If memory serves me correctly, I first encountered the concept of firmware update in consumer electronics around 2000. It was a portable CD player, which claimed to offer compatibility to upcoming music file formats via firmware update.
What I felt weird is that companies often announce an update very proudly, which merely fixes problems that actually should have been found and fixed in earlier stage. What I see today is overall degrade of software/app quality. It can be fixed later anyway!
Interestingly, when it comes to Framework, this applies to some hardware components, too. (feat. HDMI) It may sound funny, but Framework team could (somehow) work with a mindset, that they cannot reach out their products afterwards. It can never be fixed later!
So what I wish for? A Framework laptop, mature enough from the start, so that it can be used for 10+ years without repair or serious BIOS update. (no hinge exchange, no motherboard reset, …) Let’s see with mine, 517 weeks remaining
I think 10+ years is a big feat, but for me, most of my laptops I’ve had before, had broken, some of it being ports getting bent, I had a lot of screens break, I had an acer which had some weird fan issue, my laptop over fried, and then theirs the battery life issue.
My history with laptop, leaves me amazed if a laptop still works 100% no issue, after a year and a half.
So I don’t have a personal laptop, but I have pre-ordered a 16, because if a usb slot breaks, I can replace it, if the battery’s quality degrades, and I can only get an hour of life, I can just buy a new battery.
I don’t think framework looks at there devices as a “we can fix later” but I think when you’re a somewhat new company, you struggle to get the quality you desire, people are harder to get hold of, your budget is much more limited, you’re spending more time on products because you have less staff.
I think what they’ve made is well thought out, and I think gen 2 13’s and a 16" shows that they’re in a really good position, and gives me faith that everything will be very good as we go along.
I know there are people who use laptops and desktops older than 6-7 years, so I hope that you are successful in this endevour!
I think over spending will be the major effect for customers.
You buy a $800 Dell and you run it 5 years. I usually run mine far longer. I’m not a clumsy lump. Maybe upgrade the ram or the storage and thats that.
With the Framework…I bet there are folks here that bought the 11th gen 18 months ago and have since bought 12th and now 13th gen boards…
So how much is that spent in say two years? Forget repairability you’ve just bough the equivalent of three laptops…in the time you’d have bought the one Dell/HP/Lenovo. I don’t think that’s the point of Framework really. Sure you can sell the boards on but…still taking a substantial hit everytime.
As mentioned also the need for Framework to keep up with the latest CPU releases.
I would say to Framework going forward, stick with the odd or even gens and skip the other. Don’t keep churning out new boards for new chips every 6-8 months.
Deliver a solid stable product over a longer timeline.
Remember…don’t be like Linus! Quality rather than quantity!
This, It brings so much more value to your product, if its still supported, and active, and cared about, a smaller batch of computers that get the time and love they need, is SOO much better.
Look at how many people would rather buy a steam deck, over they Ayo devices, despite those being more powerful?
I think if people know that you’re making one device, and that device is going to be the only one in that area for 3 or so years, the temptation to buy it is much higher, you might not be getting the best now, but I bet the Steam Deck will get support for much longer than the Ayo portable consoles.
I do think Framework will refresh them more often than I’d desire, but I think having less launches, but more meaningful ones, is a better direction in my opinion.
As others have said 10 years without a repair is a pretty hefty feat. My oldest functional laptop is my Asus G74sx, released in 2011 or so, which saw pretty heavy use for six or seven years before it became a backup. During that time I had to replace one of the fans when it went bad and had to replace the keyboard at one point as well.
Buying those replacement parts is always semi sketchy. You find the part number for the fan or search for the laptop model keyboard, try to find a seller on Ebay or something that is shipping from the United States(Or whatever your country is) and not from somewhere in China that is going to take weeks or months, make sure they have enough good reviews to not look like a scam, and then you hope it is the right part when it arrives and that it is new and functional. I’ve gone through the process with Asus, Dell, HP, Clevo/Sager, etc. Every time it is a crapshoot hoping you got the right part. I love the idea of Framework being there to offer me the replacement parts first party right from their store.
