Framework 13 screen isn't even 12"....?

Ok… I must be really, really dumb because I thought when everyone said the screen size was 13.5" they meant it was over 13 inches big. I thought that was why it was called “Framework 13”, because the screen is about 13".

So why is mine not even 12"?

Are computer screens being measured the same way women’s pants are, where it says one size but it’s not actually that?
I’m willing to put this out here and look this stupid because no one else is mentioning the screen not measuring up and I can’t believe I got parts that were made the wrong size… Right? So… can someone help me

Screen sizes are measured diagonally / corner to corner. It’s a standard that goes back to the first television sets. Every listed computer screen, tv, monitor, or other screen size is diagonal.


Additionally the screen is in a 3:2 format instead of the more often used 16:9. That means the actual screen area is closer to 14" 16:9 than 13.3" 16:9.


Ok, I can tell it’s taller than my Mac. Is that where the extra .5" is coming from?

I suppose what I’m really trying to understand is why my Mac with a 13" (according to the specs, it doesn’t measure regularly to 13" either) screen appears larger than the framework one.

Screen size is measured diagonally.

The Framework 13’s screen is 13.5" diagonal, which calculates to 11.23" wide and 7.49" tall.

The Framework 13 also uses an unusual 3:2 aspect ratio, which means that compared to other 13.5" screens it is narrower, taller, and has slightly more overall area.


Do we (the consumer/community) know why they chose to do that? Have they ever said why they decided to use a ratio that isn’t commonly used?

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4:3 was the default for laptop screens for a long time. Then 16:10 became defacto standard and shortly after that 16:9 was everywhere. Probably at least partly caused by lots of video being that format. I believe producing LCD gets more expensive the longer the short side is, so per area the manufacturing cost goes down for less tall screens which would probably make those more attractive to build.

Microsoft Surface notebooks/tablets have used the same aspect ratio as well.

I like 3:2 quite a bit, that extra bit of height gives me some additional lines of text when working on code and incidentally it is exactly the format my camera puts out.


It’s useful for some types of work. With pages of documents or websites you can fit more lines on the screen.

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The official statement is:

In general 3:2 displays are gaining popularity because they help to minimize wasted speed.

The Framework 13 is just wide enough to fit a normal keyboard and just long enough to fit a normal keyboard with a decent sized trackpad backneath it. So the dimensions of the laptop were designed to be as small as possible without compromising on the keyboard/trackpad. It just so happens that on a laptop of those dimensions a 13.5" 3:2 display fits pretty well and takes up most of the space with minimal bezels.

This is why the popularity of 3:2 laptops has dramatically increased in recent years.

If Framework had gone with a more common aspect ratio then the display would either need to be shorter (creating a significant bezel above and/or below the display, similar to the Framework 16, although no 3:2 displays are available at the right size for the 16) or it would need to be wider (meaning the laptop would need to be wider, resulting in wasted space on the sides of the keyboard).


Well that’s if you have already decided on the size of the laptop.
There’s no reason not to chose the size of the screen you want to sell and built around that.
Not that I have any problem with the size. The extra height suits me fine and am not so concerned about how a video is displayed, and there are variations in that. 2:1 isn’t

Also growing in popularity is the even taller or squarer 3:2 aspect ratio, which lets you see considerably more of a document or webpage without scrolling. This ratio debuted on tablets but has migrated to laptops, but it’ll leave you looking at black bars above and below an online video.
Displays Decoded: All the Types of Laptop Screens Explained

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There is 1 reason: The screen is more flexible in sizing than other parts.

Keyboards aren’t really flexible in size. It can be tweaked slightly, but anything drastic (ex. Using smaller than normal keys) will throw off touch typing/muscle memory and make it harder to adjust to using the keyboard. A normal keyboard is 11.25" wide (and 4.125" tall) so the laptop needs to be at least that wide.

The trackpad is a bit more flexible, however there are limitations on what people will find pleasant to use. In general I’ve observed (and I agree) that most reviewers seem to mention touchpad size as a con on laptops with touchpads that are less than 3" tall. Due to the way the trackpad mounts it needs a little bit of space above and below it, so it can’t be pushed right up against the keyboard or the edge of the laptop. So practically it takes ~3.2".

Then there’s also the room need for the fingerprint sensor above the keyboard, so maybe ~0.175" extra. Lastly there’s also the area needed for the hinge mechanism, however since that takes away from the space available on both the input cover and for the screen that doesn’t need to be included in screen size calculations.

So if you add all those together you end up with ~7.5" length.

So if you want to make a laptop that is as small and portable as possible without compromising on the keyboard or trackpad (which I think is precisely what Framework was going for with the 13) then the width needs to be at least 11.25" and the length needs to be at least 7.5". That means the area available to fit a screen will be 11.25"x7.5", which is precisely 13.5208" 3:2. A larger screen would require making the laptop larger and a smaller screen would result in more bezels/wasted space.

These are rough numbers that may be slightly off. But the point is that 13.5" 3:2 is essentially the perfect screen size for making a laptop that is as small and portable as possible without compromising on the keyboard/touchpad size (which I think is precisely what Framework was going for with the 13).


Humor is not allowed here, I see.


Sarcasm is even more frowned upon, as well as off topic posts. So to stop the AI from deleting this post.

The important thing here is that ‘we’ are responding to the despondent attitude of not just the original poster but that all so common user experience, being disappointed with how, in this case, the framework laptop, is received.

The screen, keyboard, hinges etc. etc. are not perfectly up to some peoples expectations. Luckily I’ve never had high expectations for any of the human race, and as they make the laptop for business purposes it’s hardly surprising they are so imperfect. Still I am surprised the laptop is so ‘good’, immeasurably better than anything I could make and even more surprisingly for a new company, a really excellent, if not perfect, laptop.

I even like the slightly under 13.5" glossy screen.

There’s clearly something wrong with me. So I won’t be surprised if my account gets deleted for being a freak, that’s what I have come to expect. No [Ctrl] [Alt] [Del] just [Del]


Your kind of humor is the reason why people are afraid ask questions.

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I hope you don’t let it discourage you from participating in the community.

Framework does really try to keep a friendly and helpful community here. There are community guidelines. And great mods here who work to keep the forum in that spirit.


Yeah, no worries. Since my laptop will always be a Framework laptop your pretty much stuck with me :wink: