Framework 13 vs X210(0) - spot the error?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Yes, you guessed it.
There is a framwork laptop in the middle when there normally would have been a X2100.

I wanted to write a lengthy post on most of the Laptops which I used and/or purchased for me and/or my companies ranging from Compaq Presarios and Fujitsu Lifebook to Dell Vostros and esp. Thinkpads starting with the R61 and going through T400, T410, T420, X201 (s and non-s), T440 (p, s and standard) and lastly T490. Unfortunately, since around 2014 everything got worse with Thinkpads, less port-selection, crappy keyboards, less durable, built in battery, 16:9 aspect ratio etc.

(The worst is my T490 after about two years of usage there seems to be a flexing issue / short circuit in the whole machine because whenever I lift it off the table and/or tilt it in a certain direction it goes blue screen.)

So (after daily-running an X201s for 6 years) I bought one of Jacky’s X210 (2nd batch) in early 2018 with 1900x1200 WUXGA, 8th gen intel, NVMe support - well you know the drill.

Unfortunately, it got stolen in Feb. so I had to make a tough decision: Go for the most recent available X2100 (resp. X210 5th batch) or go for the framework 13.

Here’s the comparison:

+Pros framework

  • more modern intel CPU (12th Gen)
  • swappable ports (I can have a full-sized DP on a ultra-portable subnotebook OMG)
  • kill switches for mic and camera
  • backlit keyboard
  • upgradability with future releases / mods

-Cons framework

  • bad keyboard (compared to classic Thinkpads and esp. the X201)
  • glossy screen (WTF?)*
  • no Trackpoint
  • built-in battery
  • no physical clamshell lid-hinge / no edged ledges (enabling debris to enter the laptop and damage the screen)
  • terrible display hinges

+Pros X2100

  • best-in class keyboard
  • Trackpoint
  • proven sturdy design (man my original X201s took so many beatings while traveling - it never bothered)
  • swappable battery
  • built in SIM card slot!
  • upgraded to 13 inch 3000x2000 display
  • screen would not wobble or fold backwards even when riding a rural train in Russia*
  • up to 40TB of disc space possible (due to 2.5 inch SATA HDD bay + NVMe slot) - not that anyone would need that much space in a laptop
  • still has VGA and RJ45 right out of the box
  • and yeah … the thinklight :slight_smile:

-Cons X2100

  • fixed set of ports (after the mini-DP and then mini-HDMI we now got at least modern USB-C with DP support)
  • not as easy to repair (well, I probably can disassemble and reassemble my X201/X210 blindfolded, but this point is valid anyway)
  • worse thermal management (based on my 2nd batch X210 fan speeds up quite frequently and is rather noisy)
  • no backlight keyboard

After lots of consideration I voted for the framework 13. Not so much because it is the overall better laptop as I focus mainly on input device quality, battery life and durability while traveling all over the country for my consulting jobs, but because I wanted to support this startup as it has the potential to be a game changer in the industry and I wanted to support the idea of upgradeability and reparability (the later the classic Thinkpads definitely had, but modern laptops lack altogether).

Finally, I bought a i7-1280P DIY and speced it with 32GB of RAM and 4TB of HDD in March 23 and enjoying it so far.

So, only thing left for framework to do (after having announced mate display) is to replace the horrible keyboard and ideally add the Trackpoint (c’mon folks - I know you are doing some repairable macbook clone, but many (if not most) are enthusiast users switching from Thinkpads).

(* This post comes somewhat delayed. So I had to decide back in march 23 before mate screen option was annouced and more durable hinges weren’t available when I purchased.)

My beloved X210s chilling ontop the framework. Let’s see how the framework will look like after 6 years of real road-warrior life (as my X201s had to endure).

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No Errors spotted as the topic and text only compares

Odd one out No 1 The one on the left has a keyboard missing . . . EASY
Odd one out No 2 The middle one has a glossy screen . . . EASY
Odd one out No 3 Two of them are Thinkpads . . . BLATENTLY OFFENSIVE :scream:

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Dont forget to compare laptop sizes, weight, sustainability and price/performance ratio.

Also account for future uses of hardware (portable powerbank out of battery, NAS-Mainboard-Case, etc.).

Last but not least the Framework community is (imo) much more active when it comes to customizations.

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@Jorg_Frohberg coming from Thinkpads myself the old school built in full on mechanical keyboard ship has sailed. Simply not enough room to jam one into the Framework, trackpoint is another matter, but I doubt we will be seeing it from Framework, a third party might. So in short get used to the chiclet…it is actually a very good chiclet keyboard probably one of the best in the last ten years.

HInges have also been improved. Matte screen was the one thing that kept me from buying it immediately, that and I never buy a 1st model year on anything. The siren of upgradeability and repairability was eventually too much to resist so I dove in on the i7-1260p since I plan on upgrading every 3 years or so, no sense in maxing it out.

I still miss my older Thinkpads but I need the performance so, here I am.


Matte screen is coming soon!


I have a X280 right now, and I like the glass fibre reinforced body with Magnesium alloy base, feels good. I would like to have an option like that one day.

There’s actually a huge thread asking for a trackpoint but the end consensus was that there’s actually not enough room in the Framework to fit the trackpoint, at least for the 13" model.

