[FEEDBACK] Framework 16 screen and Linux (why not 4K)

Framework team just announced Framework 16 screen. It will be 2560x1600.

I am very disappointment about that it is not 4K.

My reason is that Linux has only 100% or 200% scale. With 200% it will be only 1280×800 virtual pixels, which will be very small space for 16". With 100% it will be 2560x1600, which is too big even for 16" (very small details).

Enabling 150% scale will lead to blurry fonts in many apps.

How we should use this screen with crisp fonts on Framework 16 on Linux? My use case is writing code in IDE (this is why I need many elements and crisp font).


Not surprising considering they said you can do gaming on this… not a good idea to have 3840x2400 panel on a gaming laptop ( my opinion ) although that is the resolution I prefer

I think they’re trying to fit as many configurations as possible to start of with and later add other parts which you can then configure more towards what you want.

I think you’ll be able to sell some of the parts you won’t need on the market place here at a later time


I very much agree, this means I probably won’t get the Framework 16. Generally, it’s just a low enough DPI that it’s pretty noticeable for anything that has more precise detail (graphics, smaller text, etc).

With a 4K panel, games can easily be played at 0.5 scale without a performance hit (just a bit of a battery life one, which is rarely the priority when gaming); it’s odd to me that the one application where the flexibility is easy is being tailored to at the cost of the others. I realize that some youtubers with a vested interest (ahem LTT) talk about 1440p gaming like it’s the only way to go, but for some reason they fail to take into account the fact that DPI is more important than resolution (and DPI-versus-viewing-distance even more accurate with regards to perceived detail), and as such gaming on a 16-inch screen at 1200p (i.e. 4K at half scale) is much closer to the 24 or 27 inch monitors at 1440p that they fawn over for desktops than 1600p (or 800p) gaming on this laptop will be, and that’s not even mentioning the fact that any GPU in here will probably not be able to drive AAA titles at full res 1600p with high refresh rates.

Since I’m posting here, it’s probably obvious I don’t like the company philosophically, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that Apple knows their productivity-focused audience well, and their 16-inch screen resolution is (just about) 4K.

I really hope there’s a 4K option soon so I can replace my XPS 17!


I agree with this and am also disappointed. I think it is a deal breaker for me unfortunately. Many apps like Microsoft Word, task manager, even chrome (buggy extension popup windows) do not handle DPI scaling properly.

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Does anyone here have a desktop monitor? This is a 16-inch screen that probably has higher DPI than desktop 4k monitors, 4K really doesn’t make much sense there!

Also, fractional scaling on Wayland seems to be doing quite well!


Except you are assuming the distance from a monitor is same as the distance from a laptop. A laptop would be same distance as your keyboard, a monitor is usually further back.

There is also the thing about being able to fit more content on the screen and not having the window manager act funky due to resolution switch when you go between laptop and monitor. Then there is the fact that some of us are still on x11, not wayland

This is really just a l̶i̶n̶u̶x̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶b̶l̶e̶m̶ problem with your choice of distro or desktop environment. Fractional scaling needs to work as well as or better than on windows or mac.

I say this as a linux user for over 10 years.

Beyond that, hopefully we will see other screen options. But the Framework-16 hasn’t even been released yet, we do need to give them time.


Everyone is aware of that, but the sooner we get our point across, the more likely quicker we get other options. If we wait until the preorder or release, our voices can’t be heard until then which will then result in maybe another year delay to get such an option

This is also partly why so many want more information about stuff before the preorder, so we can give feedback of our needs.


There has not been another screen option in two years for Framework 13, not even adding touchscreen, one of the most asked requests. The same screen in matte is all that happened, and that alone took two years. What makes you think other options are coming for the 16 anytime soon?

Now, I understand all of this has to do with the economics of production and scale, but from a consumer PoV that only solidifies the fact that there is not going to be 4k, touchscreen, let alone things that are not even in the conversation like OLED or Freesync for years. Maybe, if we are lucky, and in some years.

Perhaps a different company will come in and start selling parts for Framework computers, but nobody has announced even interest so that seems years away too.

So a touchscreen, 4k, OLED, Freesync screen, something you can find already, and even in previous years, in laptops of similar price to what the Framework 16 will be, is years away. Maybe.

I get that Framework is starting and the economic realities are what they are, lets not be naive. But then do not ask people to wait on false hope for something that will take years to happen. Maybe.


