Last week I purchased a new Lenovo Yoga 6, Ryzen 7 16GB Touchscreen on Christmas sale for $699. Shortly thereafter I stumbled upon Framework. Fell in love with the concept, bought the $999 model, and decided to return the Yoga since I’m well within return window. Or so I thought. Man, I am very torn in hindsight. Like, almost feeling like an idiot torn. I just paid $300 more for less processor (i5 vs Ryzen 7), less ram (8gb vs 16gb), no touchscreen, likely much less battery life, and from what I read probably worse speakers. That’s a LOT of compromise in exchange for a 3:2 screen I might like better (but never tried one), better touchpad for sure, and “modularity” that honestly I may never put to use in real life (but is a huge plus if needed later on). Am I wrong to be doubting my purchase? Any help with justifying the rather large premium? I realize this a Framework forum with predominant Framework fans/owners so there will be bias. But I`m really thinking about cancelling the Framework order - talk me out of it!
I really like my framework laptop, but I can fully admit that it’s not for everyone. One of the big selling points for the framework is the repairability (clearly), so the question becomes, are you okay with the fact that in all the cases you listed, the framework is less powerful, but can have the components upgraded/replaced. Are you okay paying less and not being able to upgrade the yoga’s 16gb of soldered ram, when the frameworks 8 can be upped to 16 or even 32 or 64 in the future. Are you okay with the fact that you will likely have more trouble upgrading the larger battery in the yoga when it starts holding less charge, if lenovo will let you at all? Are you okay with being stuck at that ryzen 7 and having to buy a whole new laptop when you want an upgraded processor instead of just a new mainboard for the framework? The tradeoff you’re looking at is slightly weaker specs and a higher pricetag (mostly because you’re buying the yoga on deep sale from what I’ve seen) but to me, upgradability is way more important than power, so the Framework was right for me. Don’t regret your decisions, as both are fine, but don’t forget all the tradeoffs when comparing the two.
Thanks for thoughtful input. Yes the Yoga was $250 off “regular” price of $950. At least that would make the prices much more comparable, but still less specs. I do understand their is a premium for being able to repair and upgrade. BUT that trade off costs a lot upfront, which may or may not pay off in the future.
I think out of what you mentioned, yes ram can be doubled in this fairly cheaply. And the battery replacement is a very real thing.
And minor repairs such as speaker replacement or even cracked screen is fantastic. But ugh, is it truly worth money now for a chance later? It feels the same as buying insurance - it’s great when you actually use it, feels like a waste if you don’t. I’m on my 4th laptop and never had an issue with any! Never dropped or broken (now I`m jinxed lol). I’ve always upgraded just to have the latest, not due to issues.
I would think in a few years when the cpu feels like an upgrade is necessary, the replacement will be half the cost of a new laptop ($400? $500?) and very likely buy a whole new one anyway.
Yeah, I definitely agree on the “insurance” feeling, I also have never really needed to replace parts in my past laptops, but it’s good knowing that I have the option and that my support of Framework now means it’s more likely people will have the choice later (I have the benefit of being financially able to, which is also something to consider). I can’t say what mainboard updates will look like in the future, but looking at them on the marketplace now, half the cost of the laptop is about right (this could change in the future when we get out of the current parts shortage or Framework becomes a more popular option). All in all, you’re the only one who can decide what is most important to you, but I still want to emphasize that there is nothing wrong with you saving some money and getting the yoga now, and possibly go with a framework in the future if it can be more worthwhile to you!
You say slightly better specs. From my research, the Ryzen 7 5700u is far superior to i5 11th gen. But reviewers can get real nerdy on slight differences. I just don’t know how much this relates to word processing, surfing, photo editing, occasional video editing. I wonder if I’ll even see a difference. However regardless of my usage, I also wonder how it affects resale.
Just curious about the color accuracy of the Yoga. The non Yoga Lenovo’s we bought for work were $600 (on sale) with similar specs but the screens are nowhere near the quality of the FrameWork.
My understanding of Ryzens are they are limited on external screens compared to intel, but I just don’t have the time to confirm that.
