Review of hardware durability and repair (1.5 years)

No hand sanitizer.

Now that I look at them more carefully, some of the paint on the keys is a bit bubbly. The laptop was running in some pretty warm temperatures for a few months (35-45 degrees), so I wonder if that has something to do with it.

Worn keycaps? Ask to see the users finger nails! Not all of us are nail biters!

I keep my nails trimmed short but I have very hard nails and I have been known to wear out key legends pretty quick on certain keys as to the angle of finger and nail to keycap.

As I don’t use my Framework much it’s not been an issue.

Six hours a day for 12 months, no sign of wear on the keyboard, no damaged to the cable which is moved to a new supply at least twice a day

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I have had my 11th and 12th gen laptop (upgraded) for a bit more time than you. Yet all of my peripherals and the laptop itself are pristine. I travel with my laptop on occasion but not often. I think what all this shows is just how different heavy use can be for everyone.

Do I think we got two different products? Nope. It is all about the environment and usage. Highly subjective, but the impact of which is very real.

Thank you for your report!!

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@TJ1 Thanks for the review. It definitely seems like this Framework Laptop has been excessively loved.

We don’t have any known QC issues with keyboards wearing like you’ve shown here, and I think I’ve only seen a singular report of any kind of wear going down to the bare keycap on a single key. We do sell just the keyboard as a replacement, and that could be a great option to restore it to its former glory. HERE is the link.

On the cable, yes, please contact Framework Support. While you are out of warranty, if it was constantly splitting, we’ll get you a new cable.

As for dropping the laptop between 5-10 times, stuff happens, but let’s try to get that number down to a more manageable level. :slight_smile:

The laptop definitely has seen battle, and we’re glad it’s still working for you!

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In another update, the laptop has survived another 3 months.

Survived Issue 1: May

Likely overheated the laptop, there was a shutdown and it had extremely slow speeds after that. Thought the ram or ssd had issues, but resetting the mainboard worked. Also, updated the firmware and had to struggle to get the drive booting again since bootloader was affected.

Survived Issue 2: June

Dropped my bag not so gently and dented the power switch. Power would no longer turn on. There is a plate at the bottom of the power button that needs to make contact (once you open the inside). Luckily, I carry the screwdriver with me when I travel and an enterprising friend bent the cover back into shape with some pliars. The laptop has sustained another scar, but is still functioning.

Ongoing

I actually bought a new cable when I replaced the touchpad, however, that one has also split. Definitely does not stand up to my usage patterns.

My guess is that it is actually heat related. Various keys have formed bubbles on the paint and eventually, they will scrape off. I contacted support since it mostly happened within the first year, but since I didn’t report it within the warranty time, no replacement.

Indeed, let’s not jinx it. :innocent: :sweat_smile:

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Happened to me on an Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. My understanding is that it happens because there is nothing to stop the hot air from reaching the keyboard when it circulates within the chassis. A plate that separates the keyboard from the mainboard should fix it although at the cost of thinness. I am attempting this here: Converting Framework 13 to a FrankenPad

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It would be nice if we had a way to quantify how much ThinkPad’s “military spec” durability is actually helping. This has been my main reason for buying them. The laptop working when I open it when I’m traveling to some place that doesn’t have parts for it (and would never have parts for frame.work either, cuz, you’re on the road y’know) - is paramount. So I always hedge in that direction.

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Anecdotally, I’ve found this to be a common feeling among IT support people.

Does Framework warranty their firmware updates? And what if the computer’s out of warranty?

I deploy updates for an org, with peace of mind that the <1 per thousand each year bricked by a BIOS or other firmware update are all covered by OEM warranty.

That said we don’t internally support stuff when warranty runs out; everything gets extended, then everything (should) get replaced. I’d hope the brand accepts responsibility for borking a mainboard via FW update, even if it’s out of warranty. “You broke you fix” cuts both ways. Framework has a great thing going with parts replacement but mainboards are still hundreds of buckaroos each.

Might not seem important on personal equipment, but those firmware updates can be important even then.

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I work at a repair shop and there is nothing left of Thinkpad anymore. 7 out of 10 refurbished Carbons are with permanent keyboard imprints on the screen. It’s all about having the ability to switch cases based on needs. Ultrabooks suit only a category and all other categories are left out of the boat at the moment.

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@Frankie_Wild So the “military spec” claims are dumb? And as long as we don’t spill drinks on the KB they aren’t actually more durable/robust? Hard to know as this issue is tricky to measure or build reliable statistics on.

Can’t claim any of that but the difference between a pre-2013 Thinkpad and pretty much any laptop post that year is night and day in terms of rigidity and durability. In my opinion it stems from the fact that 10 years ago we had different niches and specialized brands. Now it’s all one niche and everyone wants in which results in no choice.

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@Frankie_Wild True but I want to compare what is available today - I realize there are many downward trends in computing. But are any modern performers as durable as the modern ThinkPad? Perhaps, but yes it might matter less now (especially since they all have NVMes).
I’m not sure if it was 2013, but I think they were manufactured in Japan back then, which is obviously a culture more appreciative of quality over quantity.

Thinkpad was not all about durability it was more about IO. If you are aiming for full ruggedness the mainstream series are Dell Rugged and Panasonic Toughbook. They don’t fit the previous niche of 25-30mm height machines though.

Now there I’d have to disagree. Those are rarer laptops, more expensive, harder to find parts, and how much more durable are they really? So in actuality, buying two proper laptops and if you drop one just switching out the NVMe is way better than one of those durable laptops - and 2 would still fit in less space!

2 year 2 month update - it’s still going strong and haven’t dropped it for a while.

Keyboard
However, the keyboard finally needed to be replaced as the left alt key quit working. This was an arduous replacement. I stripped two screws and am left somehow with a few extra. In any case, keyboard works again. Took around 5 days to receive.

Power Cable
Also, the power cable which was replaced also frayed. Not as bad as the original quite yet, but definitely will not be buying another.

Bezel
And finally, the edges of the bezel seem to be coming off. Not really sure what to do about that.

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Also, I accidentally deleted a 3 month update on this link covering power switch and overheating:

Would be handy if a mod could restore it.

My understanding is that the “MIL spec” rating the ThinkPads always advertise is the bare minimum to be considered for military use.

It is great to have and showcases more time spent on engineering and reliability.

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Done!

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That’s a battered laptop! :open_mouth:

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