How are keyboard and trackpad of the Framework?

As the Framework laptop has a lot of unique features, most reviews don’t talk about this. My Framework hasn’t arrived yet, so:

How is the laptop with “normal” laptop stuff, like trackpad, keyboard, display quality and speakers?

I have been using Windows as my OS, and I think it has a great trackpad, display, and keyboard. The speakers are better than my other laptop, they are loud enough but I’m no audiophile so I can’t speak to the quality of the sound

I’m using my Framework as my daily driver for Windows 11, Fedora, and Ubuntu (mostly Fedora). I’ve actually preferred it to my MacBook Pro I use for work; the swipe actions on the trackpad in Fedora are very similar and just as smooth. Similarly, typing is as good as anything else I’ve used.

The only differences you might experience (I haven’t really noticed) are with the display and speakers, but only if you’re extremely discerning. Perhaps I’m not, but I love the display, and the sound is quite good for regular activities. It’s not bad for music either, but I’d typically have headphones or external speakers for that on any of my devices anyway.

Small note, the speakers are more than loud enough in Windows, but are too quiet in Fedora, so obviously a software tweak needed there.

I’ve only had it for a couple of days now but it’s fantastic.

Keyboard is great. The keys have good travel but can feel a touch mushy. I don’t mind it tho because there’s still a very nice tactile response right as soon as you press the key and it kinda negates the travel feeling softer than other keyboards I’ve used.

Speakers are good for a laptop but it’s still a laptop; don’t get your expectations up that it’ll be anything more than that. That said they do have great clarity.

The display is comparable to the 2016 15" MacBook Pro my work gave me. In a side by side comparison the MacBooks colors are slightly warmer but not by much. The max brightness is about the same on both.

My only issue is chassis flex. The trackpad is very nice, a little stiff but very responsive. However if you hold the bottom two corners of the computer and flex the chassis it can cause the trackpad to click down.

That being said it’s still an impressive Gen 1 offering for an upgradable laptop from a small team.

edit: I’ve been using Pop OS as my daily driving OS on it and the only issue I have is the touchpad can be a little too sensitive but based on others, that seems to be a software issue.

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The keyboard rivals the Thinkpad chicklet keyboard. It is that good. I think it is better, in fact.

The display is nice, but I am not someone who obsesses about such things.

The trackpad is excellent under Windows. Super smooth mousing, and quality of life features (like when you reach the edge of the pad while dragging it will keep going in the direction you were going at a linear pace).

It is a serious quality laptop. I’d liked mine so much that I got my wife one as well. She is the type of person that the Framework goals will really work best on.


Not sure about the speakers (I mostly use my laptop with external everything) but when I use it as a laptop :slight_smile: which is just occasionally when I’m testing a different linux kernel, I always think the keyboard is fantastic and so is the display.

I really like the keyboard, nice key travel and I have not had issues with the split up/down arrow keys, since I was coming from a Surface Pro 4. The trackpad is nice and big and feels really good. No complaints from me.

I used to strongly dislike trackpads, but the Framework has converted me to actually liking them. The keyboard is nice overall. It doesn’t feel too squishy or wiggly.

The best way I can describe the speakers is clear in the human voice range. If you want your extreme bass, though, you’re better off with headphones.

One thing I want to comment on that nobody else has is the microphone: it’s very “hot”. I usually use it at around 1/5th it’s capacity and that is quite loud. (I’m on Linux, though, so maybe Windows drivers handle it differently).

All the creature comforts are good enough that I haven’t really touched my desktop since I got my Framework.

I find the keyboard good/great but it’s not the nicest feature. Maybe I’m spoiled, the keyboard on my old MSI GS30-2M Shadow is really good. So let’s say the Framework keyboard is just as good. Nice and clicky, decent key travel, good size keys (bigger than most). I find they have a bit of a “soft landing” though. The split arrow keys don’t bother me, they work fine. I’m noticing I’m typing quicker on the Framework than most laptops, so that’s saying something.

