NOT a laptop?

Just an idea that came to mind. In theory, one could buy only the essential components to make a stand-alone machine that is NOT a laptop, as in no screen, battery, or even lid for that matter. Basically it would function as a very compact, lightweight, and portable … (powered keyboard?) … if a person had a desire for such a thing lol

I think these parts could make a working unit, assuming the builder did not already have them:
Main board (i5) $449
Input cover kit $99
Bottom cover kit $99
250GB SSD $66
8 GB Ram $40
WiFi $18 (technically not needed?)
USB-C expansion card to power it $9
HDMI or DP expansion card for monitor $18

Total $798 (quite expensive for what little function you get)

Load OS of choice, plug in separate monitor with speakers, I think it would work. Pretty sure I saw a place in bios to disable the battery.

Not sure what the point would be, but it’s a thought.

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@feesh call it a framedeck? lol

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Oh and full disclosure, I was watchning the video you linked yesterday when I thought, why go through all that trouble (other than being a hobby) when we already have the framework bottom base, which is basically the same thing as what he made…

This would become more feasible when Framework releases a new motherboard. If you upgraded yourself, you would have the original available for this. There would also be used motherboards available for sale (obviously at a discount) from those who did upgrade.

I would love to make a NAS out of my “old” motherboard.


@Fraoch I can see in a couple years, being able to literally build an entire Frankenstein laptop from used parts on Marketplace/eBay. I just hope a business model like that is sustainable long term.




In my case I’d want to run TrueNAS (formerly FreeNAS) on it, so…



That has my vote for sure!

I think in CJ’s case it was really just because he could. Which is all the reason you need. But I think one thing I should mention here, is that the nature of the Framework laptop means you could make your own laptop. Framework doesn’t sell a ultra small compact laptop? Make your own. (that is what I’m doing) They don’t make a 17" laptop? Well make your own.

That is not something you can easily do with other laptops.


You don’t even need the USB-C expansion card… just plug straight in to one of the ports on the mainboard!

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@DannyT Yeah, I didn’t think that one through lol. Any such thing as a USB-C monitor? Let’s get it as cheap as possible :joy:

Yes there are USB-C monitors, primarily aimed at M1 Macs. This is considered a premium feature so it won’t save costs but increase them.

This is the one most frequently recommended:

I have its non-USB-C brother, the PA278QV, and it’s awesome.

Some USB-C monitors here - I have no affiliation, I just like the site:

As a bonus, most/all of these monitors have USB-PD, meaning the monitor can power and charge the laptop.

This is considered a premium feature so it won’t save costs but increase them.

I hadn’t factored that. Been a laptop-only user for around 10 years or more so I haven’t been monitor shopping lately. Can’t believe how much they are! But the USB-PD sounds nice

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That’s kinda similar to what I was planning also

WorkFrame? (not to be confused with Warframe)

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I vote Framejob! It’s the best one lol


Monitors with an integrated USB-C hub are not just aimed at M1 Macs. Dell has a whole range of them, with integrated Ethernet adaptor and power supply. They work great with the FW: Just one cable needed to dock & get external monitor. Keyboard/mouse/sound/external webcam can all be plugged in to the hub and be instantly available. They’re not super-expensive.

yeah even a lot of gaming monitors have usb c input (the gigabyte M27Q is a good example of this as well as being a good all-round monitor)