Suggestions for a gaming laptop

These are the things which I think will make the most difference for a gaming laptop:

  • Joysticks (like the ThinkPad’s knob), one between Esc and F1 or to the left of Esc, and the other to a side of Up and above either Left or Right.
  • Second screen like the ROG Duo (full name ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo). Extra points for selling standalone screens of similar sizes, for people who want a more compact second screen for their system, and for people who cannot afford a full screen when the price of the half-screen becomes cheap enough, and it should come in a 540p and a 720p version, eventually.
  • The same touchscreen-numpad combo as the ROG Duo, but with a third mode for the F13-F24 keys, aside for numpad mode and touchpad mode.
  • Compact network cable port which opens up to “bite” the network cable, but having it open up on the side of the screen instead.
  • Maybe make your own SlimCat version of the Cat network cables, which to fit into slimmer laptops.
  • Thicker, with bigger fans, having intakes both below and to the sides, with plastic “walls” to route/funnel the air from the intake to the important components and then to the exhaust, to keep the components colder and longer-lasting during normal operation, but also to futureproof by letting people overclock it as much as possible, including spinning the fans so fast it sounds like a jet engine taking off, and to avoid the need of a laptop-deck.
  • APU with a slide-in graphics card like the ThoughBook has, even if it requires a few screws, to make upgrading easier, with air channels already accounted for in the design of the laptop, and to allow people to buy the version without a graphics card first and add a newer graphics card later.
  • BIOS settings to undervolt the CPU/APU and GPU, so it can last longer.
  • Remove the need for USB splitters, by having a lot more ports than any modern laptop, even if just as a swapable cover for each of the two sides, also helping to not need a laptop-deck.
  • Full support for Windows 7 and Linux.
  • 3 headphone jacks, 1 combo, 1 mic, 1 headphones/speakers, to allow maximum compatibility with consumer headphones.

Optional, but might help with marketing/advertizing:

  • D-Brand partnership to offer custom skins for the laptop, allowing it to be more meme-worthy (including one skin with the words Gaming Supported By Right-To-Repair and Frame.Work.
  • Swappable screen protector, including better anti-scratch and anti-glare options.

What do you think? Did I miss something?

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You forgot to mention lots of these are probably still protected by IP laws :slight_smile:

I’d love to see a lot of these get handled by expansion cards (e.g. joystick, multi-port headphone jack, ethernet port). Overall my one caveat with this list is there’s a lot of niche features that not everyone will want or use. Additionally, there are lots of potentially extremely developmentally expensive items on the list, like the slide-in graphics card (unless they can license the tech from ASUS or Lenovo).

My own additions to the list:

  1. Desktop CPU sockets. MXM modules (or maybe the slide in/out PCIe connectors like described above). Laptop CPUs are not socketed anymore, but desktops still are. Replaceable CPU and GPU would be huge wins for that replaceable components dream.

  2. Conservative base styling with a customizable top panel. I hate the RGB “hard-core XTREEM gamer special edition” craze, I just want a single-color machine, maybe with two-tone hilights or lighting. I understand this isn’t everyone, so a top cover that connects to the panel with pogo pins would allow people who aren’t me to satisfy their rainbow light addiction, in addition to allowing for sales of special edition covers with custom backlighting for your Tarkov fans, or whoever the customers are. This is particularly relevant for the framework because other than the styling, there’s really nothing thermally or chassis-wise that should differentiate workstations and gaming stations. #1 in combination with #2 would mean that you could have a single motherboard and chassis for general consumer gaming laptop requests, as well as for when a business customer wants Quadro or Titan beast for whatever their needs are. Businesses could even order a single top panel for their whole fleet with a logo if they wanted to, or, for the more IAP-focused companies they could go with a blank slate to minimize visibility. Individuals could also order blank tops with simple mods, like laser etching or hydro dips, and be less worried about scratches or dings, as the part should be easily replaceable. 3-D printed Lithophane covers with simple LED backlights are even possible for potentially crazy detailed back panels.

