Strange replies from YouTube reviewer

I watched a YouTube review of the Framework 16 from a channel called “Elevated Systems”. The guy showed how he assembled his Framework 16, and how he installed Windows and Linux on it. He had some seemingly valid criticisms like that he had a lot of trouble inserting the Expansion Bay Shell or that some of the spacers around the keyboard and trackpad did not line up well and had slightly different color shades. But he also made some strange criticisms like that the keyboard somehow wasn’t sized right because it had been reused from the Framework 13.

I posted this reply to his video: “The keyboard size criticism seems strange. If they made the keyboard bigger, then there would be no room for the numpad. I can understand criticism if the keyboard flexes. But the size of the keys should not really matter unless they were smaller than normal. I don’t understand why the keyboard not filling up the chassis is a concern. It is not like someone who buys the Framework 16 necessarily has much larger fingers and hands than a Framework 13 (or any other laptop) owner. Trackpad size criticism seems like nitpicking.”

He replied, “Well input surface ergonomics is to [sic] deep of a subject to debate here. But, needless to say it’s an entire science and many companies use consultants in the field to validate or help design their input surfaces. But to keep it simple, if they made the keyboard bigger, they also could have made the numpad smaller. Then it could have been proportionate to basically every other well designed 16” input surface out there, while still being modular. Reusing components rather than intelligently redesigning them was a cost saving measure pure and simple. Whether that is justified for a company of this size is another debate but from a purely consumer pov it’s subpar for a $2500+ laptop.”

I do not own a Framework 16, but I do own a Framework 13. Since he said they had the same size keyboards, I took a picture of my Framework 13 keyboard side-by-side the non-modular keyboard from my old 15" Dell laptop. The Framework 13’s keyboard is actually larger than the 15" Dell’s.

My response: " [@ElevatedSystems ]You listed the specs of the Framework 16 you reviewed. However, you did not mention that the $2500+ laptop you keep citing is NOT the cheapest Framework 16. Just saying over and over that it is a “$2500+ laptop” is kind of misleading. That is the configuration YOU selected.

I just configured a Framework 16 for $1,478. That does not include RAM, SSD, GPU, or ports. That is a nice thing about Framework. Especially if you already had a different Framework, you could move some parts from your old Framework. The DDR5 RAM is new to AMD Frameworks. The SSD and ports could be brought over.

I would not want a small numpad. My old 15 inch Dell with a non-modular keyboard and numpad has a keyboard which is actually SMALLER than the Framework 13’s keyboard. See a side-by-side photo of the two: PXL-20240225-015629064 hosted at ImgBB — ImgBB So to blame the keyboard size on the fact that they reused the very functional keyboard from the Framework 13 is also misleading."

ElevatedSystem’s comment was very strange and inappropriate: “so I paid $2500 for a $1400 laptop and you paid $1400 for a $700 laptop. Mathematically speaking I made out better.”

ElevatedSystem clearly showed that he is biased, immature, and not at all concerned with the facts. I showed him a photo disproving his bizarre keyboard size critique. He just responded with blatant lies. If anyone from Framework reads this, do not send ElevatedSystem any review units. Not an honest reviewer.



A standard keyboard is 28.575 cm wide excluding the numpad and navigation cluster and the Framework 16’s keyboard is 28.316 mm wide. That is a full 0.259 cm or 0.1" narrower than expected. That is less than 1% narrower than a standard keyboard.

A standard keyboard is 11.43 cm tall and the Framework 16’s keyboard is 10.5 cm tall, however most of that height difference is due to Framework using half height arrow keys. Accounting for that the reset of the keyboard is exactly the same height as on a standard keyboard.

So the keyboard size is within 1% of the standard size that all my keyboards are. If the size was much different it would completely throw off my muscle memory and make typing much worse.

I can’t see larger being appealing, unless he means vertically to fit in full height function and arrow keys which it doesn’t sound like he does.

I will note that the numpad and macropad are actually 11% narrower than normal in order to keep the laptop’s width reasonable.


Just a comment on CJ from ElevatedSystems: although there may be bias, disagreements, etc… I think it is unfair to go that hard on him.

He’s probably one of Framework’s biggest supporters out there on YouTube.


If Framework stops sending review units to the reviewers who have some negative comments about their products, then FW themselves would be the biased side, to say the least.

It is up to the audience to decide if the criticisms levied against a product is valid or not for their use-case, irrespective of the views of the other fans of the product.

And on a side note, it doesn’t seem appropriate to air out your grievances in this way about an interaction you had with a reviewer on your own on Youtube, on the community forum here. Just my view.


