I have an 11th gen Framework and the battery life has been a real bugbear, to the extent that I was considering selling the laptop. The latest announcements renewed my enthusiasm a little, and I was sure I’d pick up the new battery.
But today, with a fully charged battery, running Windows 11 with battery optimizations in place, I joined a Teams video call while running an A\V scan in the background, with the screen brightness set to 50%, and was careful to exit all browsers and other redundant programs. After a little over 1 hour, the battery had run down to 55%. This is simply unacceptable performance when the equivalent Macbook can run for 12 hours upwards.
I have a 65w powerbank, but it only provides one full charge for the Framework.
How much extra life will a 61w battery provide? I have no idea, but 61 doesn’t sound like much more than 55.
do not attempt to compare with a macbook. They look the same. but they are NOT equivalent in any other respect. modern macbooks uses ARM cpus which are vastly lower power than x86_64 and consequently achieve runtimes that are completely unattainable on an x86_64 laptop.
Like others have said, It’s easy to get more battery life when you have full control over the hardware and software you use, along with years of experience building laptops and trillions of dollars to spend on R&D. If you need that kind of battery life, my personal recommendation is to just buy a Macbook.
As for the Framework, the simple fact that they have made most of their laptop modular and repairable unfortunately comes at the cost of battery life. The 61Wh battery will give you 10% more capacity which will likely translate to 10% more battery life, but there won’t be any good “real life comparisons” until the new batteries are released.
I should add that I don’t actually expect Macbook-like battery life; that is the gold standard for laptops, and there are a lot of trade-offs involved choosing an Air over a Framework (price of RAM and storage, ports, and obviously upgradability and repairability). But I do think 7-8 hours is a reasonable ask.
While 7-8 hours of battery life is totally reasonable to ask for, running an antivirus scan is probably one of the worst background tasks if you want to achieve that. It keeps both CPU and SSD active all the time and consumes a lot of energy, probably more than a foreground Teams call.
Also if you are streaming video yourself it depends on whether you use hardware encoding for that video stream as that makes a big difference on CPU load. Same thing for the video decoding but not that significant.
All this and more. The 11th gen Intel isn’t as optimized for mobile use as well, especially with the half-assed Efficiency cores. This along with binning in general for larger companies with longer tenure with professional connections to Intel, Framework’s 11th gens are cool as hell but not great for battery. The 12th gen is a good step better, 13th barely more than that. The AMD cores are much more efficient and one of the main reasons people have been begging for an AMD board.
@dearcadh if your budget allows, the AMD Ryzen 5 (or even 7 for that matter) will be really nice as an upgrade and is expected to really push battery life a good noticeable amount longer (though I haven’t seen numbers yet, but the theoretic efficiency based on previous last-gen AMD chips were extremely promising). If not, you should 100% invest in that 61W battery, even if its just to end up selling the laptop later.
I bought the 1260p intentionally before the inevitable AMD release, so I can get the laptop early and have it ready for when the AMD boards are announced, hopefully being able to scrape past some of the hype around the AMD DIY build orders. Still didn’t get my order in within the first 24 hours for the Ryzen 7 kit, so I’m in Batch 2 it seems. It’s a bit pricey, expectedly, but its a refundable $100 now and you pay the rest when they’re ready to ship. That should be a good time buffer to grab some funds, if you can fit it.
The AMD WiFi card works better than the one that came with the 11th gen, as well as the upgraded one with the 12th, so grab that as well. The upgrade kit does not come with the upgraded battery, so either way, it’s good to pick it up.
For me, my old board is likely going to replace my old gaming rig as my home server. If you want to also grab the new Coolermaster case when it goes on sale (probably like $50-$60 or something like that ) you can do something similar.
If all of this sounds like heavy money sinks, it likely may end up like that. I guess I have myself limiting my expectations and hype over a perfect product from a small company really trying hard to learn and grow, and since my FW is NOT my daily driver workstation and I had the extra capital, I have been mentally telling myself that the price is worth it for what Framework stands for and how well they are doing. This new keynote really drove it home for me.
But as a consumer, if the product isn’t where you need it to be and doesn’t yet have the potential to hit every box on your needs within reason, it might be worth setting your FW aside for a time that an upgrade kit WILL get there… though personally I’d have a hard time selling it unless the money for a new device is needed.
Besides the battery, you can also consider swapping the mainboard to amd 7000 series. AMD has way better power efficiency compared to 11th gen intel. But in that way you also need to change the RAM to DDR5.