I am considering a purchase of the Framework. However, the limited battery life is what is keeping me from doing so. Is there work being done to improve the battery life in the near future?
Batterylife is always limited. Notebook, smartphone, smartwatch, eBike etc. I’m tired of reading all these discussions about batterylife. It always depends on the usage of a batterypowered device. Streaming, gaming, audiorecording. And if your battery goes empty? Charge it.
I got my 12th Gen i5-Framework for some weeks now. With 64GB RAM and 1TB NVMe. I don’t use Modern Standby of Windows, but hibernation. Just a few more seconds to wake up. (I don’t know much about Linux and batterylife.) And I’m an ordinary user. Nothing special. Lots of reading and writing, a bit of coding and streaming. I don’t see different battery drain than with other notebooks. My Framework has a battery charge limit of 85% in BIOS. And I have a 65w poweradapter in my rucksack.
More important for me is the philosophy behind Framework, not batterylife.
Whatever Framework does, they keep close to their chest. Thus far they haven’t announced anything until it is within a month of launching or sooner. You can safely assume FW wants to improve the product and has done many things to try and improve battery life. Check the latest beta BIOS and the beta firmware for the expansion cards. Other than that, nobody can say. You’ll just have to evaluate the battery life in given use cases and compare it to yours.
I currently get 8.5-10hrs per charge. Anyone getting less than that on linux is either not configuring power savings correctly, or is lacking a firm understanding of what is an appropriate workload on battery. Compiling, gaming, and similar tasks pegging the CPU, all while using 100% display brightness are generally not what is considered an appropriate battery workload. Under these conditions I would be surprised if you squeezed out 4 hours of battery life.
All that being said the recent UEFI/BIOS update for 12th gen motherboards shaved 0.8w off my idle usage. I am getting down to 3.53w after 1 minute using only Powertop, with Firefox, Evolution, and Powertop in a terminal running it settles down to 4.54w - 4.83w. Most of my work is either in browser, email, or terminal based. When it needs to do something it crushes it quickly and drops back to C10 fairly rapidly.
Another factor is constant improvements in how the kernel handles the 12th gen CPU’s scheduling. I have noticed progressive savings here as well. I will be doing an extended battery test this weekend, but I expect to get 9.5-11 hours now as opposed to my original 8.5-10 hours (this is with 35% display brightness which I use both on battery and on AC).
So in short, yes they are trying to make battery life improvements in so far as they are able to do so with firmware that is pretty obvious. Also with work they are doing to reduce power draw on certain expansion cards. Ultimately though they have no control over the user having realistic views of what battery workloads are, or on whether they configure their OS for power savings. Personally I think 8+ hours is pretty reasonable.
If battery life is a primary buying factor, do not buy a Framework laptop. The battery life is a sore spot for this device.
For Andreas_Mueller who says you should just charge it, that kind of nonsense advice is that. A portable battery-powered device needs good battery life. “Just charge it” is not an adequate substitute for poor battery life. If it’s plugged in all day, you might as well buy a desktop. This is a portable device!
So, Framework is a great device that I’m happy with, but battery life is terrible, and the track pad is so-so. If you can live with those, buy it. If not, buy something else.
I don’t know if it’s right for anyone else, but I bought the Framework laptop knowing that battery would be among its weaknesses.
My reasoning? Power banks keep getting better, and if it becomes an issue, I’ll get a power bank that can bridge the gap. And a second one, if I need it.
Power banks are getting better all the time. I’m going to find all kinds of uses for that thing. On laptops I used back in the 90’s, I would buy a second battery and hot-swap it. Today’s external power banks do the same function with vastly more versatility.
I have a box of parts I’ve stripped from my last couple of laptops, including some perfectly good screens. It’s infuriating and motivating. Framework promises to let me fix and upgrade instead of tossing boxes full of good stuff I can’t use. All I had to do is buy a pricier (and definitely better) laptop than I otherwise would have, and possibly live with a few small-company gremlins.
Framework’s Big Promise may not come to anything, but it’s a gamble I’m happy to make.
Yes. A portable battery-powered device needs good battery life. That’s right. But for me, it’s not the primary buying factor. And when the battery gets empty, I charge it. There is nothing else I can do. There are other reasons to buy a Framework than battery life.