Regarding the keyboard, I really like the Macbook Pros keyboard (even the old early 2015 and the current M1 Max models), even then I am kinda mixed that I find my current X280 keyboard feels better somehow? I think it is the key travel/tactile feel? The Framework keyboard to me feels more similar to a HP Elitebook 840 G6 to me, it is not amazing but I kinda guess good enough (I was very happy as I was coming from a Toshiba Z930, but that really bad). It feels good enough during use as long I don’t rotate between working on my desktop with a Keychron Q6 and the Framework.

I wonder if there’s a way to fit a X280 or even an old 2015 MBP keyboard to substitute the 13" keyboard though.

You’re right. Send over two more frameworks and it’ll be just fine :stuck_out_tongue:

You have some good points, although anything below 1.5kg is totally fine for me. But being able to reuse or resell older framework parts after upgrading is a really nice plus!

Regarding modding communities, I think the Thinkpad one is very abundant as well (see all the Frankenpads).


will get one when it is released. btw I’m seeing already marks from my keyboard on my screen. It is this disease of new Thinkpads, Macbooks and many other. :frowning:

Best chiclet keyboard I used so far is in the Thinkpad T440p (not the standard one). Just outright marvelous.
Best traditional keyboard: I’m kinda torn between the R61, X200/X201 and I even got myself an IBM 600X in 2017 as it was said to have had the best laptop keyboard ever built. But could find anything considerably better then the other good classical Thinkpad keyboards.


@Jieren_Zheng I have a T480s which was my daily driver until I got the Framework, and one of the reasons it was such an easy transition is the 1.5mm travel on both devices. Newer Macs are 1mm…one of the many reasons I will never buy an Apple device. Also Thinkpad keyboards have a curve to the keys that well…no other keyboard beat it.


For me, I miss the T41p keyboard that I was rather accustomed to, for the following reasons:

  1. Small Escape key.
  2. 6-key home,end, pg up/down, insert, delete.
  3. Decent spacing between F4/F5 and F8/F9.
  4. The placement of the middle button, IMO, is better than that on the T23 (too classic).
  5. Has Page forward / back together with the arrow keys (modernised for the internet age from the T2*)

Next favourite is the keyboard between the X200 to W520 era.


I think one issue is that the amount of space to fit a longer key travel is rather limited especially you are talking about thin 13" models.

I do really like the curve of the keys too.

Would be nice if we can see some kind compromise on the Framework (a third party keyboard maybe?) for a curved one with maybe a slightly lower key travel to keep the size the same.

Perhaps even crowdfund a Thinkpad like keyboard for Framework 13" models.

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I did not had this problem till 2 months ago.
But i got myself a big microfiber cloth and now there are no more marks and I always have something to clean the screen.

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If I’m doing a 3d printed case I’ll probably go with either something x220 style or x260, not sure if I actually still prefere the 220 keyboard. The t480s is definitely a step down from the x260 so I’d probably not go newer.

Trackpoint would be huge. For now I am using a Tex Shinobi [1] with my Framework.

[1] Shinobi | TEX Electronics

Those keys, reminds me of the Selectric era:

…and I’m saying that with love, as I have a Selectric II.


Yeah, but that is exactly what I disdain about all this new slick&slender nonsense. “Put a cloth in between” here “put always in a sleeve” there.
I mean when I’m between conference rooms, planes or trains to catch, I need to be able to close my laptop in the last second (after finishing some mail or spreadsheet) - and not need to worry about styling fashion-tech. Sometimes I open and close it like 15 to 20 times a day (I would loose the most critical minutes in which I can’t add value for my clients).
That is the main reason why I might regret having bought the framework - but let’s see.

I hear you. A 3d printed case supporting a keyboard with bigger key travel, more contour on the keycaps and retracting it a bit so not to press against screen when closed would be just OMG, shut up and take my money.

Tex is working on a second keyboard that is a similar layout but smaller (called the Shura) and they are working on new double shot keycaps [1][2] - I think this kind of aesthetic is definitely what theyre going for (and I love it too)

[2] TEX ADA double shot keycap | Flickr

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Random question to this thread, how does the X280 keyboard compares with the other Thinkpad keyboards here? I haven’t used a Thinkpad before this current model except a T43, but I do feel the X280 is nice to type on.

IMO, meh…the bar for laptop keyboards has been pretty low since about 2012/2013, as they’ve been aiming for slimmer and slimmer design…and so key travel was sacrificed. But it’s decent when compared to other post-2013 laptop keyboards.

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I have access to and use pretty much all Thinkpads since X201 till T490 generations daily. The keyboard on the X280 is about the same as all X2xx series from X240 and onwards - 1.8 mm key travel. Personally my favorite ones are from the X230 - 2.5 mm and T460 - 2.1 mm. Anything below 2mm is noticeably worse. From the newer ones I like the one from X1 Carbon Gen 6 the most, it has the same 1.8 mm key travel as the X280 but feels crispier and somewhat deeper but hard to notice if you don’t use them all everyday.

So I guess the X280 keyboard I find nicer over the Framework and an HP Elitebook 840 G6, is still considered the subpar keyboard haha. I remember the T43 one I used was horrible though.