Hopefully others can help you there. In my use of the laptop doing mostly video watching and websurfing, my i5 has done me wonderfully, but I’ve never really had use cases that require powerful cpus! I have heard that the AMD chips are more power efficient and battery life is not the greatest on the Framework, but it lasts long enough for me and I always have a charger nearby.
Yeah the Yoga screen is probably the biggest flaw. It’s 16:9 which is isn’t great for productivity and the brightness is actually terrible - I usually have it at 95% even indoors. As far as color, I’m wrong person to ask because in that regard they all look the same to me lol
I think I would enjoy the Framework screen much better, that being one of the only clear winners, besides the modular concept of course.
@mjnz Go with the laptop that best meets your needs, today and in the future. For many folks here (including myself), the Framework is the right combination of utility right now, with the potential for upgrades and easy reparability in the future. So much about this laptop checks off the right boxes for me. It may not be the perfect laptop for you, though if you did your research (and I would hope that you did), you probably won’t regret your decision either way.
I don’t think I would regret keeping the Framework. Regardless of anything else, I can justify it being a “very cool and unique purchase at the time”, even if underpowered in comparison. Also it’s obvious the community is awesome!
However I could regret keeping the Yoga and never knowing the reassurance of the Framework modularity and, we hope, a growing list of reasons to keep it that aren’t even available yet.
I’m beginning to look at it this way. I’m trying my best over here to establish the fact the Yoga is better overall, yet I’m still leaning 95% toward the Framework. So maybe it’s great marketing, persuasive reviews, or me not knowing a fantastic dirt cheap Yoga deal when I see one, but I still kind of want to try this thing!
My first post here, I was in a similar dilemma but I was choosing between the MSI modern 15 and the framework laptop. I ended up picking the framework because of my previous experiences upgrading + fixing laptops. Got two stories I can share:
- Lenovo Yoga 13 pro (2013): I installed arch linux on it and it was good enough for me until I wanted to upgrade the wifi card, lenovo has a whitelist of wifi cards that the yoga 13 was allowed to use and the only way to get pass that is to modify the bios.
- MSI GE62 6qd (~2017): I spilled water on my keyboard and had to replace the keyboard. The keyboard was held to the case using plastic rivets so I had to cut those off and use a hot glue gun to glue on the new keyboard. The keyboard has been wobbly ever since.
I ended up buying the framework laptop even though the spec might be worse than other choices. Right to repair is something I want to support, I want to be able to fix my computer when it breaks.
Your talking about seconds per operation, and dollars per day for a tool. Just use the one you prefer and dont worry about it. As a comparison/reality check… a $3600 laptop is ~$4 a day for 3 years. Your $300 is negligable, irregarldess of circumstance.
I kind of feel like a broken record on this point, but the ryzen system does not have Thunderbolt does it?
On the framework you have 2 lanes of it, which permits things like eGPUs, lighting fast external storage, etc.
Don’t forget to factor in the long term cost of your purchases. The Framework costs more but is intended to last. The Lenovo is intended to break, and not be repairable. A practice Apple has perfected.
And then do you have a workload that specifically needs more performance? If so then the decision is clear, you choose the best tool for the job.
However, computing today is flooded with systems that are all, for the most part, too powerful for what they are being used for. So an i5 is just fine for doing pretty much anything today on a computer, unless you have a workload that requires more. But the i5 is still too powerful itself for most computing.
A lot of good advice/input here, most of which boils down to there not being a wrong choice. Both are good machines, and you should pick the one that best suits your needs.
That said, just a couple of thoughts. Given the use case you described, you likely won’t notice much of a difference in your day to day use, considering the difference in processing power. So I would think that that would be less of a concern (could also be mitigated in the future by upgrading storage and memory, potentially).
Also, you mentioned the 16:9 screen on the Lenovo as being terrible for productivity and too dim. Well, the screen is one of the things you physically interact with every moment you use a computer. Because of that, I’ve always thought it worth investing in a better display. I happen to really like the 3:2 ratio, and think it is way more useful for productivity than my previous 16:10 or 16:9 displays. On the flip side (pun totally intended), if you need a touchscreen and/or tablet/tent form factor, the Lenovo is the only option between the two.
