Framework Laptop 16 User Reviews

Framework laptop is now shipping, so we’re starting to see some user reviews pop up! Please post your thoughts here to make them easy for others to find.

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Ok so now that I set it up and have had a chance to get at least a full 24 hours, here is a somewhat premature mini review:

  1. First here are some relevant specs (basic af): DIY, 7840HS, No GPU, No extra keyboard modules (only US English and just black bezel and spacers), and 180W charger.

  2. Physically putting it together took less than 15 minutes and that’s coming from someone who never even built a PC

  3. Please please please, make sure to have the drivers installed on a USB drive and ready to go. When setting up windows, it wasn’t detecting any wifi and after setting it up without an internet connection, I ran the drivers and that fixed everything.

  4. The 180W charger is so much smaller than I thought (might even be smaller than my old lenovo’s 65W charger??) and I absolutely love it since I often use my laptop charger to charge all my USB C stuff.

  5. If you’ve used 15.6" laptops before, this doesn’t feel too strange! Compared to my old Lenovo Flex 5 15, it is the exact same size but just a bit longer in length. I even tried putting it in my old laptop sleeve and it fit perfectly but couldn’t close the zipper because of the length difference (just barely though).

  6. there is definitely screen flex but not as bad as some people made it out to be. I will say you don’t feel it at all but it is definitely the lid’s sheer size/thickness that seems to be causing it so I definitely look forward to a strudier one in the future.

  7. If I deliberately try to, there is some keyboard flex but that does not translate even in the slightest when typing (typing this on it right now!)

  8. The seams on the trackpad spacers are definitely visible but you don’t feel them at all. Unlike someone else’s post, I haven’t been able to “wiggle” them in place except the left spacer from the top left corner (about a half mm of wiggle when doing it deliberately).

  9. I have the 2x16gb crucial kit and it worked immediately before even installing the drivers (although it did take about 2-3 minutes before the device booted at first which I am guessing was the memory training thing.

  10. The fans are very quiet (but again I don’t have the dgpu) but you can definitely feel the heat being exhausted out when running semi-heavy workloads (it would be very uncomfortable to use on your lap for a long period of time)

  11. Dbrand skin was an absolute pain to install because of the antenna cutout thing and at the end I settled for it being not so perfect and just deal with it lol.

let me know what else you guys are curious about and I will make sure to answer as many questions as I can!

Updates:

[Will be updating this over the next few days as I spend more time using this]

  1. 2/6/2024: as some people have said before, I too would like to see a future iteration that does not
    require the keyboard and trackpad to be lined up so that I can have a single piece trackpad.
  2. BIG UPDATE as of 2/8/2024: Framework has confirmed that they are working towards a solution for the keyboard flex. The current solution they have is planned to be included in the coming batches and anyone who already received their laptop will be bale to request it from Framework. For more info, read the 7th shipment update.
  3. 2/8/2024: Kind of on topic with the keyboard update, I do feel like Framework should look into making a sturdier lid cover. Although it is not a significant amount of flex, I feel like I have been noticing it a bit more (maybe because I was specifically looking for it before? lol)
  4. 2/8/2024: just some more notes after spending some more time with this laptop:
  • ok maybe I just haven’t had experience with enough laptops but the physical switches for disabling mic and camera are honestly underappreciated or they are just very common and I live under a rock lol.
  • Also I’ve heard some people complain about the size of the trackpad but I feel like it’s honestly more than big enough (~8x12cm).
  • Also again I have not had any issues with fan noise it’s honestly one of my favorite things but again note that I have the expansion bay shell and not the dgpu.
  • Maybe some are spoiled or my standards are low (sorry audiophiles) but I genuinely think the speakers on this are plenty loud and are very clear.
  • screen brightness is very good. The combination of that with the matte screen makes working outside very doable (had to use it while commuting yesterday and the direct sunlight was not an issue at all)
  1. 2/8/2024: Not sure how I didn’t notice this earlier but there appears to be a rectangular cutout on the back of the expansion bay shell, anyone know what it’s for?
  2. 2/10/2024: Ok today I was running a pretty heavy workload and the fans got pretty loud but notably, it wasn’t constant throughout (only at certain times when it was extra heavy) and didn’t linger for too long after (slowed down to near silent only after a few seconds of getting past the heavy workload)
  3. 2/11/2024: I didn’t get a numpad but today I was curious as to how it would feel if I did and had to bring my keyboard to the left or right. I will say the fit of the trackpad spacers is way more noticeable in this configuration. It is fine at the bottom of the spacers near the part that locks but there is definitely visible misalignment/you can feel the seams between them towards the top of the trackpad spacers.
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Thanks for sharing this :slight_smile: It seems you answered my main question : is the keyboard bending when used “normally”? The review of Hardware Canucks particularly concerned me

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I liked the LTT “fix” for the keyboard flex! LoL!

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On topic of Keyboard flex: It has been commented on by Framework in the 7th update today, and they are testing a fix for it. It will be helpful for future readers if @HighGoat added an excerpt about it in his review.

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I updated my response to include this, thanks for the suggestion! :grin:

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I’m not sure what you are referring to, as I don’t see any cutouts on the back of the expansion bay shell beside the air vents. Please provide a picture showing the corpus delicti.