What I really like though is the trackpad. It’s big, and seeing as it’s glass it’s very smooth. My other laptops with thin plastic covers over their trackpads can’t compare. They are both wearing into that shiny somewhat sticky worn plastic feel. Ugh. The Framework’s trackpad is fantastic.

I haven’t used the speakers much, they seem fine to me.

The display is really nice. 3:2 means that you get a lot more vertical screen real estate. The screen looks a lot bigger than a 13" 16:9 screen, but it’s only a little taller and actually a slight bit narrower. People gripe about the glossiness, but I find it leads to crystal clarity, no diffusing layer. I just put a light background on and I don’t notice reflections.

In terms of battery life, it blows my MSI gaming laptop out of the water so again I’m not sure what people are complaining about. Of course it can’t match my corporate laptop which has a 15W U-series CPU (Core i5-6200U) but a potato doesn’t draw much power, does it? :joy:


I just got my framework and I can compare it to my ThinkPad X1 Extreme, Dell XPS 15 (latest) and ThinkBook 13s.

ThinkPad wins, Dell XPS and Framework about the same, very good, ThinkBook 13s – selling to be replaced by my new frame work :slight_smile:

If they scalloped the keys slightly like the ThinkPad, it would be very close to the ThinkPad experience.

Trackpads: XPS 13 wins, Framework is second!, ThinkPad is next and the ThinkBook is the worst of them.


I like the feel of the keyboard but I’m having issues where it seems to buffer my keystrokes and pop them up elsewhere in the text stream. It’s really annoying because I’m a touch typist. I suspect this is a function of my using Mint MATE – I also loaded a Win10 partition and it doesn’t seem to have that issue in the few times I’ve bothered booting into Windows.

No issues at all with the trackpad.

I find the keyboard itself fine, but coming from a Thinkpad T480 I really wish they hadn’t left off keys for home, end, page-up, and page-down. The half-height up and down are ok, but I wish they’d have copied Thinkpads’ 3/4 height layout for them.

Trackpad works well, except for the part where I keep clicking the wrong button because there’s no indication as to which zone is being clicked. I miss the physical buttons on the T480. I never got into the trackpoint, though, so I haven’t missed that.

Overall, if they offer a replacement input cover with a keyboard layout more like this and a trackpad with a row of physical buttons, I’d buy it.

Display quality is fine for me. If anything, it might be nice if the darkest setting were a little darker. I’m running mine at 1920x1280 rather than the standard 2256x1504.

Speakers work well enough. I never use the built-in mic. Headphones work after a little configuration in Linux. I miss having a led to indicate “muted” and a key+led to toggle capture though.

Been running Manjaro on mine. My experience after a few weeks:

  • Keyboard is definitely better than post-2015 MBPs, and the trackpad is almost as good. I had written that I miss having backlit keys, but I JUST noticed that I had it toggled off the whole time. :man_facepalming: So yeah, backlight has three brightness levels plus off.
  • Screen is really sharp and bright. Good contrast. I use it mostly for work with text, and I find it really comfortable to read.
  • Speakers are good. A lot of the sound comes from the bottom of the laptop, however, so it sounds very different depending on the surface it’s on.
  • Mic is perfectly fine for Meet/Zoom calls. I appreciate the conspicuously placed hardware toggle.
  • Camera is similar - good enough for video calls. Again, hardware toggle is awesome.
  • Fingerprint scanner was pretty easy to setup even in Linux. Works consistently and quickly.
  • The swappable ports are just bloody great.
  • I know power management in Windows is probably better, but even so I’ve been really impressed by how much work I can get done on a single charge.
  • Chassis feels good to the touch - the finish is really good quality. There’s a little flex, but you really have to try to bend it with both hands to even notice. It’s really not an issue when working normally on your lap or at a desk.
  • Wifi for me just worked. I have no connectivity issues.
  • I haven’t used the headphone jack or bluetooth yet.

I’m sure there are things I’m missing, but being focused on getting work done on it the past few weeks hasn’t really revealed any shortcomings. Hope that helps.