I dont like the audio jack gone

I fully understand, it is limiting to have to choose or need to carry around expansion cards and it leaves you unable to deal with unexpected needs so easily, the idea of carrying around cards is not something I’m a huge fan of either.

While there are other reasons to have a laptop (such as it taking up less space and being able to pack it away so you don’t need a dedicated desk, energy efficiency etc.) I see your point and maybe 5 ports just won’t be enough for your needs while 6 would have been and that would be frustrating when it’s for a headphone jack that would take up very little external space. It might be that this iteration just doesn’t work for you or maybe dual cards like you suggested could be a reality in the future and that would make the difference…

I’m curious (if you don’t mind me asking) what would be your ideal or minimum acceptable port selection for your laptop? My minimum would be 2X type C, 2X type A, RJ45, headphone jack, HDMI and a card reader, 8 ports and not unobtainable in the 13-14" form factor let alone 16".

Seems interesting to see what people in this community need.

For me 2 USB-C, 2 USB-A, 1 HDMI. That’s it I don’t need a headphone jack. Plus I am used to dongle life anyway.

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Good point it might be worth making a new thread, maybe one with a poll? :thinking:

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2 C, 2 A, 1HDMI (because is more common on projectors and displays), 1 LAN, 1 jack, 1 SD.
On the GPU module 1 HDMI, 1 DP


and what combination in the case of the dual

@Sat0xshi @pani_alex I made the topic here so we can keep this one on topic :slight_smile:


I agree with you, @pani_alex. Framework’s approach is tolerable, but it’s ultimately a bad choice IMO. On the 13" Framework, my ports look like this:

  • USB-C for power
  • USB-C for USB-C cables, sometimes an external monitor
  • USB-A x2 because I often have a mouse and a thumb drive, or a hard drive and a gamepad, or two thumb drives, maybe a micro SD card reader and I’m charging something… gotta have ports.

On a 16", the audio jack is in there permanently, so I’d probably just add another USB-C port. It’d feel almost optimal to have room to add a USB-C port and a Micro SD card port (and an HDMI port if I hadn’t already bought multiple cables for USB-C to monitors). Expansion cards are somewhat better than dongles that protrude, especially for thumb drives, but they’re still effectively dongles. I’d rather never swap them and not carry them separately.

Then as a separate issue, I’m never going to forgive Apple for getting the ball rolling on abandoning headphone jacks. This Framework design is one more nail in that coffin, normalizing a broad trend toward Bluetooth and away from cheap, reliable, high-quality, universal audio between devices. People don’t understand how rare and valuable universal standards like that really are. Sure, this laptop won’t be the last straw, and the camel was already looking pretty unhealthy…

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That’s bit off.

Since tapes all audio is in effect a series of digital numbers, so the jack didn’t help at all.

All phones and pc convert digital to ‘analogue’ for speakers and earphones etc. so the only difference is the connector.

Given that the lack has limited options then having a USB C seems to make a lot of sense, even if it does mean some devices will now require an DAC 3.5mm adapter where there isn’t a choice of slotting in a 3.5 jack to the device.

So we have a few options for the general people.

  • Connect via bluetooth
  • Use the USB C port
  • Add a 3.5mm Jack socket

I know what a DAC is. My emphasis with that last bit was on the “broad trend” part. You must be missing that point entirely to not see how old analog audio jacks “help” – the connector is the point.

… rant incoming, I guess.

There was this underappreciated thing with headphone jacks. For a normal consumer, all devices producing or consuming audio could be relied on to be compatible with all other devices producing or consuming audio, without any special adapters. It lasted that way for a long time.

I could plug my GameBoy, phone, radio, iPad, CD player, Kindle, laptop, camera into my headphones, or my dad’s headphones from a couple decades ago, or my stereo, or my car. Laptop into TV, or into speakers next to the TV. No matter which device, there was going to be a low-effort, reliable way to make the sound go in and come out, because everything agreed on this one very basic analog signal and connector as a mutually supported interface that was built into everything. It was too simple to be screwed up by bad implementations, didn’t need batteries, didn’t require pairing, couldn’t be locked down by companies like Sony or Apple, didn’t cause interference with your mouse. Your good headphones had a 0% chance of being unusable to listen to a particular device.

To make it even more magical, by tech product standards, this connector was ancient. You could practically feed a Victrola into the speakers in your hover board. That’s what’s getting casually discarded so Apple can more easily sell AirPods.

There will not always be options to connect audio, especially over time. A lot of modern headphones only support Bluetooth, while the batteries last and while the standards are compatible. A lot of devices don’t produce Bluetooth, and pairing is always annoying and sometimes unreliable. HomePods are great for listening to Apple-approved audio, but there’s no Bluetooth in and no line in. I had a third-party Alexa cylinder, and you couldn’t set up the Bluetooth without connecting it to your Amazon account, as I remember. Apple Bluetooth and Android Bluetooth don’t use the same codecs.