In the end, only you can weigh out what is best for you. Fortunately, neither choice is a bad one.
The main reasons to buy a Framework vs. a similar spec/quality but cheaper laptop are repairability - if in a year you break the keyboard it’s relatively cheap and easy to buy a new keyboard and swap it yourself - and upgradeability - if in 3 years you want a faster laptop it’s cheaper and easier to buy a new mainboard and swap it yourself instead of buying a whole new laptop.
But buying a Framework today, it isn’t possible to be certain it’s the right decision because Framework is a brand new product from a brand new company, and its repairability and upgradeability features depend on the company surviving long enough to deliver on those features.
I believe the company will survive and I want to help ensure it will because I highly respect what it’s doing, which is why I bought one and why I’m part of the community.
Linus from Linus Tech Tips believes so much he invested a quarter of a million dollars of his own money in the company.
But it is a risk, so it all comes down to risk vs. reward. The risk is worth it to me. Is the risk worth it to you?
Yes indeed a lot of good advice. That in itself is a plus to Framework. No one beating me up over it, just another choice to make and then … move on.
So the clear consensus is that I am sacrificing specs because “hey buddy, get over it, we ALL did”. I appreciate that. Makes me feel part of a group that choose the sacrifice, not just a bad purchase I`ll regret in 3 months. I think the thing here is, I could very well regret the decision less in 3 years than I would in 3 months. I could be patting myself on the back, thinking my indecision was so silly, and that’s the payoff if this whole thing works. Yes, I do want to support right to repair because… that’s a thing. An important one. Hopefully it will spread to phones and we get back removeable battery covers! Yay! I miss those sorely.
The good news is, it looks like they are shipping very quick now. I may receive it before the Yoga is due back for return so I can literally compare side by side.
Another great point mentioned - Thunderbolt 4. 2disbetter Keep being a broken record because I hadn’t considered that. Again not sure why I need it, but it’s there in case.
Speaking of Linus Tech Tips, that’s why I`m here to begin with. I never heard of Framework until like 2 days ago when I saw his review. Then I researched like crazy. Perhaps, and hopefully, everyone’s risk will pay off.
For me, it was a question of how I’ll feel about it in 2024. I remember getting a new surface and thinking it’s the bees knees. But now the touch screen doesn’t work on half of it, and I wish I could buy a better keyboard. The battery is getting weak too. And I can’t do anything about it. It no longer feels new and exciting, it feels like a white elephant that I can’t bring myself to throw away, but I can’t think of how to use. And ultimately, because of that, it doesn’t feel like my PC. It belongs to Microsoft and I’m on the hook for maintaining their borrowed property. It’s not enjoyable for me.
I can’t guarantee the Framework won’t play the same, but I’m betting my money that in 2024, I’ll have a new battery and a choice of keyboards, some RAM upgrades and maybe even be eyeing a new mobo. I bought this anticipating it will last me until 2031, the same way I stretch my desktops. I’ve already printed a custom expansion card. I’ve put stickers on a laptop (which I never do). I’ve had my hands in it. That, for me, is exciting and reassuring.
Ok here is another possibly unrelated question, but we are talking about “the future”. In general, is the i5 going to be “outdated” in 3 years, or will it continue to serve it’s “middle ground” purpose even then? Should I upgrade to the i7 for only the intent of “future proofing” or, if I don’t need it now (likely don’t really), I won’t need it then?
I’ll add a side-benefit to the mix to help sway you – the community!
The Framework isn’t the best laptop you can buy and it isn’t the best up-front value. Since it is a startup there have been a few bumps along the way (sleep power drain and linux bluetooth I’m looking at you!). But you’re buying into a company that is passionate about their products and a community that loves them and =has fun= taking part in getting the most out of the laptops. Try asking a question like this one one the Lenovo website!
You are exactly right, and this thread has basically put me over the top into the Framework. Not from a “it’s better” perspective, but being genuine and realistic about the company and it’s motivation.