  3. I like num pads, but not everyone does. How about a cover that has keyboard and trackpad that can be swapped in position for righties/lefties (the idea is you could put trackpad on the left and mount the keyboard to the right, with an hour and a screwdriver), and the trackpad can have the “num pad” mode for people like me who use a mouse and want a num pad. You could go even crazier on this concept by using a sensel trackpad, so that the numpad could have physicalized keys to press or customizable depth-sensing macros for the gamers and workstation crowd alike. That also gives you room to push your keyboard down the laptop and open the rear up for cooling like the aforementioned ASUS laptops have. If that’s covered by IP laws, then another idea would be for chonkin great big speakers or something. For the crowd that like a centered keyboard experience the side-trackpad panel could be swapped for a more standard centered keyboard and trackpad panel. This dual-layout panel would look something like the image I put at the end of my post. If a cooling ducts were wanted instead the speakers could be shrunk and a central cavity could be opened instead, flanked by the same half-height speakers.

  4. 16:10 aspect ratio. Alternatively, some genius way of having multi-aspect ratio screens supported (e.g. 16:10 maybe has a thinner bezel and flip-out webcam/mic instead? Who knows). In my opinion 16:10 is a great compromise between wide screen gaming or movie watching with small black bars (or no black bars on a good OLED panel), and productivity needs. It also gives a bit more depth for a better cooling solution or larger components.

  5. Drip tray option. A thicker gaming/workstation means weight is less of a concern for lots of users. Two versions of the lid hinge could be offered: one with normal flush-to-keyboard clearance, and one with more standoff height when closed between screen and keyboard. You could then mount a drip tray between the universal keyboard and the rest of the chassis to protect the internals. The standoff height would make the screen and keyboard flush if the drip tray is included. Drip tray would have the same magnet arrangement as the keyboard, and would ship with included longer screws to replace the ones which normally screw the chassis and mobo together. This way it would be a real easy replacement, just open laptop up, pull out old screws, mount new screws, make captive, mount drip tray to k/b with magnets, and align drip tray to chassis with the help of the same magnets, screw in place.


If you mean that those could be considered my intellectual property, I’m okay with receiving $1k in stocks and one laptop made by those specifications, with all the dongles included. Honestly, I don’t even want that much, but, if they’re concerned, they could set up a transaction to be legally protected, or something like that. You know how companies are sometimes about protecting their IPs.

That’s a very good point. But still, having those expansion cards located in places in which using the joysticks and multi-port headphone jack, and so on, could be more expensive than just having a lot of those on the same expansion card and have people not use them if they don’t need them. I mean, you would still need a core functionality which to not be removable, which could include a combo-audio-jack (like for phones), while having the same dongle include 2 separate audio jacks (one mic and one headphones) and 2 extra USBs, for example.

You have one of those extension cables for motherboard connections to RAM, SSD, and PCI-E connections for graphics cards and other peripherals, you have screws to mount them securely, you have a graphics card which to screw directly into that PCI-E connection or to use it’s own PCI-E extension cable/circuitry to connect to the other one, and you have a few screws to hold it in place, and you’re good to go. You could have desktop RAM on a laptop, that way.

That aside, I like the customizability of the keyboard part. But I think that, in your example, instead of 2 speakers with 3 big holes each, there should be 4 speakers with 2 smaller holes each, and the top half and bottom half panels customizable first in halfs, and then in thirds if you want side speakers. That way, we could have a lot more customizability.

For example, we could have a keyboard without numpad and with speakers on the side on the bottom, no trackpad, and bigger speakers with a smaller hinged touchscreen screen in the middle, which could act like it’s own separate display or like a double of the main display with a touch-screen built-in (for if the main display you choose doesn’t have touchscreen).

Another example would be using a wide secondary screen on the top, and a keyboard with numpad-trackpad combo on the side, while still allowing people to move the side of the trackpad (as you suggested). Heck, people could even rock a laptop with 4 screens in total, the big main one, and two ultra-wide half-screens for the areas where the keyboard and trackpad would be, with or without a hinge for each screen, with or without touchscreen to allow one of the screens to function as a keyboard and/or trackpad.

Heck, imagine having a compact gaming wheel controlled by one hand and 3 pedals controlled by the other hand, for laptop-grade portable racing experience, even without hinges. And having the wheel on hinges would make it an even better racing experience.

This would require a few horizontal and vertical bars/lines with screw holes on them, to allow a plethora of configurations. Sure, a lot of R&D might be needed to produce a viable product, but it would be so configurable that it could become known as the desktop of laptops, or the more configurable cousin of the Thoghbook.

  • Joysticks (like the ThinkPad’s knob), one between Esc and F1 or to the left of Esc, and the other to a side of Up and above either Left or Right.

