Expansion slots uneven, creating sharp edges (quality issue?!)


I just got my Framework 13 DIY AMD (batch 2).
Sadly can see that my Laptops slots don’t seem to be even.

The left two slots seem to be deeper and therefore resulting in expansion cards to be not flush with the case, but a bit too deep. This results in sharp edges and not really a premium feel.
The Expansion cards aren’t the problem I switched one from the right to the left.

Does somebody else have this problem, @Framework is this expected? It seems like the whole chassis is not cut accurate enough.
I haven’t found anything that describes this exact issue, so maybe not expected.
Edit: I don’t seem to be the only one.

(Talking about the perspective Laptop lying with screen down, hinge is a the top).

Another thread on the same topic:

They’re ever so slightly recessed - users in the above thread tried to use shims to make the ports flush with the case but it prevents the locking mechanism from working properly.

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Thanks for the linking.
Didn’t use the word “recessed” when searching.
So seems to be an issue that is there, but it seems to be not allways one side or is it?!

If you escalate this to FW support…I’m sure they can have their quality control department look at the manufacturing process. Could be a small batch of issues but nevertheless it should be something they should be looking into if several people have mentioned it.

The expansion cards don’t sit flush and that’s just simply due to tolerances. The expansion cards and slots each have their own tolerances and when they don’t line up, you can get cards that are either sticking out slightly or recessed in.

How bad is yours? Are we talking like millimeters? Mine aren’t perfectly flush but I’d say they’re well within what I’d expect out of a modular system like this. Chasing tolerances gets really expensive after a certain point…

Photos of mine for comparison:


Looking at these pictures, I have about the same tolerances on my laptop (very early 11th gen) and while yes, it is less “premium” it is perfectly usable, and I agree that with a modular system like this it’s just not worth it to try to get tighter tolerances or you’re going to be wasting both money and materials, which are both things Framework wouldn’t want to do. While the corners are a little sharp, I’ve never hurt myself on them, so if you’re experiencing dangerous conditions then you should contact support.


Since the USB-C ports are directly on the mainboard, maybe it is possible to loosen the mainboard screws, put in extension cards and at least even out the tolerances out before fastening again? Otherwise you can put a small slip of paper in between card and case if you do not change those often.
I think the tolerances are quite good for what this is. Make it to tight and you get problems installing/removing cards/mainboards/input covers.

Thanks for the replies, mine is similar to the second picture (of the right side) of @knewman .
It seems I am not the only one and this is expected. I can understand that Framework is not that long in town and doesn’t want to throw almost perfectly manufactured chassis or so away.
Hope that the quality gets better. There are small things that could be better, but nothing that is making it unusable as a device, just small aesthetic things, etc.

…we’re all uneven to the same degree…evenly.


(one of my earliest fit & finish complaints)

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…here’s the list of other FL13 characteristics:

  • If you open the [1st gen / non-CNC] top cover / lid, turn your laptop side way, you’ll see that the lid is slightly curved / bent.
  • Speaker grill / holes, not evenly spaced.
  • Some power button / fingerprint reader aren’t perfectly centred.
  • Some trackpads are not evenly spaced / gapped.
  • Un-uniform spacing between bezel and the edge of the lid (the bezel edge is not perfectly straight). My kid’s $5 lunchbox (MIJ) has a staighter and cleaner edge.

…but I’ve accepted it for what it is. We’re at the 4th mainboard iteration…but enclosure is still pretty much 1st iteration (except the CNC lid and hinge). So everyone is pretty much still getting a first gen fit & finish.

With all that said, these are tiny / minute kinks compare to Framework’s mission.

Right now it seems to not be a problem for most people, see Tesla and their quality control issues (that people could clearly see) and still they sold like hot cake.
I think it is still something Framework should improve, as otherwise it will hurt Frameworks growth by being perceived as a company that is not that premium. Long lasting and premium are many times associated and sometimes true and other times just not.
Framework just doesn’t have the hype Tesla has, for the long run to ignore that.
And now as a customer you are in a deadlock like situation:
You bought a device because you want to vote with your money and maybe want less ewaste. But you got a product which has flaws. Returning it and ordering a new one until you have one without flaws could go against the reasons you bought this laptop. So you are kinda stuck, either with leaving reasons behind, why you bought it or accept these flaws.
And please Framework, if you read this, don’t let this be a strategy of yours (or become one). It has a bitter taste and it may convince enthusiasts to buy your laptops, but for them to also recommend it to their family and friends, it should be with less tolerances.
In the end Framework will only survive if either companies become big customers or non tech nerds buy it.

It’s something that’s really difficult to do because there are two components that contribute to this issue (expansion slot + expansion card). And very small deviations will still lead to the same result. Framework could address this but it would suck up a huge amount of resources for minimal benefit. I would honestly rather Framework spend the money and engineering resources on other aspects of the laptop such as variety of expansion cards, improved expansion card power draw, and chassis durability where the benefits are more noticeable.

From a practical stand point, all laptops have flaws. This is a small (and known) tradeoff that you have when you make a product that is modular. As for how premium it is, I’ve had a bunch of Apple users tell me their impressions of my Framework and they think it’s a solid, well-built device. At a certain point, it doesn’t really matter how premium your device is if it becomes an expensive paperweight that you can’t fix or service should it break.


Overall, from what I’ve seen so far, it does appear all Expansion Cards are supposed to be slightly recessed, no problems there.

Speaking of tolerances, my 12th Gen has near perfect tolerance, specifically the amount of recess/gaps around all 4 Expansion Cards are nearly identical. While my AMD13 does appear to have somewhat less ideal tolerances.

It seems like the Expansion Card mounting mechanism is just a plastic compartment screwed over the openings from inside of the aluminum bottom case. In theory the tolerance can be adjusted by just getting inside, unscrewing and adjusting the relevant parts.

Personally I’m not going to bother right now, especially considering it doesn’t seems like there’s existing documentation of disassembling this specific section of the bottom cover, but I might poke around next time I need to get into the laptop.

Perhaps Framework’s bottom cover supplier needs to further improve their assembly precision.


Same here. My Ryzen FW13 has the cards ever so slightly recessed. The misalignment is small though (even though it seems larger on mine than in the photos posted above by @knewman). I can very clearly feel the edge of the chassis with my finger, but it’s still too small to reliably measure for me (~0.1 mm). I do think it’s good the cards are not sticking out, as that would be more of an issue in my opinion. If that’s the goal, manufacturing tolerances will be specified as +0 -XX, with XX being nonzero. That’s just the way tolerances work. They could be reduced I guess, but at a cost as others have pointed out.

So all in all, I don’t really see much room for improvement for a modular system, at least judging from my sample.

Just want to point out that the curvature of the top case is intentional, I believe. Consider the situation where weight is applied to that top case: if the screen is more or less flush to the keyboard, any pressure on the top case runs the risk of smashing keycaps into screen. Thus the entire top assembly appears to be slightly convex (so when it flexes within some tolerance, screen and keycaps do not meet).

I think this sort of information is considered proprietary to the manufacturing process, and so you rarely see companies talk about it. It’s a feature, not a bug!

My 2 cents having just received an RMA (complete laptop). Top assembly on both units has the same slight curvature.

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