Explainer: Lid rigidity, hinge force, the CNC Top Cover, and the new 4.0kg Hinge Kit

This is paramount, because it acknowledges a truth that companies like Apple would never dare acknowledge. In fact their marketing is finely tuned to not do that very thing. This acknowledges that nothing can be made that is 100% perfect. Since this is the reality of the physical world we inhabit, Framework’s approach while novel and unique should be nothing but logical and rational.

A laptop is an extremely complex product that most consumers are deftly unaware of. That is another reason why the openness from Framework is such a rare thing today. It shouldn’t be. These are just some of the reasons I’m a Framework customer and encourage all I meet to be one as well. Not because the laptop is perfect, but because Framework as a company is so unique and is supporting the consumer more than any other laptop manufacturer I’m aware of.

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…in due time. There are some people I know who are capable of using and managing their laptops…but some, not so much. IMO, it’s not as polished as it could be just yet. Need to let Framework age and mature more before I can “encourage all I meet”.

(But then again, your social circle and mine could be very different in skills and expectations of a laptop, its support, reliability…etc)

Hi @nrp,

I reached out to support and they indicated that the stiffer hinge is only meant for the 12th gen laptops. Is that correct?

So on the upper end of the gen 1 hinge kit, it could be up to 3.8kg. And the lower end of the gen 2 hinge kit, it could be down to 3.5kg.

Meaning there’s a chance that the gen 2 hinge kit is weaker than gen 1? Hum…any data on the distribution probability of the +/- 0.5 kg of both kits?

I also noticed that the wording on the force is applied to the ‘kit’ not the individual left/right hinge. Does Framework know what the tolerance is per hinge, and whether there’s the matching process in place to form a kit?

e.g. One hinge is 1.6 kg, one hinge is 1.9, forming a 3.5kg pair → Would this be considered as a gen 1 kit, or a gen 2 kit?

I assume there’s also a per hinge tolerance such that a hinge pair of composed 2.8kg + 0.4kg (forming 3.2kg) would be considered out of spec because the force difference is too wide.

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Currently all parts are mechanically compatible. I do not see a reason why it shouldn’t work for gen 11 since CPU generation has absolutely nothing to do with mechanics. Moreover, their hinge order page does not differentiate between laptop generations in any way, only rigidity.

Maybe they meant that newer generation laptops would be shipped with new hinges, but AFAIK nothing prevents you from installing sturdier hinge in your existing 11gen laptop.

The 3.3kg hinge continues to be the default hinge for both 11th Gen and 12th Gen systems. The 4.0kg Hinge Kit is a Marketplace item that is compatible with either.

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@nrp Kudos to the Framework team for owning up to the issue. This is the right thing to do.

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I think this is far too large a tolerance, 1kg of variation on a 3.3kg target? As @A_Fan pointed out this means buying the 4kg hinges could result in lower force required than original hinges! Lets talk when the tolerance is closer to 0.25kg +/-

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It is a concern even at 0.25 we get a ‘new’ at 3.75 and an ‘old’ at 3.55 far to close for comfort, especially as someone may have an old 3.6 that slipped through and get a 3.7.

10% is too high but percentage is a better realtive measurement but doesn’t work
‘old’ 2.97 to 3.63
‘new’ 3.6 to 4.4

I would suggest 4%, 5%%, 6% or 100g

Of course a neat solution is to make them user adjustable or use a cam so the further opened the more torque is needed.

If mine get ‘bad’ I’ll find a way to ‘fix’ them :slight_smile:

I would also prefer less than +/- 0.25 kg but I think that it is acceptable where +/- 0.5kg I feel it is not.

I am pleased there is transparency here as I would prefer stiffer hinges but won’t buy replacements unless I know they will actually be stiffer! :slight_smile:

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I like the idea of user-adjustable hinge forces as well. Solves the preferences and too wide of acceptable ranges problem, AND it solves the problem of hinge wear over time.