No, the Thinkpad Trackpoint is totally different from the joysticks you’d find om something like the Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch or GPD Win. Totally not usable for gaming. Source: have used three Thinkpads and gamed on them. The Trackpoint is usable for camera movements in slow paced games but that’s about it really. Most of my gaming happened with just the keyboard.

And yes, I use the Trackpoint daily for al my non-gaming mouse usage for 10 years now.

  • Second screen like the ROG Duo (full name ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo). Extra points for selling standalone screens of similar sizes, for people who want a more compact second screen for their system, and for people who cannot afford a full screen when the price of the half-screen becomes cheap enough, and it should come in a 540p and a 720p version, eventually.
  • The same touchscreen-numpad combo as the ROG Duo, but with a third mode for the F13-F24 keys, aside for numpad mode and touchpad mode.

It sounds like you’re trying to design an ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo. If you really want all those things, why not just buy that instead?

  • Compact network cable port which opens up to “bite” the network cable, but having it open up on the side of the screen instead.

They’re already working on a ethernet expansion card. I’m actually expecting to see it any day now when the market place launches.

  • Maybe make your own SlimCat version of the Cat network cables, which to fit into slimmer laptops.

That would be non-standard and therefore very annoying to use. If you’re going to make your own cables anyway, why not make cables with ethernet/rj45 on one end and usb-c on the other end, and a USB gigabit NIC integrated in the cable? This is basically what an ethernet dongle already is btw.

  • Thicker, with bigger fans, having intakes both below and to the sides, with plastic “walls” to route/funnel the air from the intake to the important components and then to the exhaust, to keep the components colder and longer-lasting during normal operation, but also to futureproof by letting people overclock it as much as possible, including spinning the fans so fast it sounds like a jet engine taking off, and to avoid the need of a laptop-deck.

Overclocking in laptops is basically not a thing these days. The boost algorithm will already give you everything that the cooling and power delivery allows the chip to do. Not much to gain above that. Definitely not while also keeping reliability high and lifespan long, so useless for futureproofing.

  • APU with a slide-in graphics card like the ThoughBook has, even if it requires a few screws, to make upgrading easier, with air channels already accounted for in the design of the laptop, and to allow people to buy the version without a graphics card first and add a newer graphics card later.

How are you going to hook this up? There’s power, thermals, PCIe lanes, everything. This is nowhere near trivial. You’d probably need to have all the power delivery and output muxing and stuff in the mainboard, adding costs for all users, including those that never use a dGPU.

  • BIOS settings to undervolt the CPU/APU and GPU, so it can last longer.

I’m not against having more BIOS settings, but the default voltages should already be low enough to extend battery life and CPU lifespan

  • Remove the need for USB splitters, by having a lot more ports than any modern laptop, even if just as a swapable cover for each of the two sides, also helping to not need a laptop-deck.

Ports take up space. Earlier you already talked about vents on the sides, which also take up space. You’re going to have to make choices here.

  • Full support for Windows 7 and Linux.

Windows 7 has been EOL since early 2020 and out of mainstream support since even 2015. We shouldn’t even be talking about this.

Linux support is basically a given if you stay away from Nvidia, and stay away from verions as old as Windows 7.

  • 3 headphone jacks, 1 combo, 1 mic, 1 headphones/speakers, to allow maximum compatibility with consumer headphones.

Having three headphone jacks is not going to be user-friendly if you want to plug in stuff every day, even if you clearly label them. Also, most consumer gaming headsets have moved to USB anyway. And consumer non-gaming headsets are mostly bluetooth. Regular headsets (without mic) work perfectly fine with a combo jack and there’s splitter cables for those few that still use 3.5mm microphones. I have one on my desk right now.


There was the idea that framework could release the laptop with 2 cooling slututions. One standart one and one that would make the laptop run more quiet and at lower temperatures. With the second cooler you would still have some overclocking headroom here. The user can also improve the cooler by replacing the thermal paste with liquid metal or puting the hole motherboard in something like a small formafactor PC with sufficiient cooling. Framework was at least very open towards such uses of the motherboard and even gave out the schematics of the latop for it.

Ram overclocking is has also become pretty popular nowadays since games love having faster ram with lower latencies. You can get way more perfromance with ram OC than with regular processor OC of the processor. The nice thing is that it doesn’t require good cooling to do it. Every laptop is also able to do it and has the settings hidden in its bios including the current framework laptop (i checked in bios files).

