DAVE2D's video on a Framework 16 Engineering Sample

From his review, build quality is solid but there is some flex throughout the device.


That’s a good video and certainly speaks well of the laptop.

But at 11:30, the flex that he starts talking about is really obvious with the topdown view of the display - you can really see it’s not in a straight line…

Here’s hoping that’s due to it being an engineering sample.


Note that he missed that you can swap the Expansion Bay Modules like the dGPU without taking the mid plate off. This means the swap takes around 2 minutes (as shown by The Verge recently), rather than 5-6 minutes stated in the video.

It’s also an engineering sample, so it’s missing a bunch of fit and finish that the final product has.


Yeah that lid looks pretty bent although I would say his overall conclusions are correct. Screen flex on my Framework 13 is noticeably more than other laptops and it is affected by the fact that the bezel is held in by magnets rather than adhesives. Not a big deal to me but I’m hoping that device rigidity has been improved on the final version.


Note that this is also likely because of the height. Has also been addressed with the CNC top cover somewhat!

I have the CNC version and it’s still there. Probably even worse on the original top cover. I’ve also tested screen flex on several Surface laptops and they have very little to no flex.

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Dave mentioned the fans of the expansion card bay slot is modular and upgradeable does this mean Frore System ‘fans’ are a possibility in the future?

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Always possible but I’d like for that tech to mature a bit more before it is considered. For the cooling that each module provides, the power consumption is too high and can have an impact on battery life.

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So is the ‘feels plasticy’ comment a common thing, specific to the engineering samples provided to reviewers?

Yeah, the general rigidity is a concern. [As you’ve noted] Even with the FL13, the cover flex is humanly visible.

I wonder why the dGPU module wasn’t available to Dave2D. Is / Was it not ready?

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Only if three things happen together (at least): Cheap enough, energy efficient enough, and pushes enough air flow.

This is probably just one of the (small) tradeoffs that you have to make with Framework’s design. Linus even mentioned this in his initial video on the Framework (before he invested in the company). By using magnets rather than adhesives, things will be a little bit more flexible. Having taken apart the top half of the computer, I can say that everything is very thin but I think it was an appropriate tradeoff.

Could be they need every dGPU for internal testing. At this stage, it would be really expensive to crank out more.

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I, personally, would much rather the design included a compensating measure than to absorb a compromised flexy cover. But then, of course, there were other factors, (e.g. cost, weight…etc). So…hum… To this day, I’m still not sure if I’m happy with the cover…it is the flexiest of all my other laptops. but then it’s has not negatively impacting its functionality, *but then it might be because I’m babying this thing and living with crack panel anxiety.

Maybe. I would have assumed x number of engineering samples of laptops would have matching number of engineering sample of dGPU. e.g. Say there are 5 laptops, one of the engineering tests (one would think) would be to see if all 5 dGPU modules are manufactured to the same mechanical tollerances when swapping into all 5 laptop units (without, say, any kind of pins / contact issues).

The average consumers (Dave2D’s friends and family) seem to think it feels cheap…and that’s without them being picky (I assume). I hope the final finished product would have improvements made to minimize that perception.

Visually, I can’t get over the seams created by the spacers. Hope the final product has tighter tolerances. See how it’s higher and lower between the mid spacer and the trackpad…that’s bendy.



From the constant key outlines on my Framework, I can see that it is constantly flexing in my bag but I think there isn’t necessarily a need to worry about a screen crack. Usually those are caused by debris on the keyboard or people shoving papers/keyboard covers in. I’ve seen some pretty bad screen cracks on the new Macbook pros because of that, even though it’s got one of the most rigid screens. In a sense, the flexibility may help to prevent that by preventing pressure from building up. Now if you really press hard, I’m sure you could break the screen from the outside but I suspect that doesn’t happen often

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I don’t think they can get the tolerances any tighter but they could come up with a spacer that’s the size of 2 of these spacers for people who want to keep it in that position.

A lot of Dave’s family and friends use Macbooks so it’s invariably going to be compared to that.

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Ah… That would explain it. That is a high bar then.

The other thing I noticed…what’s happening here?


Yeah, minimize the number of seams would be nice.

If dbrand can come up with some kind of a felt material…that would address the levelling tolerance issue we see here.

Two Three things I’m very impressed with from the video:

  1. The 180w power brick. It IS really compact.
  2. Swappable fans / dGPU, it really is a monumental feat as you don’t need to disassemble the laptop like the MXM days.
  3. Battery connector pins.

But the display chin is visually taller than what I would like.

I really like how that mid-plate looks…not sure why. Somewhat industrial looking, I like it.


Could be a tolerance thing. If you go to the 4:33 mark, the spacers look correctly aligned along the trackpad module.

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I also noticed that at around the 12:25 mark when the bezel is being taken off…there seems to very little display bounce. Have they solved it with the FL16 hinge / cover combo? It looks fairly solid from the video.

so Dave got his FW16 and others have not yet ? i wonder he was in Batch 0 or what lol . as Batch 1 users have not got yet !!!

Engineering sample. Not a regular finalized unit.