I am sure the laptops will last 10 years, but that is going to be with upkeep and replacing wearable parts like the fans, keyboard, and battery. The modularity is great, but the first party support for replacement parts is what made me pull the trigger on my Framework 16 order.
EDIT: I will add in that 10 years without a BIOS update is possibly/probably outside of Framework’s control to some extent. It seems every year there are new and innovative methods of exploits or attacks found for both Intel and AMD CPUs that require updates to the BIOS and whatnot to fix or mitigate. Framework can do all the futureproofing they want and it won’t stop security vulnerabilities from being found. Rather than promising everything up front the reasonable solution to me is to address the problems as they are found. It at least shows a longer term commitment to the product.
I always hated buying screen replacements for my phones, because if I didn’t send the phone of to the manufacturer themselves, then theres a good chance you’re looking at low quality screens, that you don’t even want to use.
I still have 3 working HP laptops that u purchased on Black Friday, 2012. It got to the point where you could brew and drink your coffee while they were booting. But still useful.
They need new batteries, and one lost network capability, so off to recycle eventually.
I have no plans to upgrade my 11th Gen batch one 13 inch laptop. It’s working fine for me.
Thank you all for sharing experience and insights, and @PhoenixLandPirate for your kind wish!
I don’t think, either. But it may definitely feel different, checking the software before shipping it in floppy disks vs. checking an app before uploading in Google Play Store. My point was that the same effect might be possible for modular hardware with repairability. However, I’m not alleging that Framework is not serious about their product quality.
I totally agree regarding security aspect. What I don’t want to see here is a BIOS update, shortly after product release, that fixes very apparent bugs. It would be cool, of course, when my laptop receives BIOS-level security updates for a long-term!
Same here. Personally I would prefer a longer interval (2 years), if it brings better overall quality. (not only the laptop itself, including support, logistic, documentation, etc.) But not sure, how it would be considered by main customer target. One could ask a similar question regarding the expansion of countries, where Framework is offered.
Since you ask, to be honest, it does sound like you’re worrying too much.
A certain amount of firmware fixes and even hardware fixes after release is inevitable. The amount of bug hunting, testing and time taken to perfect a design is a balancing act. Too little and you get a reputation of releasing junk (see too many modern games to name). But too much is a problem too, it costs money and time. Time is limited with computers, your design has to be current to sell well. Money is limited too of course, you need to compete within the market, keep your prices low enough.
I don’t see that problem with framework (yet), and hopefully never will. I am sure every manufacturer has some firmware updates for newly released products from time to time, but the community usually isn’t as involved and they don’t announce it as publicly as framework does.
Also mechanical defects happen all the time, those are just shit products then (think samsung Note 7 battery; bending iPhone 6 Plus). But usually those companies can’t even fix it, because their products aren’t repairable.
A lot of people intend to do work with their laptops, and they actually need that CPU upgrade every year, because it means they make 1000$ more over 4 months, because they save time by having better performance. For them the investment of a few hundred bucks in a new mainboard makes all the sense. And if Framework doesn’t offer that upgradeability, suddenly they can’t appeal to those professionals at all. The only reason Apple get’s away with only upgrading their offerings when they feel like it is… well because they’re Apple. People are locked in to the ecosystem.
But again, if Framework doesn’t offer upgrades every generation, people would just buy other laptops with the newest hardware, because some actually need it
All of that being said, I 100% agree with the original argument, that I would much rather wait a bit longer, than have an unfinished product. So Framework should strive to deliver good, finished products, but I don’t think they have done a really bad job at that so far, considering their small team and their size.
I don’t think Framework is currently endangered of shipping unfinished products. And a lot of people actually want or even need generational upgrades, so it makes sense that Framework has to offer them
I remember in the mid-90’s having to write to a company to ask them to send a new rom chip with the new firmware on it.