Replacable MXM cards would aslo be an option here. They have the PCIe interface and the necessary power delivery. If the cooler is copatible there is nothing that could stop out from replacing the GPU with a newer and more perfromant GPU. Framwork could even offer new cooler that are compatible with the new GPUs if necessary.

Default voltages are unoptimised. Every processor needs a slightly different voltage. Thats why the voltage is always way higher than it needs to be so even the worst potato CPU can run stable with the default voltage. Using undervolting you can around 10-20% lesser energy consumption for the same performance for free. This also results in the processor automaticly boosting higher since you can run higher frequenzies at the same power consumption as before. It also imporves the lifetime of the processor significantly.

There are laptops out there that allow changing TDP of the processor and the GPU, undervolting, changing fan curve to your liking and even ram OC. In other words you can make the laptop run as quiet or as performant as you like or even increase the lifetime by reducing the overall temperatures. One example would be the XMG core 2021 for this.
Small edit: Ram OC is possible on the intel variant. Als this is how the menus look like:

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$3,847.65 … I don’t have that much money, due to much lower salaries in this second-world country I live in (in Eastern Europe).

Which is something FrameWork could change. Not in all models, just in a gaming-oriented model.

The GPU could have it’s own powersource (with it’s own charge port), and output MUXing would make that model more expensive, but one of it’s main selling points is allowing you to get newer graphics cards than what was released when the laptop launched.

It’s not only about having a good laptop now, but about being able to swap parts with newer components, including the dedicated GPU, so you can have a better laptop in the future without having to buy a new laptop. Thoughbook did the dedicated GPU slot before, so there is proof that it can work.

But this is exactly why it would be such a good deal to gamers. Sure, you might only be allowed to run it overclocked while the power cord is plugged in, and run normally or underclocked (could be set in the bios) when the power cable is not in. But being able to have both a slightly beefier laptop for when on the go, and an overclocked workstation when “docked”, would allow people to have the best of both worlds.

So? Maybe people just want to undervolt everything, to last even longer. For example, maybe using it in a car will lead to the fans spinning unevenly past a certain RPM, and you need to run everything at a lower voltage to avoid needing to replace the fans.

Making a laptop more repairable is one thing, but making a laptop not need repairs is also very important. And if it doesn’t take that much effort to add it, why not? It would help with brand loyalty.

Not me, the people who want to buy them. Want more ports, or want more cooling? Aside for the railing for sliding the new dongle, and a port to connect that new dongle, you don’t need much more, when using the no-electronics “cooling-grill dongle”.

EOL or not, people still use it, and some people can’t completely give it up, due to some apps which only run on WIndows, even with all the compatibility layers. Many games are included, due to anticheats which don’t want to let you game those games on Linux. It’s also a mission statement about not giving up on older infrastructure.

The cheapest ones haven’t. I mean we shouldn’t exclude people who want cheap wired headsets. Many people, me included, hate recharging the headsets.

Alright, then GPD-style joysticks it is, I guess, or some other controller-joystick technology for laptops. But not having joysticks will definitely put it at a significant disadvantage, nowadays and in the foreseeable future.

Sometimes, not always, not for the cheapest ones, and it means carrying more stuff when on the go, or having more loose cables around.

That is some very good news! Thanks for sharing!

Yeah. They could sell GPU modules which have inside them everything they need. Including their own dedicated power supply, connected both to the battery (for a limited voltage), and to it’s own charge port (for less limited voltage).

And there are also owners of old devices, which simply undervolt them to make them quieter. And others which run them on limited power (i.e. full off-grid), for which energy usage is always or just sometimes very important. I could very well see seasonal gamers, which only play resource-intensive games when they have more power, like in the summer for solar, during rainy seasons if using hydro, and so on. And, due to the unpredictability of evictions in USA, a lot of people are taking that aspect into account when considering what laptop to buy. If they can have the option for both high-power-usage when wanted, and low-power-usage when needed, they can have the best of both worlds. And, with fairly small increases in price, it can check a lot more boxes in the list of niches it is useful for.

There are so many people in the world, that even if people kept using the same FrameWork laptop for 2-3 decades, there would still be plenty of new people to buy newer models. So, I believe, FrameWork should not limit itself to the same self-destructive anti-consumer planned-obsolence / planed-obsolescence methods which the competition uses. Because plenty of people are willing to spend more money to have a device able to last a lifetime, especially when everything else seems to have a hard limit of 4-5 years before they break so bad that repairing them costs more than buying a new device.

