There is barely any information about this project, only a vision.
By the time their product is on the market the
Framework Laptop 16 may even have it’s second iteration.
I am happy for the environment and consumers, but I doubt it’s coming soon or really anything like Framework has done.
Dell are also playing with the idea; “Concept Luna”. It would not be a huge leap for one of the big 3 to enter this niche. Buuut, they haven’t really started yet… so I agree with Anachron, Framework have jumped in with both feet already. So if this turns into a sizeable market sector, FW have the advantage for now, and others who enter it will have to play catch-up.
For us chatty lot as customers, there’s really only FW who offer both spare parts ordering and major part upgrade paths in a laptop, comparable with custom desktop PCs.
MNT Research sort-of do, but they’re obscure as hell and their design relies on using a PC-on-a-chip within their chassis… I like their industrial look with a clear base, but for me it’s just not worth accepting such low end performance for a premium price. FW actually offer quite good performance in the deal.
So, FW are set to enjoy a little niche monopoly at this stage. Gonna be up to sales volume to determine how far this goes, hey? I’d personally be happy to see a bunch of brands adopt this approach.
Something that I always try to think about when announcements like these are made is that Framework’s goal was actually to spark competition just like this. They want to show other companies that building repair-friendly laptops is a good business decision, so they actually welcome this sort of thing! I’m also happy to see both Dell and Lenovo play with this idea, since I know that Framework will have the edge by focusing on top tier customer support and dedication to repairability, but to have larger companies getting on the bandwagon means that we could see repairable laptops available in countries that Framework can’t ship to yet, and more 3rd parties trying to make repair kits for laptops like these!
I will admit that this is a step in the right direction. The questions are as follows:
- To what extent will companies like Lenovo and Dell commit to the idea of a modular laptop where parts can be replaced instead of the customer needing to replace the whole computer?
- Assuming that companies like Lenovo and Dell get their acts together and throw their hats into the ring, will Framework find itself stagnating when it comes to their ability to innovate such that the advantage they currently enjoy slips through their fingers?
- Assuming that A) Dell and Lenovo commit to the modular laptop idea, B) Framework remains competitive by not squandering it’s current advantage, and C) other players in the PC industry step into the modularity ring, what efforts will be made to standardize certain laptop parts across the PC industry such that sustainability won’t be a cheap buzzword thrown about by PC manufacturers?
Only time will tell what answers I get to these questions. Regardless, I hope that Dell and Lenovo have the intestinal fortitude to commit to this idea long term with Project Luna and Project Aurora, respectively. If we can manage that AND industry standardization of modules long term, I might die a happy woman.
For existing manufacturers there’s always a parasitic effect on its main business, because repairable laptops prevent sales of new laptops. So it will require hard commitment from the very top of the organisation, which is not easy to get.
Excellent point. Personally, as long as Frameworks offerings continue to be great, I‘ll be sticking with them for my computer needs for the foreseeable future. Other manufacturers have had plenty of opportunity to make repairable modular laptops, but haven’t. In my mind, it is important for framework to continue succeeding to make this change a mainstay in this product segment.
Same here. And the longer other manufacturers take in launching alternatives the more Frameworks interopability specs and modules become industry standards.
I think soldered and glued laptops will always have their place, and probably a place of dominance at that. Volume customers like businesses, schools, governments, etc. will likely never much care about repairability/upgradeability and buy new units every few years regardless. I think it’ll always be the individual consumer that will drive this market, and even there I don’t think it’s a majority given how willing people are to replace rather than repair. Apple seems to be doing just fine, and on the other side there are enough cheap laptops from brands that were named by a cat walking across a keyboard to fill the actual Amazon. We’re weirdos over here. The average person just doesn’t care.
Perhaps a realistic hope is that consumers like us make a large enough wave to take us back to a future where mainstream laptops are at least somewhat repairable, even if it involves tiny weird screws. If these big companies embrace this market, maybe some of the modularity in their Framework-competitor models makes its way back into the rest of their lineup with more…what should we call it…contemporary construction? I think it’s more likely that modularity and repairability come back in spite of the market rather than as a result of it.
If sales are there, the big fellers will take more interest. Capital investment will follow the money.
More players in this sphere will mean more ideas, too. But if you want to get on board for the upgradability party now as a customer, FW are (just about) the only show in town.
The biggest show, at the very least. Even in OP’s link, who are they comparing the Lenovo to? Framework is definitely the biggest megaphone we’ve got to tell the market we want this stuff, and it sure seems like at least Dell, Acer, and Lenovo are listening. They damn well better have heard us yesterday, myself especially. I dropped more than 10x as much as I paid for my last laptop for a 16. I almost never buy anything new, especially tech. It doesn’t get much louder than that from me.
Yep. Same boat here. Use them by the dozen at work, never from my own pocket, because they were always a dead-end; you buy it, it wears out, then you can pay inflated prices for bespoke, obsolete parts or toss it out and buy a whole new one. Dislike. So this is the first one to be worth my money. Personal opinion.
The only way FW would get better would be formation of industry standard, modifiable, upgradeable laptops across a diverse range of brands.
Lenovo’s working on a repairable laptop dubbed Project Aurora, which hasn’t advanced beyond the concept stage yet.
Dell announced Concept Luna, a repairable and upgradable laptop similar to the Framework Laptop 13, back in 2021. But more than two years later, the company hasn’t actually launched a product, and Katie Green, Dell Technologies’s sustainability strategy product lead, confirmed via email that the company does not have any plans to do so in the near future. Green said that Concept Luna has provided Dell “with insights into more recyclable designs and energy savings throughout our portfolio.” But she added: “Bringing a solution like Concept Luna to market entails enabling and integrating the services and business model that surround it.”
We would like to have something like FrameWork has, but we’re just experimenting and wont launch any products within the next few years
We could’ve launched the same product years ago and we had the tools to do it but we didn’t need to innovate so we didn’t.
Bigger manufacturer offers something similar…takes X% of the market away from Framework…they struggle, bigger manufacturer absorbs them…stops selling product.
…if it doesn’t sell enough for the effort of producing it, usually.
Xbox was very against the grain for Microsoft. To hear the early team leaders talk in an interview some years ago, they were social pariahs inside the company. But it worked, it sold, and it was worth it for big M.
If the Framework models move enough units and turn a profit it’ll just keep going. They’ve made it the first 3 years and got products out there, that’s a start.
So, we’re all taking a risk. If it sinks or otherwise goes away in the next 2 years… you’re left with a dead-end laptop. But every other laptop on the market was a technical dead-end anyway, no upgrade potential, so what’s the difference? It’ll still be a neat laptop.
Hopefully the brand continues and we see it realise more of it’s potential.
Lenovo and Dell have way, way, way more money. Do not be surprised that if they made a competitor on their first attempt in could possibility do better than the FW 16.
It’s not even about money at this point. They simply didnt want to. Lets see what else you need:
- skilled and ambitious engineers
- hardware vendors
- forward thinking team spirit
- strong belief in the new approach to consumer devices
You see, there is barely anything Dell or Lenovo ticks that make me believe its going to be even somewhat comparable.
I believe their first attempt will either be too late and be overrun by a newer framework iteration or to be basic and suck. Why? Because they dont depend on the product being successful. That always lowers quality.
Thing is everyone has heard of Dell etc. Ask 1000 in the street who Framework are… I’d be surprised if 2 knew.
If Dell makes such a device it may sell in low numbers for them but it will still outsell Framework 10:1. As you say even if it sucks and is of lower quality.
Just how it is at the moment.