I have no idea how to engineer such a thing, but I am sure that someone does.

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There are two parts to this user-adjustable / variable force hinge:

  1. Variable uniformed force.
  2. Variable rotation-dependent force.

For the 2nd part, there’s this design:

And earlier design:

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And what seems to be happening (at least from the following two patents), is that laptop manufacturers do design their own hinges. Good (or bad) ones aren’t exactly ‘off-the-shelf’.

My idea is to drill a hole and add a nylon screw to push down on the inner part. :slight_smile: When it gets to the point of wanting to tighten ~} I’ll how easy that is

Good to see framework working on improving the hinge.
Hinge is a crucial moving part, if you look at profesional laptop like Thinkpad and others they have been testing and advertising the solidity of the hinge/ opening closing the screen thousands times. Any moving part in a laptop brakes first : trackpad, keyboard, hinges.

Now on this forum who really cares about “one hand opening” ?
In which situation you cannot use your two handes to open your computer ?

Personally I would love a computer with a working lid at 4kg(or whatever) than a non working lid a 3kg…because this will wear out and in 2 years a weak lid will be broken…

Are you shipping the next batches with 4Kg hinges ?
Bottom line, when you close the door of a BMW you feel it is sturdy, I want this kind of feeling on my upcoming framework laptop. Not interested in a “one finger” closing my car door :smiley:

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No! it has been noted ~ ten posts prior ??

When you only have one hand or during a balancing act

My super petty must-have feature: one handed opening

This probably seems silly, but I am looking for a Windows laptop that I can open smoothly with one finger. I have other features I want too (listed below), but since I’m looking in the $1000-$1500 (USD) range, I have a hard time dropping that kind of cash on a laptop that lacks this simple luxury.
https://www.reddit.com/r/SuggestALaptop/comments/4e313g/my_super_petty_musthave_feature_one_handed_opening/

and of course

Thks Amoun, for your kind explanations.
If there is a user need in the framework community for this, I guess it s nice to have. I don t want to be polemic at all.
On my side of the screen I don t see it. Obviousely for people one handed that make perfect sens. Now I don t see the people pictured in your article around me … It looks very silicon valley ish :wink: Maybe the solution is méditation for those persons, taking a breath :smiley: Anyhow if it s in there, I ll be happy to use it one handed.

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I think the design around this one-handed opening is partially inclusivity.

And, if I can do it with less, then why do it with more (hands).

As a feature, one-handed opening can been done, and has been done (right) by other manufacturers, but that seriously requires some R&D to get it spot on, consistently, reliability, time after time…for each unit, and with a high assembly yield / success rate of passing the QC (if / when put in place).

This is a feature that Framework hasn’t been able to chew successfully.

i.e. It’s not really about ‘why’ it should / shouldn’t be a feature. It’s more about, if it’s a feature, you better make it right. Otherwise, it’s just another hole to trip in (which it has). This has been a pre-mature ambition on the design. One that has resulted in feature failure. Compound this with the resonance issue…hinge is definitely an issue here.

Take a look here:

…and this as another example of good implementation:

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And I wanted a touch screen, but I can see why now it would have been a big problem given the lack of ridgidity and weak hinges :frowning:

I can wait a few years or a decade :slight_smile:

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I wonder if/when a touchscreen get offered if the 4kg hinges will be the default for that config?

I’ll be honest, I’m the type that really doesn’t care at all about one-finger opening and would take a stronger, more rigid hinge any day of the week, so I’m slightly sad that you can’t select the 4kg hinges even on the DIY model and that it’s purely an aftermarket item at this time.

I guess I’ll just have to buy all the parts separately from the marketplace and make my own “super DIY” model? :stuck_out_tongue: (my plan was to actually just start with a mainboard on its own as a sort of derpy DIY’d NUC, though not in any sort of fancy housing like Elevated Systems does - I’m fine with bare PCB just sitting around on cardboard or the like)

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