Just so nobody loses track: I’m not saying Framework’s design makes a significant difference. I think the difference between 5 ports and 6 ports is more significant. But it is one more small step towards eradicating the utility of the oldest, best, and most ubiquitous tech standard that will exist in my lifetime.


I agree with 99% of what you say but far from eradication I now have a 3.5mm module that can interface with any USB C port, I think, I hope . . .

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Audio Jack gone means working without a dock might go from difficult to impossible.

  1. LAN
  2. Keyboard
  3. Mouse
  4. Second Screen
  5. Charging
    xxx audio jack
    xxx USB-Stick
    xxx third monitor
    xxx storage expansion cards
    xxx connect phone with cable (e.g. to load pictures)
    xxx …
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like the ones for the mac that uses both usb? Because of the card slot, it will be stronger

The laptop already has a keyboard, touchpad and screen. It seems like you want to use it as a desktop PC and in that case, needing a dock is quite common. Get a dock that includes a HDMI port and a USB hub will already reduce the used ports by a lot, getting one that additionally includes power delivery and a LAN port and you can handle all that stuff with a single port.

Maybe, but any third-party dock that supports USB4 or USB-Altmode should work fine. I wouldn’t expect an offiical dock from Framework.

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I don’t think that docking station would suffice because it would be limited by a single USBC cable. And you said you wanted to connect two monitors and transfer data through it. So a single cable doesn’t work if you want to keep a good transfer speed for your data.

I do expect to use FW16 both as a laptop and as a stationary.
But I think that there won’t be a need to take keyboard+mouse+monitor with you and you could use USB splitter inside your monitor to connect mouse+keyboard. This would mean that these would be your connections instead of what you wrote about (I numbered them in brackets):

  • LAN – that’s a fair one [1]
  • Keyboard+Mouse – USB splitter in your stationary monitor, so one USBA port (you don’t even need usb3 here) [2]
  • Second Screen – one more port [3]
  • Charging – one more port (not sure if every monitor would provide enough to charge this laptop so IMO it’s fair to use one port for charger) [4]
    xxx audio jack – gotta keep that one too [5]

At this point we didn’t make any compromises in transfer speed of data but we did a compromise that you would be connecting your monitor through DP port (because USBC would do that anyway if you’d be using HDMI so it’s better to simply use one port and pipe your monitors through one cable).

So at this point one would be left with one free card slot. And other expansion cards would be forced to be: LAN, USBA(hub), DP, USBC(charge), 3.5mm.

xxx third monitor – this one can be connected via DP via daisychaining them so no additional ports are needed here.
xxx storage expansion cards – do you want to use USB stick and storage expansion together? Why not buy a second M2 SSD and put it inside?

And now it’s the time where the compromises begin:

xxx USB-Stick – this would be USBA
xxx connect phone with cable (e.g. to load pictures) – This one would be USBA too

You forgot to mention a memory card. And I actually use a memory card to flash my RPI’s OS.

So I would want to have one USBA and one memory card slot. But now I’ll be forced to use the monitor’s USB hub to transfer data from my phone and then my last expansion card would have to be USBA to connect my USB dongle to it.

The problem is – if I want to use MicroSD card then I have to swap the expansion card.

So how do I prevent this card swap?
This is not deliberate maxout, but now I miss one port (actually two).

I’d really have liked that the laptop would offer 8 expansion cards. I think this is very doable. The thinning of the chassis is not needed at the front of the laptop and this is just a designer’s choice. The cards could also be added via the back expansion panel. But I’d really like to not have the bottom-left+bottom-right thin chassis and have additional two expansion cards.
They could be placed a little diagonally to allow just a little of oval-like bottom design and it wouldn’t matter for an audio jack that doesn’t have a direction and the rarely-used microsd port.
And if anyone would want to put storage cards they could actually put them into these locations if they don’t want a jack or if they have OCD.

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personally i’m not a fan of removing the jack precisely because it’s a very old and popular standard, but saying that removing it makes work undocked impossible is just not accurate. the macbook air has two thunderbolts and the headphone jack. we can argue that “not everyone likes this setup” but it does sell more than enough. also, it would be interesting to poll users but i doubt that most framework users ever switch the expansion cards around (i have 3x usb-c and 1x usb-a and i never touched them).

not sure if someone has brought this up, but i think this comes from the fact that framework’s experience with audio isn’t exactly the best. in my framework 13 there is static noise every now and then and without a proper preset the speakers just suck. this way one gets to have easier upgrades i think.

i have a 2K screen, several peripherals, charging and audio passing through a single usb-c port. it’s more than enough.


Thanks for clarifying.
What I thought about was actually pushing the screens into high Hz rates like 120Hz or 165Hz. Then the bandwidth would be squeezed more. I was trying to think about a setup where I’d actually max everything out as much as possible.

