Proposal for a New Product Development – A Framework Lapdock!

Dear Framework Team and Community,

I hope this message finds you all well. I am an avid user and a big fan of Framework’s commitment to sustainability and innovation in the tech industry. Your approach to creating customizable, repairable, and upgradable laptops is genuinely revolutionary, and it’s thrilling to see how Framework continuously pushes the boundaries.

I wish to propose an idea for a new product that could potentially complement the existing line of Framework laptops – a “Lapdock.” As we continue to integrate more mobility and flexibility into our tech, a Lapdock designed by Framework could serve as a perfect bridge between the portable nature of smartphones and the powerful features of Framework laptops.

Why a Framework Lapdock?

  1. Portability and Flexibility: It would be an ultra-portable device that can easily integrate with Framework products and smartphones, offering more screen real estate and typing comfort than a phone.
  2. Sustainability: By utilizing the processing power of smartphones, the Lapdock can remain lightweight and less resource-intensive, aligning perfectly with Framework’s mission of environmental consciousness.
  3. Innovation: This product could tap into the growing market of users who desire a minimalist, efficient setup for on-the-go use, potentially attracting a new customer base.
  4. Customizability and Upgradability: Following the Framework ethos, this Lapdock could be designed to be as customizable and upgradable as your laptops, offering options for different screen sizes, keyboard layouts, and additional features like extra battery packs or solar charging panels.

I believe a Lapdock could be a fantastic addition to the Framework family, offering a unique product that stands out in the market while adhering to the values that Framework champions. I would love to see this concept come to life and am keen to hear what the community and the Framework team think about this potential venture.

Thank you for considering this proposal. I am looking forward to your thoughts and hopefully, to seeing a Framework Lapdock become a reality!

Regards Roberto.

Do you have any basic schematics or drawings for such a design? I am having a bit of difficulty visualizing such a design and a drawing would be very helpful to see what kind of dock you are referring to. Thanks!

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i have a very basic question, what do you intend when you say “Lapdock”? i know what’s intended when we talk about dock and docking stations, but given your “why a framework lapdock” description, i find myself in the dark on what kind of product you are thinking, i cant even imagine a shape actually

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For some reason I think the OP wants basically a laptop/dock for a smartphone. So all the compute is provided by the phone, even so far as serving as a touchpad while the dock is providing battery power, bigger screen, additional connectivity options and peripheral expansion.

A lapdock, like the one shown in the link (LapDock Samsung Dex Screen Android Monitor Laptop), indeed combines a monitor, a keyboard, and I hope also a webcam, all in one portable device. It would be fantastic if “Framework”, known for its sustainable and modular design philosophy, decided to produce their own lapdock. The ability to easily upgrade or replace components, just like in their laptops, would make the device extremely versatile and sustainable in the long term.

A lapdock is nothing more than a docking station with a monitor, a keyboard, and possibly even a webcam.

Personally, I would use a lapdock with a miniPC or with my mobile phone to create a more powerful and flexible mobile workstation. Especially when traveling, having such a compact and easy-to-set-up option would be incredibly useful. Just think of the possibility to expand the capabilities of your phone or miniPC with a full-size keyboard and a larger screen, while keeping everything easily portable.

What do you think? Do you believe a “Framework” lapdock could make a difference for users looking for modularity and sustainability in a mobile solution?

It sounds a little like Razer’s Project Linda. I wasn’t aware they were making products like this. I know Samsung Dex is still around (I played with it a little but never actually use it), but I didn’t realize they were actively making devices for this. I just assumed you’d hook up to a USB-C dock and use it like a desktop.

I have to say that I love the idea, however the practically doesn’t seem to be there (especially for me as a gamer who needs more powerful hardware. YAY FW16!). It’s nice to be able to just use your phone and everything is done from one device, but when used as a laptop you’d still have to carry around the lapdock portion like you would a regular laptop. So why not just have a laptop? If you’re going to have two devices anyway you might as well get a laptop that could have a bit more power. On the flip side it could be cheaper. For an example: an $800 phone and a $1000 laptop vs the same $800 phone and say a $300 lapdock. I could see that being worth it if your requirements are very minimal like web browsing, video streaming, and documents/emails.

I think if Framework gets into more than just laptops and creates a phone, I think designing a lapdock like Project Linda (integrating the phone into it) would be a great idea! I think people who would use a lapdock would benefit from having a singular unit vs two devices linked by a cable or one sitting on top of the other in case of the wireless.

I’ve owned several iterations of the lapdock (starting with the OG Motorola Atrix thing with the flip out phone holder), and I think this would be an interesting reusability pivot for Framework. It could use the same screen, keyboard, touchpad, battery, laptop frame, and even the expansion slots, but with a very lightweight connective tissue between it all that accepts USB DP Alt input, HDMI input, and a USB connection. It’s a glorified hub that interfaces with all the Framework parts and would allow people who are swapping out older components to have a use for them if they don’t have another mainboard to use.

I typed this out on a Moto G100 using their version of “Dex” on a 32" monitor. There are dozens of us out there who would use this sort of thing.

A bit of a side note, it would be cool if the laptop itself could accept a USB DP Alt signal. The new Minisforum v3 tablet and the GPD Pocket are able to do so and be used as a secondary display for your other devices. The closest I’ve been able to do that is using a USB capture card and feed it into the computer as a video feed.

While I’m not into gaming, I plan to utilize it with a miniPC. This way, when the time comes, I’ll only need to upgrade the miniPC, as the lapdock will stay essentially the same.