For the Framework-13 it was made harder by their choice of an uncommon screen ratio. I’m hoping the community will find compatible screens for the Framework-16 before Framework has one in their store.

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Lets hope you are right and I’m wrong.

But as you can see I’m not very optimistic.

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Let’s hope.

So true.

…and frankly, I’m growing a bit tired of the blog ‘series’ with minute product details.

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For laptop scale its fine. Its shrinked down so not grainy at all. 4k is not only bad for gaming but also unhealthy for batterylife. Not say it isnt preferable for some but just not the majority based on how every brand went with 2k 16:10 ,its the safe and probability also economically sensible option. Im used to this resolution for linux now, scale is not bad at all just need to increase the font size by a notch and games look good.


I’m also looking forward for using this for Linux but I’m a Linux desktop noob.

Are there any sample for screenshot for desktop, file explorer, terminal for 16 inch screen? I would like to see how small is it? And also 2x how bad is it?

Another dumb question is I thought Wayland has some kind of support for fractional scaling. How much useable is it? If we wait a bit for GTK5 or other updates, will the situation be better for fractional scaling?

Fractional scaling on KDE works even on X11 (quite well, I use it on Framework 13 and 4K monitors), so this seems more like a Gnome issue than Linux issue.


A full 4k screen on a 16" monitor is a waste in much more ways than might be initially obvious. For one, that resolution can’t be seen by the eye. Another reason is that these additional pixels require the CPU and GPU to work and this wastes the battery for no real appreciable difference. This additional unnecessary heat wears components down faster, and the cycle is repeating.

I get that fractional scaling on Linux is kind of a mess, but even that doesn’t justify a 4k screen. What I am currently doing my on 12th FW is using large fonts. This has made the resolution at 100% scaling just fine. I would recommend this work around.


There is a workaround though:

I’ve heard that for example on Gnome you can modify the system font-sizes which is supposed to work way better than fractional scaling.

Here is an example on how to do that.


The solution to things being too small isn’t to develop a more expensive and power-hungry display only to throw away 3/4 of the pixels! If you have a problem with the relative size of items on the 2k 16" display, you would be better served by requesting a lower resolution such that the display works well at 100% scaling!

You’re essentially asking for a more expensive, more power-hungry, lower refresh rate, and higher response time 1920x1200 display!

I think your thoughts are in the right place, though. I would much prefer a 1920x1200 display, especially since videos, images, code, and everything else would look perfectly crisp at that resolution on a 16" display. Unfortunately, manufacturers seem to think that the average consumer believes bigger number = more better. That, or they don’t want to be seen as cheap for “only” having a 1920x1200 display while other manufacturers have 3840x2400 displays (that their consumers end up throwing away 3/4 of!).

Do you have any examples of apps that give you issues? 150% scaling hasn’t caused me any issues on my Framework 13 running Mint with the Cinnamon desktop environment, so it’s misleading to say that there’s a problem for Linux users and not just your particular distro.

Overall, though, I agree that a 1920x1200 display would be far more appropriate for 16". I just don’t see a need to make each of those pixels have 4 sub-pixels.


It’s not universal to Linux and depends on your software and config. On my Framework 13, I use Sway with 140% scaling, and it works fine and fonts are crisp in all my apps, even with XWayland. All I had to do was add output eDP-1 scale 1.4 to my Sway config.

Check your WM’s documentation and/or HiDPI - ArchWiki , they might have added support for it since you last checked; and if not there may be workarounds.


This is an clear and concise explanation of my justification for wanting a lower resolution for a smaller screen.

Again, why do so many people seem to think that the solution is to go 4k and throw away 3/4 of the effective pixels?

165Hz refresh rate isn’t desired for AAA games (100Hz is fine enough for cinematic pieces IMO). It’s for competitive shooters. Either way, I enjoy older games, so I’ll certainly be able to appreciate a high refresh rate. I was initially surprised at how much they’re catering to gamers, but as GPUs get better, it’ll make more sense, since you’ll be able to swap the new ones into this laptop!

I do think that going 2560x1600 was a bad idea, though. 1920x1200 would have been far more appropriate for 16". Still, they gotta appeal to the mass market, which means inflating the specs with bigger numbers. They don’t wanna be the odd one out after all the existing players have convinced everyone that 1080p is a thing of the past whether the screen is 16" (where it’s fine) or 36" (where it is indeed not fine).