Of course you could connect several screens with 60Hz like in docks that are based on DisplayLink driver. Those docks allow 2x4K@60hz screens via a single USB cable but they’re capped to 60Hz refresh rate (I think this is how your USB dock should work). Probably they could offer more Hz for smaller resolutions but the way that DisplayLink driver works is that they don’t really send the whole frame and they only send part of the screen update and then recreate whole frame in the DP dock itself. So if you have flashy things like games then the frame performance wouldn’t be there and CPU use would go way up (they’re using CPU to shrink the size of the stream). So you would have your screens but your CPU use would be large. This is why I wasn’t proposing this as an option. Of course you could do it and for work it’s more than enough of performance. But it would make the laptop fan spin more than a direct DP/HDMI connection.
So no, when you get a USBA dock that you connect two DP cables to they actually do a lot of work inside and it’s CPU-heavy.

Also if the GPU module of FW16 would support a screen then there wouldn’t be a need for this DisplayLink connection because you would be connecting directly to the GPU on the back of the laptop. But then if you would connect a dock there (let’s say it’s USBC at the back of GPU module) you should probably be throttled back onto the DisplayLink mode of operation where the Hz would be capped to 60Hz or something similar).

Do you use your 2K screen at high refresh rate or 60Hz?

This is a picture of the dock that I had in mind (the size of it says that there is a lot of complicated stuff happening there):

@Martynas you are trying to imagine a setup that is not really “appropiate” for an iGPU.

For something that is 2x 2K with 120Hz or even 165Hz I would suggest to use an (d/e)GPU, especially if you are doing GPU-heavy tasks.

For most other setups, a thunderbolt or even usb c dock should suffice, even with data and display information going through the same cable (especially with DP-alt).

If you want an extreme solution, take a look at the Anker 777 Thunderbolt Docking Station.

So my suggestion: Use one thunerbolt port for displays + power and the other for data only. That way, you should have the maximum efficiency possible.


@Martynas These are Thunderbolt ports at 40Gb/s. Also capable of handling data and power at the same time. High refresh rate gaming at above 4K? You’ll need an eGPU or the dGPU module regardless so you that either gets it’s own dedicated TB cable or dGPU module. Everything else can fit on a single cable. 10Gb LAN plus audio jack plus 4 ports at 5Gb/s is still only 30Gb/s. Charging is a non-issue. Unless you want everything to have it’s own port on the laptop? I’m a little confused if a dock is acceptable to you or not.

I personally use an eGPU with a built-in USB hub that services all my needs. Granted, my USB hub actually requires a separate cable USB-A cable to avoid leeching Thunderbolt bandwidth from the eGPU but still…

I have 3 USB ports in that hub, one for mouse, one for keyboard, one for a USB to RJ45 Gigabit adapter. All get max bandwidth I think. A proper Thunderbolt dock will have even grater connectivity built in.

EDIT: Sadly, no, all my extra connectivity does not get max bandwidth, they must all share a USB 5Gb/s connection. That sucks but oh well. Realistically I’ll never saturate that bus with the attached peripherals anyways. Even if I attach an SATA SSD in the eGPU enclosure as well, I’ll still never saturate it.

I’d only connect one screen because I don’t need more and I only talked about theoretical limit because 2x4K@60Hz should be the same amount of traffic as 4K@120Hz. But these docks don’t say that this is what they do. I tried the dock that I talked about and it didn’t do 120Hz on one screen but maybe my driver was bad or something.

Anker dock that you linked didn’t also say that they do more than 60Hz.
They say that they can do 8K which I don’t need but if it’s 60Hz on 2K then what’s the point of trying it. Also if they use CPU a lot or introduce lag then it’s also a problem.

So I think that unless somebody here tested a dock that connects via USB and gets more than 60Hz we can’t say anything.

Of course you can connect LAN, Mouse, Keyboard and everything. But Mouse and Keyboard don’t really take much traffic as a monitor with high refresh rate. Also LAN lag isn’t that big of a deal if it’s only shared with mouse and keyboard.
But if you’d connect a 2K@120Hz screen then it should in theory take about the same traffic as 4K@30Hz. And if the USB dock supports up to 8k@30Hz then it could in theory keep up but based on the way that DisplayLink driver works I don’t think they’ll allow more than 60Hz in any configuration because CPU would immediately go to 100%.

@Martynas Oh, you mean like office work at 120hz? at 4K? Oh, that’s easy. All one cable then. Thunderbolt will just embed a DP signal. Image pulled from manufacturer website. It’ll do 4K @120hz.

Honestly you don’t need something that expensive though for what you describe. 3 Displays at 1440P@120Hz would be pushing the limits of Thunderbolt but just one display? That’s easy and can be handled by one cable along with peripherals.