We build and thoroughly test on the order of a couple hundred laptops during design, development, and manufacturing bring-up before we start shipping out to customers, but it’s inevitable as we ramp up production that we find new issues after systems land in your hands. There is a standard process in consumer electronics for this called “Early Field Failure Analysis” or EFFA. With this, we take back every system or module we can that has an issue or failure early-on to determine both why it had an issue and why the issue wasn’t caught in the testing that every module and system goes through. In most consumer electronics companies, all of this happens invisibly to the end user, but we feel it’s better to be transparent and let everyone know the issues and fixes as we find them. We’ll continue to update this thread as we go.
Known issues on early Framework Laptops
- Touchpad rubbing when clicked - Very early in production of Batch 1, we found that the active alignment fixture that optically centers the Touchpad glass on the Touchpad PCB wasn’t tuned well, allowing the glass to be slightly off-center on some number of units. We quickly added an inspection step to ensure that Touchpads would get rejected if there was insufficient gap along the bottom edge. We’ve gotten a field report of a user seeing this issue on a unit from before we added the extra check, and have supplied a replacement Input Cover.
- Touchpad physical click not registering - We’re actively working on finding the root cause of this issue, but we believe a small number of Touchpads have an assembly issue on the tactile dome switch that results in it having high electrical resistance, preventing clicks from registering. Pressing the bottom center of the touchpad firmly a few times has resolved the issue in some cases.
- Touchpad Cable can short if misaligned - Noticing a pattern on which module is having the most issues? We found a production error on the PCB for the Touchpad on Batch 1 units and a subset of Batch 2 that could result in the Touchpad Cable shorting if it is misaligned in a specific way when powered on. We’ve updated the guides to ask everyone to double-check that the cable is aligned before closing their systems, we’ve created a guide on how to add tape to ensure the cable can’t get misaligned, and we’re also adding this tape on new system production until we can roll in a revised PCB.
- High CPU temperatures on a very small number of units - We haven’t seen any customer units with this issue yet, but a couple of press reviews noted high temperatures when running benchmarks. We’re root causing the issue, but we believe it could be related to thermal paste pump-out. We’ve switched thermal paste formulations to one with higher pump-out resistance in the meantime.
- An Expansion Card bay isn’t working - Incredibly enough, we found that the non-conductive EMI shielding we use on the receptacles can become conductive in some situations. If you find that one of your bays isn’t working, you can adjust the internal shielding sticker to resolve it. There are instructions here.
- System not booting, with S4/S0 blink code - We’re still trying to root cause this, but we have seen a few instances of units either DOA or failing shortly after starting use, with a symptom of not booting and only blinking out an error code on the side LEDs indicating S4 and S0 issues. We’ve found a workaround for this that we’ve added to the bottom of the article here.
- System stuck at 200 MHz or 400 MHz - We’ve root caused some, but maybe not all instances of this to the EMI sticker issue. Until we can fully confirm if that is the root cause though, we want to note that some users have seen occasional instances of the CPU frequency dropping and returning to normal without clear indication of what behavior causes it.