Low-End Plans?

I LOVE that the Framework concept is being executed with high quality parts. I plan to buy a 16-in. one. That being said, I would also love to see a low-end (cheap) version of the laptop eventually be created, specifically because I think this would be excellent in schools (I’m a teacher at a Montessori school), and most elementary/jr high/high schools don’t need something nice, they need something affordable. I love the idea of being able to teach the kids to repair their own machines, or at least show them what’s inside, etc. And besides, simply having easily repairable machines would be SO nice for schools, and probably much more affordable as well.

I would expect this economy edition would simply be another compatible set of parts, kind of like the Chromebook version (which I know is currently the more affordable option), but with cheaper frame, low-spec mainboard, cheaper HD (if that’s even possible, I know probably only solid state will fit), etc.

Has this sort of option been considered before, or would it likely be taken under consideration in the future? Or, are there already plans for such a thing?


Thanks guys! I love what you’re doing, this project is amazing, and is basically everything I’ve wanted from technology for a long time. Thanks for doing it right.

(Not sure if this is the right place to give feedback like this, so feel free to move it, sorry - I didn’t see a better spot.)


Logistics and development are likely a huge parts of the expenses for Framework as they’re such a small company. Thus it probably makes more sense for them to make relatively few relatively expensive parts instead of figuring out cheap mass production.


I wanted to pick up an i3-N305 from Aliexpress, looking at the listings (just wanted a budget system to play with the system). I realised the BOM cost of the whole system excluding the mainboard isn’t as insignificant as we thought to be.

It doesn’t make sense to have an economy version especially the maintenence of those SKUs and it affecting the upgradability/swappable parts.

Just playing around with the idea, maybe you could grab the top and bottom covers, along with the keyboard+trackpad, then maybe use a RPi baseboard with some kind of carrier board for outputs and power. Then for the screen, maybe find a cheaper VA panel that fits. The storage is some kind of SD card.

You are kinda describing a pinebook XD

I was actually hoping for Pine64 to work with Framework to get a new Pinebook Pro using Framework’s chassis. But oh well, I converted my Nintendo Switch into a linux computer instead.

That may still happen, though the framework chasis may be a bit pricy for that.

I do have a pinebook pro, it is a pretty neat toy and the screen is pretty nice but the case and the keyboard are very cheap.

Seeing what school aged kids, and adults do to hardware that ‘is’ theirs, let alone stuff that isn’t theirs. A thin and light, with easily removable parts… will not last long enough.

Used to be a part of the IT crew at a university, the destruction caused by adults, paying tens of thousands a semester to attend, and that caused by the professors and staff was insane. A thin and light does not have a use case in that environment unless you’re looking to just build another trashed hardware fort.

Aye, it might fair slightly better for repairability… But a school, hospital, institution, company etc… benefits heavily from the ability to call up a support line and get a tech there the next day to replace the MoBo, or screen, or ship out the part next day air to get them up and running.


Those are fair points. Definitely would need sturdy as well as cheap in a school setting, so I’m not sure this would fly. Supposing we could though, it would be great for small schools who can’t afford real tech service, and just have one part-time guy helping out.

And as for the pricier parts being easier to start with, that’s fair too - so I was mainly thinking this would be down the road a ways when that isn’t an issue anymore.

Besides, not everyone needs a powerful machine for their daily driver laptop. Or secondary machine, etc. (Of course, I love the idea of the secondary machine being made up of old parts that have been swapped out! The reusability is undersold - it might be as important as repairability and upgradeability!)

Sure, it’s probably not worth worrying about cheaper product lines yet, but I still think its worth considering down the road, to broaden the audience and provide for the needs in other areas, as long as they find ways to make it feasible.

I was actually wondering if they can just make a compatible mainboard so we can swap the mainboard out to upgrade, or even just changing the baseboard.

That is totally possible but I don’t really see it happening, especially not before framewoek sells just the case.

To be honest the chassis isn’t the strong point of the framework imo and more something I put up with for the rest of it.

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That’s true but I was hoping to have an ecosystem or community to make more systems around it.

There’s a thread doing a Thinkpad chassis over the Aluminium one the Framework is using, can’t wait to see that.

Love the idea, not so sure if the implementation will work out but we’ll see.

If framework released the case cad it would be quite a lot easier to do custom cases and stuff.

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