Hi, I saw the LTT video that gave a glimpse at the new Framework Laptop 16 coming later this year and was very excited.
The way you can easily swap and customize the keyboard/panels and the drop in graphics card looks like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It is a really cool feature that I think will definitely impact the way people use their larger workstation sized laptops.
However, I fear there may be one possibly major flaw with that design, that being security. Could the expensive parts like the keyboard, numpad and GPU be too easy to remove? If they are held by magnets ONLY then how hard would it be for someone to sneak by and snatch random parts from your laptop when you aren’t looking? I know this might sound paranoid, but if I were to guess that the laptop costs more than the original 13" model I would hope someone at Framework thought of basic prevention to thieves who might get the idea to steal some expensive components.
If the expensive parts had at least a screw or two holding them in place, someone would at least need to bring a screwdriver and have a bit extra time to steal the components. Obviously a thief could take the entire laptop, but I think you’d be surprised how likely people would be to take components of something rather than the whole unit if given too easy of a chance.
I don’t think that stolen parts would be that useful. My first concern is that it would hurt my hand to put the wrist onto one of the latches and it would be a weak point that could break upon impact on one of the corners.
I think that the click mechanism could be brittle and would probably require whole chassis change to be fixed.
Basically one really bad drop and it could make the laptop not hold the keyboard and mouse in place.
I do understand that this mechanism is a good way to improve modularity because this way you could move the keyboard down and have a trackpad instead of the number grid. And at the top you could have additional fans that would make this laptop look like Zephyrus.
Maybe it’s a good option to have the latch at the bottom to save bottom space from the mount clip that’s currently going to be located at the top of the whole panel.
But who knows, maybe there is a whole better way to design it and I can’t think of a better way that still keeps the modularity.
For me it would’ve been fine to fiddle with screws. But yes – some users would then eventually break those screwholes.
(but yes, if you’ll be that comitted to put a golden plate into a place of a small panel (or even a large one) then I’d think twice about the mechanism that holds them in place. And no, even screws wouldn’t be enough if you’d only be using kengsington locks)
I don’t think you should buy the Framework (at least the current two model) if you are concerned about theft. For instance, none of the Frameworks have a Kensington lock. And, unless someone also owns a Framework, external parts like keyboard and expansion cards are of little use, and reselling them isn’t exactly easy, consider the tiny user base of Framework.
Spring contacts are convenient, my point of concern
possible contact corrosion (which realistically isn’t going to be a big deal, just use a bit contact cleaner)
increased costs compared to traditional solutions (e.g., FPC connectors). Framework is already expensive as-is. I don’t want to see the price climbing higher.
in my school, most fixed stuff (e.g., monitors, desktop PCs) have one of these.
we have a few laptops acting as fixed stations also have one of those.
And like they said, if they can steal your keyboard, they might as well just steal your entire laptop. Nobody uses Computrace™ anymore.