Its the question whether you want a gaming laptop or a handheld console. I don’t really see the point in tring to make a something like probably bigger than a 13.5" laptop into a handheld. If the ergonomics are off it would even result in rather bad press and thus bad opinions about the laptop overall.

I think this would drive the price too high and you would end up with a rather weird keyboard and touchpad postion. Not a fan of using a touchpad for typing numbers. Framework has already their USB c expansion card system with their current laptop. This would already be a big eyecatcher for the laptop, especially if you manage to get a rather competitive price perfromance ration in the end.

In terms of look i’m with Frosty that i prefer a conservative and clean workstation like look with a 16:10 display. I hate the “gaming” design on laptops. Maybe give it a keyboard with ARGB backlight, that way everyone can use what they like from turning it off, to using any static color, to having a rainbow effect. D-Brand skins for a custom backpanel could be an option for those like to have the option for more customizability for a few additional bucks. If possible, i would also love to see MXM GPU cards being used internaly so you might be able to upgrade the GPU in the future. GPU should preferibly be able to handle 100-130W of head load. Maybe options from 3050 to 3060 or maybe up to 3070. A 3060 at 120W has more perfromance than a 3080 at 90W, in other words cooling is more important than having the best components. A laptop with a 3080 would cost like 600$ too in comparison. The height to realise such a cooling would probably have to be around 19-23mm. All in all i could this this kind of configuration being sold at a rather afordable price

The idea with the 2 cooling solutions was just a idea that i’ve seen in a few comments here, its nothing from framework themselves :sweat_smile:

Edit: Maybe alaso add some IO on the backside of the laptop. Like one of the USB-C expansion cards. Its a great place to connect your laptop to a Monitor, to a dock or to use it for charging

Frosty likely meant other company’s intellectual property like the touchscreen-numpad combo, or dual display, or ThinkPad nub. Unless you have a patent you can’t make any claims to these ideas when most of them are from other products which likely do have patents.

A laptop with similar features would be just as expensive. ASUS doesn’t sell just one gaming laptop they have a full lineup of them so they can afford to produce a halo laptop they know won’t sell in massive numbers while making most of their money from their lower spec and priced laptops.

So far no company that has had swappable GPU laptops has supported them for more than a single generation and if they ever provided upgrades they were in limited supply and expensive. The latest modular laptop was the Alienware Area 51M (2019). It cost over $4k, weighted more than 8lbs and only had one generation of GPU and CPU support. Shortly after the M51M was released Dell stopped supporting it with GPU’s and only a few were ever available. A fully modular laptop costs more, is substantially heavier, thicker and costs more to support than a non-modular laptop.

Most people get evicted because they can’t pay rent. If eviction is a risk for someone buying a +$2k laptop, even if it’s upgradable, isn’t going to help.

Most laptops if not all of them have all the cooling the manufacturer can fit in the chassis already. When they don’t need as much cooling the fans run at lower RPM or not at all and when there is more heat generated the fan speeds are increased. Also just like another poster said:

I don’t know of a laptop who’s chassis would accommodate double the included cooling solution.

I don’t know if you read what Framework is all about, but they are not limiting their products like other manufacturers already. Framework supports independent repair. You’ll be able to get replacement parts at reasonable prices and repair shops will be able to keep the laptop going as long as the computer can run modern programs.

I feel you are reaching for the stars with your list of features and while interesting and cool they aren’t likely feasible for a first generation gaming laptop from Framework at this time.

I would suggest things that would make a regular Framework laptop a good gaming laptop like a business laptop appearance with discrete graphics capable of playing most AAA games at 1080p with minimums above 60fps. I would rather have a computer that would allow me to use office products for most of the day without needing to plug in and then once the work is done let me play some games after plugging in rather than niche features that make the laptop cost more without improving the gaming experience. Basically the same laptop, but with a 120hz display, discrete GPU, and a larger chassis that makes room for the additional components and cooling.

There are possibilities to improve the cooling perfromance without increasing the size of the cooler. They are more expensive of course but they should be able to increase the cooling to a good degree. For examples you can use vapor chambers instead of regular heatpipes.
You can use a better thermal paste or even liquid metal. I changed the thermal paste on one of my laptops once against a way better one. Before the CPU would thermal throttle from 25W to around 19W power consumption after a few minutes. With the new thermal paste (wasn’t even liquid metal), the laptop only barely thermal throttles to around 24W. Good thermal paste can make a big difference over cheap thermal paste.
You can also manufacture all the cooling fins out of cooper instead of aluminum. Maybe you can also get a better fan for more money that runs more quiet at the same throughput.

