps with the extra vertical screen estate.

Expansion cards
With only two types of cards to play around with, there’s not much to say about them in terms of functionality and such. Mechanically, however, the expansion cards take a little effort to slot into the laptop. Taking them out, on the other hand, take an amount of force to remove. The cards seem like a secure fit and doesn’t seem like they would fall out by themselves.


Overall, I’m happy and satisfied with how the framework laptop is, and I do hope and wish for them to succeed. This laptop is definitely a keeper!

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AFAIK, the Debian secure boot is a shim that enables programs to sign and run. It might work in the meantime, but seems like a hassle to maintain in the long run.

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AFAIK Linux distro secure boot support in general is based on the shim. BIOSes generally have a Microsoft-owned key built in, so whatever the UEFI boots into needs to be signed by that key. To avoid having to have Microsoft sign every build of everything, the solution is to have Microsoft sign a shim, which can then verify the distro’s signature on the bootloader to chain to it securely.

If you want to put in the work you could load your own keys into the BIOS and sign your bootloader/kernel/etc yourself, but many people don’t want to bother with all that.

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Secure boot in Linux is a pain because anytime you have ANYTHING modify the kernel you need to resign the keys. It is just a hassle. I mean instead of using secure boot I would think something like Coreboot/Pureboot/Heads and the TPM would be a better solution that can detect tampering without any assistance from any other entity.

If you are using Windows, and especially Bitlocker, then Secureboot makes sense, and I recommend using it.

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For people with one stick of RAM (I have been seeing this more and more with the framework build reviews), avoid doing this. Unless you want the framework to perform like junk.

You will get better performance from 2x8GB of ram compared to one 16GB. Spend the extra few dollars and get the pair kits. Trust me you will notice the difference.

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Honestly, it’s a bit too extreme to say it will perform like junk. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with running with one stick of RAM.

Discounting the extra costs, waste from packaging, closing off a chance of upgrades, creating a problem of what-to-do with old RAM… etc. I think the only benefit two sticks of RAM can bring is performance and being reliable.

Yes, there is a performance penalty when running on one stick of RAM, but it’s not noticeable to a casual user unless they are a hard core gamer or have that specific need.

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Agreed mrwm. The other advantage to going one stick is that you can eventually grab another 16gb (or whatever equivalent you need) and double your RAM. Instead of needing to replace both of the RAM sticks you bought for newer larger ones.

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@mrwm @2disbetter You guys brought up some really great points, thank you :pray:!

Yes, I have to admit that saying it will perform like junk is maybe :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: exaggerated, I should have added some more context to make sure what I said was clarified.

All personal preference of course, and I never said it was wrong with running one stick, just something I wanted to state considering I have seen benchmarks or performance comparisons of the framework and I wouldn’t want people to compare those with one stick when performance is their goal in mind.

@mrwm that benefit you mentioned is a pretty big and in my eyes an important one :smiley:.

I don’t upgrade ram as frequent as I would like to think so having performance/reliability up front trumps upgradability since I might not do an upgrade for a few years and that time memory would (hopefully) be less expensive and better ram would be around. Also from my experience mixing ram is risky (for perf/stability).

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Good afternoon fellow frame.work’ers. I received my i5 DIY build kit last Friday, so I thought I’d give the community my thoughts on the laptop.

The TL;DR points below:

  • The Good: Overall … everything. I’m running Fedora 35 and it installs and configures and works like a champ. Fingerprint scanner, camera, microphone, and touchpad all “just work” as you’d hope. I’m currently in the process of migrating all of my work related projects from my MacBook Pro and simply cannot wait to leave that thing behind and never use Mac OS again. To avoid e-waste, I’m going to wipe it and sell it for whatever I can get for it.
  • The Bad: Well … everything works … until it doesn’t. I can’t say for sure whether my minor issues are Fedora 35 issues or Framework BIOS/HW issues, but some things are pretty strange. When the system is put to sleep while the lid is open … no problem. It wakes up when you press keys and life goes on. But when you have the unit docked with the lid closed and then go into suspend mode … it just … doesn’t. It’s hard to tell what’s happening because the lid is closed, but when you try to wake up the system via the docked keyboard/mouse/trackpad … nada … but when you open the lid and try to wake the unit up … still nada. If you press the power button, it will throw some failures up on the screen and then you have to power cycle it get it back up and running.
  • The Perplexing: The system could use a once-over when it comes to operating while docked. When the unit is asleep and you plug it into a dock, there’s kind of no way to wake it up (at least not that I’ve seen). You have to open the lid and physically touch keys or the power button to wake it up. This is kinda lousy. It makes the processing of transitioning between portable and stationary modes a bit clumsy.

Okay … if you’re still reading, here are some of my more in-depth thoughts.

I’d like to see better power management options in the BIOS (rather than depending on the OS). It would be nice to have more finely tuned controls over the battery charging. I would like the battery to only charge when it drops below a threshold and stop charging above that threshold or at least to stop charging when at 100% and plugged into power. I’ve noticed the laptop is sometimes warm (but never hot) while idling and my guess is that’s due to charging.

I would also like to understand the expectations of operating while docked. It seems off to me that you’d have to open the lid to wake the unit up in order to use it while plugged in. Maybe someone way smarter than me could make a “wake up” button expansion card. I’d hate to have to waste a slot to add that feature … so maybe “bundle” it with a USB port.

A few knocks on the setup process, and I’m not sure if these problems are Fedora 35 (which just launched) or hardware/BIOS related. The first time I plugged it into power, I was told the unit was charging extremely slowly. Unplugging and reconnecting to power fixed that. Later, the unit was plugged into a USB-C dock/hub/dongle and it didn’t recognize the Ethernet port on that dock … until it was unplugged and reconnected. These are both super minor issues, but I found it weird that unplug and reconnect was beginning to form as a pattern.

I absolutely and wholeheartedly recommend this product. I’m not sure that all or any of the problems I’ve experienced can be attributed to the laptop hardware. I love the openness of the platform and my ability to reduce/throttle the e-waste aspects by choosing to fix, reuse, or repurpose the unit or its parts as time goes by.

I am recommending it to everyone I know who’s looking for a laptop and also suggesting it to folks that currently own closed hardware from ecosystem/platform holders that are just fed up with Big Tech’s shady ways.

Enjoy your new laptops … I’m digging mine.

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Would you be able to provide these exact error messages? There’s quite a lot of people on this forum who might be able to help.

I use Fedora 35 as well, but I don’t use a dock. It may also depend on the particular dock you’re using and the hardware inside.

Finally, there might be quirks depending on the suspend mode you’re using. What do you get when you run (in a terminal)

cat /sys/power/mem_sleep

while your dock is connected?

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Hi all,

to add my 2 cents after I received my i5-DIY unit:

  • I seemed to be one of the last ones for batch 4 delivery. It got delayed a week into early November. Still, for 4th pre-order batch of a brand new company I am impressed you turned around batches like this. Major kudos!
  • I am on Arch and everything just works, besides a little Bluetooth thing going on, but other wrote already. Sure will be fine eventually.
  • The laptop feels more premium, than I expected! Photos looked more plastic-y.
  • Screen resolution is better than thought. I come from a 2015 Pixelbook with 4k, but the Framework is just fine. 1.5 scaling works very well.

I think the one thing I don’t like is the windows logo on the SuperKey. By selling a DIY model, attracting a ton of linux users, you should have put a framework logo on that key.

Overall very impressed and very happy! Would recommend :slight_smile:

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I don’t do Linux, but I agree with it being neutral by using Framework’s logo. Missed opportunity in my mind.

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