He’s probably talking about the cover door piece at the back of the shell. You can see it here (on the 3rd and last page) https://github.com/FrameworkComputer/ExpansionBay/blob/main/PCB%20Reference%20Design/FW_EXPANSION_BAY_PCB_0807.pdf
Framework included it so that the base expansion bay module could easily be used to house projects people want to build which need ports access. Pop in you own PCB, and remove the cover for access. No need to cut ugly holes, or if you want it to look decent, no need to 3D print an entire replacement expansion bay, at most just print a new cover. Framework wants people to build any expansion bay modules they can think of.

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I have only had my FW16 for a few days, but wanted to share some of my initial thoughts.

Up and running…

I ordered the DIY model with no RAM or SSD. I ordered the G.SKILL F5-5600S4040A32GX2-RS (2x32GB) kit and already had a 4TB SN850X SSD. It took a little over an hour to put it all together and have the OS installed. Some of that time included having to reimage another USB installer because the one I had previously prepared died. I installed Ubuntu 23.10. I know it’s not officially supported, but it has been working great so far.

About those reviews…

I have to admit I had some anxiety about the FW16 after reading through the reviews, but I didn’t panic cancel my order. I am so glad I didn’t.

I don’t notice any deflection issues with the keyboard and I actually like typing on it. There are a lot of RGB options too (various animation and color options).

The reports of the flex on the display are true, but in testing it I thought to myself, “who the heck does this?” I’m sure someone will reply with a scenario, but just doing the flex test felt weird. I guess I’m just conditioned to always opening/closing my laptop from the center, or by using both hands on the corners.

The webcam is better than any integrated webcam I have had, and the mics seem to be just as good. That is to say they’re not as good as external devices, but they work fine.

The speakers are quiet, but I am almost always using a headset.

Overall, the build quality seems really good. Can you see and feel the spacers? Yes, but the fit is better than I was expecting with almost no movement (the right spacer just barely shifts).

I haven’t had a chance to really test the performance (I got the 7840HS with no dGPU), but I’m sure it will be an improvement from the Ryzen 5800H I have been using and a huge regression from the mobile RTX 3070. I’m holding out for a better dGPU option than the 7700s. I did install Steam and Hogwarts Legacy for a quick run. It seems to run fine (obviously using low settings), and the system ran quieter than my Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 2021 (L5P) when it’s under load. I get that isn’t really a fair comparison, but just saying I didn’t find the fans obnoxious.

It is big. Even without the dGPU it is roughly the same width and depth as the L5P, though it is quite a bit thinner and lighter. Adding the dGPU would make it deeper, but it would still be slightly thinner and lighter.

Observations

The BIOS displays the AGESA version. You don’t have to use some utility to extract the BIOS file and a hex editor to find the AGESA version being used. This might not seem like a big deal, but other laptop manufacturers (generalizing) don’t show this. AGESA updates are important, and are rarely applied to laptops. My L5P never received the AGESA update to address the well-known fTPM bug that causes micro-stutters.

I loved being able to type in the battery charge limit in the BIOS. My L5P had 2 options; full or 60%. I kept it at 60%, but that always meant my battery life sucked (about 2 to 2.5 hours). Battery health is important, but an 80% setting is still a good choice, and it’s also a LOT easier to replace the battery in the FW16.

I shared this over on reddit, but the color of the bezel (I chose orange) creates a nice stripe around the laptop when closed. I really like it.

I think that’s all I have for now.

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I saw your post on Reddit and I have to agree, I also like the bezel flare. I’m glad I ordred the orange :slight_smile:

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Regarding the screen flex, out of curiosity I compared the videos to my MSI laptop (GS 75 Stealth) and it looks just as bad. That said, I’ve never noticed it until I looked for it because it feels “bad” to open with from the sides and not the middle.

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This. So much this!

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Me too. Same. Changed my order last week to get the Orange Bezel :smiley:

This is a very good point and I feel the same. This Dell Latitude I’m typing on right now has plenty of flex that makes me feel awkward if I try to open/close the lid by the corner.

I’m pretty sure the only people doing this are reviewers looking for fake problems. I usually unsub and actively ignore reviewers who do things like this.

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this is a translation. I hope you understand. Thank you again for your detailed feedback. I will have almost the same configuration as you. I was wondering how long you stand with the battery. I do not know what is your use but mine remains simple coding so not a task too energy-intensive

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Not a full review here but everything is extremely satisfactory for me with one exception: fan noise.

I’m not sure if I’m being sensitive as its not the overall loudness that is annoying, but more the pitch. It is a definite high pitched whirring noise and easily my least favorite thing about the Framework 16. I hope that fan curves continue to be optimized, and/or there is a lower pitch replacement fan option, even if it is third party or expensive. Personally, I’d rather have a slightly more noisy fan that is not as shrill.

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yup that’s it, thats actually really cool that they went out of their way to make it easier, thanks for clarifying!

No worries I can understand it. Battery life has been pretty good overall. yesterday I went to school with about 80%. Had like 40 tabs, discord, and a bunch of other programs running in the background, intellij for coding, and even had to charge my phone through the laptop and when I left about 6 hours later I had a little under 20% left (note that I wasn’t using it for 6 hours straight).
Its not the best but I feel is more than enough for most users.(although wouldn’t mind a future upgrade :eyes: )

p.s. idk how well things like discord/intellij translate so sorry if that ruins the translation lol

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i’m a real user who really does this due to particulars with my motor control problems.

i have a strong preference to highly robust components, particularly the display, because i cannot behave in the “right” ways at times.

please don’t assume bad faith on the part of people with concerns.

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