This design decision surprises me: one of the things that props up thinkpad’s repair/customization-friendly reputation are it’s external batteries, which let users slap on extra battery just by putting the bulk outside of their laptops’ base form-factor. In the models that also have an internal battery, this allows great redundancy, and the option to hot-swap batteries without turning off the device. Why wouldn’t framework go this route?
Not a member of the Framework team, but I think the main reason for making the battery internal is saving space. The size (and cost) that would be taken by having another plastic shell and a bulky connector can now be used to make the battery capacity bigger. Besides, I think it’s safe to say that if you buy this laptop you’re going to be able to open up the laptop to replace the battery.
We prioritized size and robustness for this product, since it is a thin and light 13.5" notebook, while still making it easy to replace the battery when it eventually wears down. The battery replacement process takes only a couple of minutes. There are off the shelf USB-C battery packs available that will work well for additional power on the go, and which would be hot swappable.
The hot-swap battery feature, while cool, has become something of a mess on recent Thinkpads. Had more than a few laptops come out of service because users broke the damn battery tabs too.
Internal replaceable is just perfect, so long as the unit is readily available.
For the ultimate in long-term replaceability, running standard cells would be ideal, but it completely ruins the form factor and would make it a much more boutique device. Also, unfortunately, “standard” lithium cells are all the hell over the map. Different chemistries, different voltages, lots of ways for and end user to accidentally set their lap on fire. Long way around, Framework made the right call, though I might be the sort of lunatic that’d buy a unit with a couple tubes for 18650s.
As Nirav pointed out, the external battery pack market has largely eliminated the need for more proprietary solutions. A USB-C pack with 100w power delivery will power almost any laptop on the market. Compatibility across generations, power whatever you might be carrying in your bag.
Have you met the MNT Reform?
Non-starter. It is using a processor that also is part of the processor line powering the Purism Librem 5. IE: not comparable to an i7 in practically any computationally meaningful way. Cool idea notwithstanding.