I’m not worried about 10 years worth of BIOS updates. That’s daft. As long as most of the bugs and improvements are implemented over say 2 maybe 3 years thats fine. Everything has to come to an end sometime.
So some form of desktop is in order? If you need all the performance you can get…why use a laptop? Wrong tool for the job there. Niche case and wrong tool in my opinion. “I cant use a desktop cos I do all my work at the park!”
How would you know that? If you do photo editing, or coding or something like that, the performance is definitely helping, but you still don’t need a high end desktop workstation.
Where I work almost everyone has a laptop, because it is very convenient to go into meetings and take your machine with you.
I do software development, so a better CPU is much appreciated (in my case the company IT is very slow in providing up-to-date hardware, so I’m stuck on mobile Intel 8th gen -.-)
It comes down to this: Why are you trying to take away the consumer choice, to upgrade if they want/need, when, at least to me, there is no problem being solved by that. More choice is always better. If people are unnecessarily upgrading, it’s their money and their problem. You should worry about educating them better, so they understand that they don’t need every new generation of CPU. All Framework can do is offer the options and communicate how or why the new thing might be better. If they as the manufacturer decide what is good for you and what isn’t they are just like Apple.
Again, I totally get the point of
good, slow product cycle is better than hasty, unfinished releases
But i don’t think that is what Framework is trying to do, or even in danger of letting that happen
I should have specified: more choice of equal or better quality.
Linus is a good negative example, I hope they come out of this stronger and better though
The whole laptop/desktop discussion is off topic here and doesn’t lead anywhere. But I do have to wonder how you can apparently judge everyone’s decision on buying high performance laptops without knowing their specific needs, demands and preferences.
More choice, same quality might seem like a wild fantasy, but I think it is possible and has been done well, to a degree. It also depends on the size of the team and all that obviously. It’s always a balancing act.
At the end, all we can do here is probably just push Framework to uphold a high quality of products as best as they can.
I never said they should rush anything, I repeatedly agreed with you on rather having good, finished products. But I still also think they need to offer a variety of configurations, because people demand them for whatever reason they might have.
And it’s also part of the whole Framework shtick to be highly configurable…
I have an old sandy bridge laptop which is technically not broken. Technically, because I upgraded RAM, SSD and CPU and after that built a custum look for it. I dont know if it even counts as the same laptop but if so, 10 years is doable.
This thread reminds me that we’re living in an analog world and not digital. Different shades and dimensions of thinking, while agreeing on the basic point. For me it was also valuable to learn diverse expectations about laptop life cycle, because I mainly heard the cases, where a laptop is used for a very long time without major issues.
IMO stuffs are getting less durable nowadays in general, possibly because of the fierce race for lower price & faster development. I admit that 10+ year is a big number, let me see. My Framework is already running 24/7 crunching BOINC projects
I think there are plenty of things that are designed to be break quicker, the inability to replace broken things, is one way that things get thrown away quicker, but also with little things like, smaller fans, less space to breath, more hours of usage a day, different things ran each day.
If you load doom on a old laptop with decent cooling for 5 hours each day, and run cyberpunk 2077 on a laptop like a macbook for 8 hours each day, the macbook is going to degrade faster.
However, it’s not as if that’s the case for every device, so I wonder on percentage, what the case is that people can use there current device in 10 years, vs the 10 years ago devices being used for 10 years before them.
My steam deck is going to degrade a lot more than my laptop, because when I’m on my steam deck I’m playing video games, and its not got a lot of space to breath, my laptop is going to have more breathing space and is gonna spend most it’s life in kate and youtube.
It is true. Before the 70’s or 80’s shit was done to last. Afterwards it took a downward spiral for decades.
It is possible that it has stabilized a bit, as in companies have reached close to the level where even careless people are unsatisfied with the duration, but I would not put it past corporate fuckers to find ways of selling less quality products.
But regardless of whether it has stabilized lately, for sure in the past products were built to last longer.