Notes on the laptop makers

Like many, I’m in the market for a laptop. I’d prefer to buy one before the world economy falls apart.

Some notes on laptop vendors and their products:

Lenovo: was caught putting keylogging spy chips in Thinkpads sent to the US military, resulting in theft of numerous passwords; Lenovo is connected to China’s military.

Asus: Taiwanese company that is a sister company to Chinese firm Pegatron, the iPhone maker; in my experience their laptops have terrible coil whine. YMMV.

Acer: Taiwanese, but most refurbished laptops that I see for sale on Newegg or seem to be Acers. Quality problems must be serious. Acer Swift with 12th gen Intel has terrible overheating issues. Often terrible trackpads, try before you buy.

MSI: Taiwanese, some of their laptops are known for their coil whine. Refer to

LG: some Gram laptops now have matte displays, but the bigger Grams feel flimsy. The Grams are not adequately adapted to 12th gen Intel chips which cause serious overheating.

HP: (made by Foxconn) ever since they went berzerk with outsourcing jobs overseas under CEO Carly Fiorina, their quality plummeted from 8/10 to maybe 3/10.

Dell: (made by Foxconn) terrible customer service if anything goes wrong (they love to deny any such defect exists) but importantly their laptops are known for having defective touchpads. See reviews.

Apple: I’ve personally seen numerous quality problems with x86 Macbooks. Running Linux on an M1/M2 Mac every day is not 100% possible yet except on the M1 Mac Mini (which has coil whine and Apple calls that “normal”).

Intel: Intel briefly made (still do?) CNC-milled NUC laptops that look just like Macbook pro’s, but insisted on not selling direct, & instead through small unknown companies. Wasted opportunity.

Ethical considerations:

Companies that use forced labor in/from Xinjiang concentration camps include Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Apple, etc. China’s government has relocated Xinjiang prisoners around the country to factories making tech items. See here: China: 83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang assigned to factories across provinces; Includes company responses - Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

@nrp It is far more important that a company doesn’t use forced labor than that they are “carbon neutral” (which seems phony anyway). Can you guarantee that Framework and its suppliers don’t use forced or slave labor?


I’m really weary when it comes to spyware, from any region / government. Wondering if the chip was needed because they couldn’t leverage any vulnerabilities…

Going to read up on that. Was it alleged, or proven?

Dell, HP: I tend to do my own QC with their units. Sometimes I just get two to three units of the same model, and keep the best functioning unit.


Proven, it was a tiny chip that logged keystrokes, encrypted them and sent them back to a server in China.

Full article: Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

Only able to find the quote of the testimony…but not hyperlink to the proof / research. Definitely has a risk level associated.


I can’t say I trust America with any security related accusations.
For instance Huawei had this entire scandal with America where Europe couldn’t find any evidence, nor did America release any evidence.
America also has it’s fair share of security/government control scandles.

My views are a bit influenced by the fact that I don’t care much about privacy. Your data is always going to companies/governments regardless of what you do.

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Huawei is well known to have stolen its networking firmware code from Cisco, and inherited Cisco bugs in the process.

In Silicon Valley, Huawei was found to be digging a tunnel under a road in order to perform electronic spying on a competitor across the street.

So it is not just the US federal govt that is concerned. Local cops also.

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Here is some court testimony presumably under oath that mentions the Lenovo spy chip:

Now I’m even more paranoid than before.

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This is a surprise to anyone? Often in a lot of othese cases I ask to state the sources and proof. Often I’m left waiting for it.

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I’ve provided some sources. Here’s one describing Huawei’s stealing from multiple companies:

Here’s an article about Lenovo’s spy chips:

Yeah words like ‘allegedly’ are the issue.

It’s actual proof that makes the issue real. Not American companies getting annoyed that companies from abroad are making them irrelevant so they pay politicians and ‘experts’ to put out FUD.


It’s not foreign companies that are “making them irrelevant”, it’s the Stalinist regime in China that partly owns and controls those companies and encourages their thieving, a regime that engages in organ harvesting from dissidents, enslavement of Uigurs, use of mobile execution vans, forced sterilization of Uigurs, razing of half of Lhasa in Tibet, lockdowns of entire cities and other evils against innocent people. If you trust such a regime and its puppet corporations, that is the real “issue”. But be my guest, go to China and see what “success” looks like. Keep in mind, the CCP has brainwashed the public into thinking foreigners brought covid19 to China, not the other way around.

Sure! :wink:


Hello @Abe_Linkn,

We take labor issues seriously. As a note, we don’t currently have any business with Compal’s business units in China. We work directly with the business units in Taiwan.

We will continue to evaluate our partnerships based on ethics, labor practices, and environmental impact.

Framework’s Official Forums is not the right place for continued conversation related to what has been mentioned in this thread, so I will be locking it down. Thank you.