It’s not even a review unit, it is his own laptop.


Ah right. I had forgotten about that.

CJ has history here, and while I would say he is totally within his right to have opinions and he works to back them up, I would also just note that he is still a fledging youtuber and probably understands that negativity will get him A LOT more views. I think this is the true reason for his critical stance. How many views is he going to get if he just makes another video fawning all over the FW 16?

Make no mistake: Almost all youtube reviewers are bought and paid for in one way or form.


I watched up until the keyboard thing, and uh …

I think his opinion on the keyboard is very conflicting – if you want a centered keyboard without having your finger slide off the entire laptop, just center it. If you want a numpad, you have to make sacrifices such as an offset keyboard.

I ran a numpad poll (and framework did as well), and the results are almost 50/50. That’s how divisive it is. You simply do not complain with a modular deck.

A quick access hatch/point for the SSD and the things are a good point.
Related, I can’t help but notice the absence of a bottom hatch. If they make the memory on the other side of the board (and accessible without opening up the entire thing), thats a pretty huge win.

Also, the most massive elephant laptop in the entire room – cost.
Framework don’t have a good price-to-performance ratio. If you are after that, don’t buy it. Go buy like a Lenovo Legion (which is terrible), or like a Tuf Gaming or RoG, and live with flimsy chassis for weight reduction.

LTT’s video is much more quality, and I want to see what Leve One Techs have to say. But … yeah. side-firing speakers are a major mistake.


I think what people forget when they look at price is just what you’re paying for, and that’s a high initial cost with, hopefully, reduced costs later.

If you buy a laptop every few years, that eventually adds up, hopefully Framework keeping going and providing new replacement parts thereby reducing future costs.

I have very reasonable expectations of what I’m buying, I know it isn’t a high end gaming laptop, I know it has design choices and limitations, but I also appreciate its flexibility, repairability and upgradability.
I hang on to things for as long as they are useful, I am still using a desktop PC I built in 2012 because it still works for me and how I use it, where as I am on the 3rd if not 4th laptop because I outgrew them in one way or another.


He is missing part of the core ethos of Framework there. If you can reuse a part then that is seen as a good thing by them.


The expansion card system is worth its weight in gold to me. In terms of raw performance per dollar with similar CPUs and GPUs in other laptops Framework falls behind. In terms of the ergonomics of the ports being whatever the hell I want Framework is completely unparalleled. Dongles are coping when it comes to being stuck with poor or limited design.


I justify the initial high cost with the reason, that I can at some point easily and without problem reuse the mainboard as for instance a powerful small home server or media center that mounts behind a tv.
This already for me is worth the initial high cost that comes with this laptop, and I like supporting right to repair and reusability.


To be honest , yes initial cost is definitely high, but I am trying to find the barebone laptop like this I can buy and I can’t find it anywhere. So I am still ordering from,


I didn’t think his review was terrible. It’s not the most pro review, but it’s not a massive con against the unit either. I think his concerns are warranted and there are going to be others with his same opinion.

Dude paid for his own unit, he already owns a FW13 and still bought the FW16. Yes he’s critical about several things, but that’s his honest opinion. His bezel pinching the screen is indeed a concern. Yeah the keyboard isn’t the best, but it’s a laptop and modular. It doesn’t have cherry ULP, or full size key layout. If you’re a clumsy typer, having no bezels could feel awkward. Then when the sliding in deck modules they can stick up/out, that could be a defect in his gear or a common design problem or human error. It’s good to see that stuff.

All in all, dude still seems interested in framework. I think critical feedback can be good. He’s expecting Apple level premium polish or at least critiques as such and let’s be real, many people in the world will do the same. I think one day framework will have an amazing level of polish and is bound to experience some quirks with new products and that’s OK.

I’m still Batch 8 and none of the cons have convinced me to bail out. Dude still seems plenty pleased over the unit in general. At this price point, we all agree the FW16 isn’t for everyone. Some people are all for the throw away glue laptops, super cheap costs, no repair ability. We’re all a little more savvy than to be happy with an Amazon Fire tablet build quality.


I suspect that comes as a result of looking at the price and comparing what you get for it, whilst being unable to objectively compare the reasons for it.

Apple devices have a huge, entirely unnecessary, premium price to them, but do hold their value considerably better than other brands, whilst the Framework is intended to have a much longer life space with replacements and upgrades to the original device.

As a very new entry to the market, only tine can tell if it will be worth it, certainly seems to for a fair few FW13 owners already.


