Out of box cosmetic damage to the Framework laptop

I bought a Framework laptop to celebrate me finishing university soon. I bought the DIY version with an i5 with everything else included except for the storage and the OS. I had it shipped directly to my house instead of my place at university to avoid the chance of any porch pirates stealing the laptop while I was in class. It was delivered to my house last week, and my folks brought it up to my place yesterday. Build of the laptop feels amazing right out of the box.

When I opened it yesterday to start installing the components, I noticed that one of the latches to hold one of the ram sticks was bent out of place. I’m annoyed, but it’s defect I won’t see often and the other latch at holds it into place.

Everything else slotted in nicely and I had no issues getting the laptop boot to install Windows. While going through the steps to install Windows, I found that there an issue with the spacebar. The spacebar feels terrible. It feels like I’m hitting nothing or like there’s something mushy under the key. Every other key felt great like in the reviews.

I wanted to remove the spacebar keycap to see what the issue might be but according to two forum posts ([DIY] Clear keyboard and Swap Keycap locations? - #2 by nrp), the chances of you breaking and deforming the key are pretty high. So I decided on going through the back of the keyboard using the official framework guide (Keyboard Replacement Guide - Framework Guides).

I was able to remove most of the small black fasteners with the framework screwdriver, except for the last two fasteners in the top left. These screws ended up rounding out while using the Framework screwdriver. I switched to trying to use my screwdriver from an iFixIt kit which only ended up rounding out the screws even more.

I’ve reached out to Framework support and was pleasantly surprised to get a response despite it being on a Saturday. They recommended that I could get a small screw extractor for 8-10$ from a nearby hardware store to continue my investigation. Unfortunately in Canada, these small screw extractors go for 20-30$. I’ve considered waiting until I’m able to go home this upcoming Friday to try and drill into the screw to remove it with a flat head, but this could damage the keyboard with how small and thin they are.

At this point, I’ve asked support if I could return the keyboard and receive a different one. Currently waiting on response from them since it’s the weekend still. I’m feeling disappointed since I’ve basically received a laptop with cosmetics defects, and I’m essentially down two screws right out of the box. If I can’t get the keyboard replaced, I’m planning just to return the laptop outright for a refund. I don’t feel that it’s fair paying $1300 and having to either pay an additional $129 to replace the keyboard, or tolerate damage to the laptop that I didn’t cause before I got to use it (save for the rounded screws, but even that shouldn’t have happened while using the Framework screw driver).

Did anyone else get their Framework laptops with a bit of damage already done to it like mine?

Caused by you, if I’m not mistaken. How’s that “out of the box”? The “out of the box” issues were bent DIMM retention clip, and questionable tactility on the spacebar. Screws were not the out of the box issue.

Reminds me of this story:
$1.5 million Ferrari wrecked moments after leaving dealership (sfgate.com)

1 Like

My apologies, I’m misusing the term “out of box” in this context then.

I’m frustrated that the two screws rounded themselves out when I tried to unscrew them for the first time with the provided screwdriver. I’m fairly confident that I didn’t try and remove the screws in the wrong manner, as I was able to get the other small black screws out without a problem.

Yes. I hear this sometimes with other devices. It is important to apply a lot of pressure when undoing screws so as not to strip the head engagement and less to replace them.

Seems like a reasonable idea to contact support although doing that from the start would have been, maybe, more proper.

It’s very tempting to try repairs without official say so and then complain when something goes wrong.

However a poorly functioning space bar may be cause enough for a replacement.

Maybe if there’s a question over your tactics you could ask Framework to send a new keyboard at cost and then refund if they recognise the space bar issue as being valid, or send the whole laptop back for consideration.

I think I’ll ask support to send the entire laptop back for warranty consideration when they respond. Just realized that these issues are probably covered by warranty when looking over their policy.

1 Like

I wonder what kind of pricing buffer they’ve built into the current pricing to cater for similar situations (followed the Framework guides, but damage caused along the way), and how it impacts future prices.

If we ignore the screws, then the spacebar and RAM retention clip issues would have triggered some kind of replacement anyway.

That’s the hope . . .

Update on the situation: Framework Support agreed to have the laptop sent in for repairs, so I sent it out last Friday. The laptop at the time of writing is stuck in transit after experiencing 2 delays.