Please mark your calendars for our first ever live Framework Q&A on YouTube next Thursday, March 24th at 10 am Pacific Time! Members of the Framework team will be answering questions sent in by all of you in our incredible community. If you would like to ask a question, drop it in as a reply . We’ll take a few of the most interesting ones along with live questions during the stream. Please note that some questions like specific asks on our future product roadmap we won’t be able to answer.
For our first Framework Q&A, the following members of the Framework team will be answering your burning questions:
I’ve been fascinated by how much the Linux community has supported the Framework. What factors do you think have contributed to Framework’s success in this space? Also any update on LVFS bios updates/support?
Huge thanks to the team. I’ve really enjoyed my Framework and it’s amazing how well it’s been working with Fedora. I’m glad to see a laptop company supporting reparability and open source.
One subject our community has been tackling has been ethernet as seen in one, and two, but a height of roughly 6mm of workspace limits the options for PCB and parts.
Also, I find the current expansion card sizes a bit too constraining. Will (or would) there be a standard or reference design/guidelines for larger expansion cards in the future? Eg: double height or dual slot cards?
Hello! Batch 6 DIY owner here. I’m sure we won’t have a shortage of technical questions from the community, but I want to get to know the people behind Framework a little better.
To Anne Reed - What were the inspirations and decisions behind the visual language of the Framework brand? What was it like working with the team and what role did you play in designing the laptop itself?
To Bee Johnston - At present, the community is rich with technically-inclined and technologically-savvy members who are deeply passionate about their projects. What steps can the Community take to become more welcoming and inclusive of beginners and newcomers?
To Nirav Patel - If Framework were to fail, how and why?
Working in software development (Test engineer), I see it fairly often that a project gets planned, execution starts, and somewhere down the line we inevitably run into a problem that could have been easily solved if we had just done things a little bit different in the beginning. But now it’s a big pain.
Having been in the market for a while now, and expanded to a couple new territories: has there been similar difficulties where you wish you’d have known about X or done Y before? My personal bias is that this might be even worse for a hardware product than software.
The community has found a few quality control issues, for example there seems to be a relatively large variability in the screen hinge stiffness, the touch pad hinge and a few (minor) problems with the used chips, especially with replacement chips because of the chip shortage. Can you comment on how severe/widespread do you think these issues are compared to eg. laptops from other companies and if/how you’d improve these problems in the future revisions?
Another question is modularity/upgradeability vs. repairability. Of course these go hand-in-hand, but which is more important to you? Let’s assume you could make a future laptop revision that would be even more robust and/or repairable, but would be incompatible with older revisions, would you do this? Or do you value upgradeability/compatibility more? (I personally don’t see many users upgrade things, especially non-tech-savvy future users if Framework becomes more widespread. But repairability seems very important.)
Also why is the left Ctrl key labeled (english) “Ctrl” in the German layout while the right key is (correctly) labeled “Strg”? Was this a conscious decision or a weird accident?
The vast majority of the things I’d want to ask would be forward-looking (e.g. OLED, VRR, fan control, ECC, socketable CPUs even if desktop sockets, AMD, open firmware, how you’ll tackle “black boxes” like Pluton especially from a Linux perspective, etc)…
…so I’ll instead take this opportunity to ask two more minor kind of derpy questions that other people have previously wondered about but hadn’t gotten an response, plus a third one that I myself have wondered but nobody else seemed willing to try:
Is there a particular reason that the Windows key on the keyboard is in fact a “Windows” key rather than something more OS-agnostic such as, say, the Framework logo itself?
I can’t quite recall the thread, but it’s been reported that I believe the inside clamshell portion of the shell with the keyboard and screen seems to not actually be exactly flat but are slightly curved, but in a consistent manner that suggests that it’s an intentional design rather than just the usual manufacturing tolerances. Is this in fact intentional design?
With the current screen being 60Hz, is this a case of it will not actually operate correctly at any other refresh rate (higher or lower) or is it a case of the manufacturer simply setting the panel EDID to 60Hz because “it’s not a gaming display” and custom resolutions / refresh rates would actually work without issue? (even if something minor like 50Hz or 75Hz)
EDIT: So I accidentally lied and thought up two more questions with regards to the m.2 slot(s) and SSD.
2230 SSDs are gaining more and more capacity (up to 2TB now) and there’s even talk in the future about PCIe 5.0 SSDs only using 2 lanes in order to save on the amount of PCIe lanes used. Could you elaborate on your reasoning for going with only a single PCIe x4 m.2 slot rather than dual PCIe x2 m.2 slots for maximum expand-ability whether for mirroring/RAID or other non-SSD m.2 devices? Does it all come down to Intel 11th gen being “only” PCIe 4.0 rather than PCIe 5.0?
(that being said, it’s at least theoretically possible to make a sort of PCIe 4x m.2 2280 riser that fits two m.2 2230 slots allocated with 2 lanes each)
Framework has been quite proactive in terms of firmware and BIOS update support in a manner that is more OS-agnostic such as the generic firmware update images that can be booted directly from a USB drive even if you don’t have an OS or SSD installed, but this attention to non-Windows users doesn’t always extend to some of the 3rd party components that Framework bundles by default, particularly the SSD whereby WD requires the user to run a Windows EXE. How much, if any, influence does Framework have when it comes to how any such firmware updates for these 3rd party components are distributed to end-users?
I recently had some trouble installing a matte screen protector on my Framework, to the point where I would have loved to pay someone to do it for me. Since Framework probably won’t add a matte screen in the near future, my question becomes:
If you should offer screen protectors yourself as you said you considered, would you also be able to offer installing them?
That could be a huge relief for customers and another source of profit.
What are your plans with the current framework laptop’s compatibility with new products?
e.g, if you made a bigger laptop, would you be able to buy some of the parts from that laptop, and use some of the parts of the previous laptop to avoid having to buy a completely new laptop?
That is easy to answer. A mechanical eject mechanism takes probably too much space inside the expansion slot, is expensive, and requires a specific design like an eject button and a spring mechanism. It was much more straightforward and cheaper to simply include a standard microSD slot.
A pinhole doesn’t make sense to me. Are you trying to use the microSD slot as permanent storage? If so, why? The intended usecase is obviously quickly reading the data from a compact camera, a raspberry pi, or similar devices. Storing the card inside the laptop doesn’t make much sense to me.