It’s really this part that gets me:

A good reviewer will know the difference between opinion and objective fact and state both, but not state the former as the latter. It’s one thing to state the keyboard is not sized to his liking, but to say that Framework just plain did it wrong as if there is some right answer to what keyboard dimensions should be is where he fails. There may be a mean that laptops of this size class trend towards, but that does not make it the correct answer and if a laptop has a keyboard of different dimensions, that does not make it less than. The keyboard is probably the most subjective component on a laptop, and as long as it functions, i.e. the keys go down, send a signal, and come back up, I don’t think I’d ever say one is objectively, universally bad.

Instead, he should have simply noted the difference in the keyboard dimensions as compared to whatever reference he’d like, thereby conveying the information the viewer could use to make a judgement based on their own preferences, and conclude by simply stating he doesn’t like it. “This keyboard is Xmm narrower than popular laptop Y, and that feels too small to me.” OK, fair enough, but I as an individual might actually like that, or simply not care at all. LTT does a great job of this in my mind, but this reviewer does not seem to.

But then this paragraph digs a much deeper hole by claiming knowledge of Framework’s business and engineering decisions with the middle part:

This keyboard is not the same as the 13’s keyboard. They are not interchangeable, they are different parts, and it likely cost just as much to develop, if not more. This reminds me of the evergreen posts on automotive/motorcycle forums yelling about “why don’t they just put this engine in that motorcycle? It’s so obvious, they’d sell so many!” Yeah, that’s not how engineering works. Just because two things look similar doesn’t mean they’re in any way alike, or benefited from each other’s development. At my company we make components that are actually dimensionally identical, yet after hundreds of previous iterations, it still takes months of development for the slightest variation in design. The devil is in the details. If anything, they probably saved money by not using the 13’s keyboard in the 16, and got a better result to boot.

So yeah, this guy seems like the kind who is prone to making assertions of fact based on opinion or perception rather than any actual knowledge of the situation. Or, in other words, a person in the world.


That’s always useful, giving examples of things you do like, and why something else isn’t to your taste as it is very helpful for other people.

If I like keyboard A and B, and the reviewer likes A and B, then I know their opinion may match mine and I’ll give it greater consideration than someone saying they don’t like a keyboard because of personal reasons, like saying “keys too small” when it’s actually “users fingers too fat”.

I have 2 near identical laptops, work and personal, one is a T490s the other a T495. Similar in almost all respects, but the keyboards are different. One is fully integrated into the top, the other is removable, so presumably engineered differently, but feel pretty much the same in use.

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Exactly! If I know someone likes the thing I have or have at least some familiarity with, I can put their opinion on the new thing in much better context and get a pretty good feel for whether or not I’d like the thing. That’s helpful to people, not saying “no, this is just wrong and that’s not an opinion” on something as subjective as a keyboard layout, as if different people didn’t have different hands.

Not to mention the weirdos like me who don’t have such defined preferences. I like my tiny 12.5" Dell’s keyboard. I also like my big desktop keyboard. I’ve had my hands on literally hundreds of different keyboards in the last couple years, and of the very few I had a problem with, it was always the key functionality, not a couple mm difference in layout. To say there is some theoretical ideal for a 16"-class laptop keyboard layout is nonsense to me, and if my keyboards are wrong, then I don’t wanna be right!

Oh, and I almost forgot, about his harping on the price and comparing the FW16 to other conventional laptops in the same price range, I’ve gone on about this too many times already. Anyone who is doing that is missing the point. Early-adopter’s fee aside, you’re paying for additional features/capabilities that literally don’t exist anywhere else. The fact that the FW16 can compete in that price class is beyond an amazing achievement, it’s a business decision to bet on themselves because this thing is honestly underpriced, even with its flaws.


Just watched his video, and I thought his review was very even and fair throughout, didn’t find it to be especially negative… when he called out the price difference, he even pointed out that was spec for spec, without performing the exercise of considering modularity and upgrades over time, used the phrase “unprecedented user serviceability, repairability, and potential upgradeability”. His criticism was all placed in context.

But his coverage of the keyboard (and probably touchpad) was much more subjective than the rest of the review… best I can figure, I could see where he’s coming from if he’s a hunt and peck typer, and he’s used to other 16" laptops. I locate the arrow keys in laptop keyboards relative to the side of the laptop. Maybe he’s unconsciously been doing the same thing for A and Z. The laptop looks wider than he’s used to → better move fingers farther left in this Texas-sized field of plastic → how’d CapsLock get there?! That’d make the rest of his comments make sense (though I’m not on board with the idea of ignoring keyboard size standards and breaking muscle memory for touch typists).