I love the consept of having an opensource and modular computer, I recentally had a Thinkpad P50 laptop (the reason why I choose lenovo before is that before framework exsisted, Lenovo and their thinkpad series was the most repairable (although the prices of different items were EXPENSIVE) however the laptop motherboard broke, and now the whole computer is just a pile of garbage.
I had many lenovo laptops in the past that broke, most of the laptops I tried to repair whenever possible (even though it was expensive) I spend over £250 on an ancient laptop, which I brought for only £400, and due to the close nature and secrecy of Lenovo I cant go to another cheaper vendor to get parts at a reasonable price! (at that point it would have been more economical to throw away the laptop and buy a new preowned one!) Having Framework be opensource allows for more options and for vendors to sell components for cheap (even if it is a slightly worse quality) which would’ve saved me alot of money repairing latops. I am alsp going to suggest my university to start buying these laptops in bulk as my University loves to support open source projects and save money in the future.
I have seen the announcement of the 16" laptop and I am very exsited, expecially as the laptop will come with a numpad module (Yaay!) among other things… I also love how the power adapter uses USB C on both sides, incase the wire get degraded over time (I had to buy 3 different power adapters for my P50 in the past because of that issue that would have saved me alot of money and reduced waste!)
However, there are some features that I would like to see from framework:
- A UFEI, as not everyone is techincal and having a user friendly UFEI is essental for doing basic configuration in the motherboard level. Maby make an open source UFEI?
- Some kind of laptop hub software simular to Lenovo Vantage, it doesn’t have to be preinstalled but an option to download a Framework Hub/Center software would be amazing (It obviously should be open source). It should have features that allows you to update drivers in one central place, perform quick diagnostics to quickly find out what the issue is to make repairs easier, set battery threashold to make sure your battery doesnt get degraded overtime if you are constantally plugging the laptop in or even switch off the battery completly in software rather than go to the BIOS/UFEI, turn on a blue light filter for people who use the laptop in the dark, or even have fan control allowing you to boost the speed of the fans for more performance but allowing for more noise, useful for the 16" (and even the 13") if you are at home using noise canceling headphones whilst playing games and dont mind making extra fan noise for the sweet taste of performance!
- Lower/budget motherboards, expecially for students who are budget conscious (like myself) would flock to other companies (even though they want to support you) simply because the Motherboard/CPU options avalible are too expensive… CPUs like Intel 8/9th gen+ or Ryzen Zen 2 would do, or anything that has TPM 2.0 built in (you don’t need to go too old/cheap), this is one of my main pain points with framework and is why I am not going to buy a Framework laptop even when I really want to.
- More port options, most notably SATA (I know it is a bit outdated) some of us still use harddrives (not as boot drives obviously) to store a vast ammount of data and having an option to connect a harddrive in a laptop would be amazing (not for 13" but certainly for 16")
- More national/multinational varients of components, for example the power adapter should also be avalible for the US/Canada, Australia/New Zealand, Israel, Italy & India. As these options are currently missing from the marketplace. Keyboards should support new layout/language types such as Arabic or at least give us to buy a custom varient (even for a marked up price not everyone has a lazer etcher or 3D printer and even if you 3D print stuff for us and sell it for a higher price (to make a bit of profit) people will still buy it)
- Have an option to get a backlit keyboard! This is VERY important issue for me as I sometimes work in the dark and having a non backlit keyboard makes it more difficult to find the letters on the keyboard. It doesnt need to be RGB rainbow puke but just a simple white backlit keyboard would do. This is another pain point with the framework laptop, not having this option is a deal breaker for me.
- Option to buy Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro from the marketplace, just like with Windows 11 and 11 Pro being on the marketplace, alot of people still use Windows 10 (mainly for stability and because people are just used to Windows 10 and it doesn’t require TPM 2.0 so older machines are compatiable)
- Windows Hello, this would be great feature to have as Windows Hello allows you to unlock the laptop by looking at it, and could be used instead of a fingerprint scanner for more convience!
- Tobii eye tracking, this is a feature expecially for the 16" model and not 13" and should be added later, it is not a requirement (at least for me and many people) but it is more like “a nice to have” feature expecially if the 16" is aimed towards gaming, having Tobii eye tracking allows you to look arround and have the camera ingame move arround tracking the position of your eyes and face.
- Trackpad with PHYSICAL buttons, just like with older laptops or with Lenovo Thinkpads, having physical button for the trackpad would be so nice to have, some people (inculding myself) prefer the old syle of trackpad with physical button instead of the crappy system we have in modern laptops. You should still provide both and allow the cutomer to choose if they want larger trackpad or sacrafice the trackpad size for physical buttons… This is another pain point with the framework laptop, not having this option is a deal breaker for me.
- Touchscreen, (even though I personally would not get one) alot of people love to have touchscreens for their laptop, I know that touch is built into the motherboard so it would not be too difficult to add it in the future.
- More display options, different sizes like 16:10 and options of display types from high-end display types like OLED, IPS, AMOLED to low-end diplay types to VA and TN, giving us options of different brightness level, different resolution and refesh rate. Some people want to have 4K resolution for productivity whist other are fine with 1440p, others want 240hz whilst others are fine with 120hz or 144hz. The more options given to the user, don’t just have a generic display in the marketplace.
Quick note: You could restrict the pre-built versions of laptops to certain options of display types, motherboards and features etc. to not overwhealm the user whilst giving free reign for DIYers to pick from a libary of different options (of course the DIY components and prebuilt laptop must be intercompatable with each other and both should be the same stuff but the DIY just have more options) this way an adverage (non tech savy) person can go and buy a prebuilt laptop and not worry about what is IPS and what the hell is a TN panel whilst tech enthusiast would go pick the exact type of laptop they want. Best of both world, and both would be supporting the open community in their own way.