The Dave2D video in question:
In this video, Dave2D argued Framework laptop, particularly the 16-inch model, is overpriced for the specification it offers. Dave2D ordered a DIY version of this 16-inch with an external GPU model. He continued to argue that the upgradeability feature may become obsolete after 3-4 years. According to him, not many people will upgrade a laptop and the design itself will soon look outdated in these 3-4 years.
Watching his video opinion, I want to state some of my perspectives regarding Framework and the 16-inch model. First of all, the laptop is indeed more expensive than similarly spec other mainstream brands. It is notable at that time Dave2D video was made; the final price of a DIY laptop is more expensive than buying a ready-made one. Looking at the Framework’s “factory” visit video (by investor LTT), the DIY version is a fully assembled version that have components taken out after testing out the build (for any defects). So, the DIY version seemed like an additional step in the production line, which can increase cost. In my opinion, this 16-inch DIY version is not made to just replace the assembled version and you get the fun of installing components by yourself. You will get the profit of choosing DIY if you already have some components (like SSD, memory, OS, etc.) to install. That will definitely safe cost compared to the assembled one. The price of components like memory or SSD in Framework’s marketplace is reasonable, compared to competitors like Apple which is very much overpriced.
Dave2D then argued that most people will not upgrade a laptop component but rather buy a new model. While it might look like there is a truth in his statement, most major brands do not make upgrade possible in the first place. People do upgrade, replace, and repair. A simple scenario is replacing your SSD when it already wears down. SSD is consumable and has a finite number of write cycles. The trend for consumer laptops -as set by the leading industry, Apple- if not reversed, is soldering everything on board. People do need to upgrade memory to stay relevant when the requirement of the operating system increases. The laptop ports can wear out from repeated plug-unplugging and may need to be replaced. Almost all newer models in the major brands soldered the WiFi card. This wireless technology is changing, and people will benefit from being able to upgrade. Laptop screen can damage. I have seen a model from a major brand that replacing a damage screen means replacing entire display panel with camera and mic. This is very much costly for the environment too. People do damage the laptop casing. I have seen many dented MacBooks. It is wonderful to see a video of a person replacing a dented casing of a working Framework mainboard and internals with a newer one.
Lastly, Dave2D argued that people will get “bored” from the same design (e.g., casing) of the laptop. Well, it might be true as people get bored using the same model of car and might be looking for a newer model that is more modern. However, I would argue (and give some ideas – I believe Framework teams has already this idea in their vision for the future anyway) that upgradeability can also happen with the casing. You can imagine having a futuristic carbon-fiber (or diamond whatever) casing upgrade with the same working internals. A more modern and business-appealing (or gamer-friendly RGBish) laptop casing option.
So, in this case, I disagree with many of Dave2D arguments in the video. I still think that Framework needs to be supported. The price of their upgradable featured laptop, albeit more expensive than regular mainstream brand, is reasonable. Their products can bring benefit to the users in the long run.