There are plenty of ways that framework could use to make a secondary more powerful cooler that could be sold additional money. When you have control over the TPD of each component you can also increase the power draw of the CPU and lower the power draw of the GPU for more CPU performance. You can also do the same for the GPU.

Space and cost is the limiting factor in a laptop cooling solution. The difference between a heat pipe and a vapor chamber is the physical size of the pipe or chamber.

Why wouldn’t they use good thermal paste in the first place? Also since the device would be easy to take apart you could just upgrade it yourself. Liquid metal isn’t a good solution in a mobile device since it tends to move around and it’s electrically conductive. The cost to implement it in a way that would be safe might not be worth it.

The tangible temperature difference between copper and aluminum in a CPU cooler isn’t significant. Look at the Cryorig C7 aluminum vs copper the difference in cooling performance isn’t that much and it’s a much larger cooler than there would be in a laptop.

A gaming laptop needs as much cooling as the chassis can fit in the first place. There wouldn’t be a place to put an additional cooler.

You’ve got a bunch of great ideas, but they aren’t new in the laptop space, people have tried them and the ideas that provided good performance, light weight, low bulk at a price that leaves them room to make a profit have stayed while the others haven’t. If Framework is going to build a gaming laptop it needs to be what most people will buy. Framework makes laptops that people can fix and making products like that takes a lot of engineering and customer support already. Once Framework is profitable they might be in a position to make a gaming laptop that does things out of the ordinary, but right now if they developed and sold a gaming laptop they would need to make one that’s good at gaming and competitive. Developing anything outside of competitive will cost more money and take longer to bring to market. Look at the design of their current laptop. Besides the reparability, which is ground breaking, they aren’t trying to reinvent anything else about laptops. Yet.

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A vapor chamber is essentially a wider heat pipe. However they do perform better than using multiple heatpipes next to each other with the same amount of space used. Downside is they are more costly of course

Don’t get me wrong, these were just a few ideas on how you could make an second cooling solution for the same laptop with better performance. For the stadard cooling solution a normal heatpipe based cooler would probably be the best solution overall to reach a competitive price point. The second cooling solution would be something you would get for paying additional money. It would be for those who either like a more quiet laptop with better temperatures or for those who like to have some headroom for increasing the TDP.

None of my ideas i mentioned are aimed at reinventing things, they are made with price in mind and are based on competitive laptops that are already on the market. You can however add more premium stuff like a second cooling solution as an optional feature for an upprice. It would kinda be like an optional OLED display that you can get on a lot of laptops. Only rather questionable feature that i would love to see would be the use off upgradable MXM GPUs as long they don’t drive up the price too much.

Thanks to the Steam Deck, that’s changing now and won’t be an issue much longer. If you are referring to much older titles, use a VM, since this beast has more than enough overhead.

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Fair enough. But then again, they could get the in-between, by having two jacks, one combo and one just for the microphone, to get the best of both worlds. If you have combo headphones jack, you use the combo jack only, if you have split headphones jacks, you use the mic jack for the mic and the combo jack for the headphones. (Just like the Evo 17s has.)

I think it’s more about being not only a great laptop, but also a decent handheld. Well, not a hand-held, a lap-help. And FrameWork could actually use the term lapheld to refer to laptop-console hybrids, and mark the official start of a new category of laptops. That alone would be more than enough to excuse for not being that good as a handheld, but still having the joysticks needed to be one.

You might not be a fan of touchpads, but many people are. As for the price increase, I disagree. Remember that this is meant as a gaming laptop with included console joysticks in the recommended config, not a “cheap gaming laptop”. I mean, it would still need to be fairly cheap, but there are some things which people either are already willing to pay for, or will be willing to pay for after they see reviews of those things being used. I think the joysticks and second screen are one such thing. And you can still use the numpad as a touchpad, but you can use a joystick as a mouse when you need to use the numpad, including when gaming.

I completely agree.

I also completely agree with having those things optional. Maybe have the RGB built into the keyboard and into the joysticks (I’m assuming they would be separate, which might not be the case), but I do think that they should have the option for adding aesthetic/visual addons for the case, which could be clipped onto the existing case, or even screwed with some brackets provided in the aesthetic-sidegrade package.

But those ports should not be teh only ports usable for that, but doubles of the side-ports instead. Doubles added by a dongle, for example. Why? Because of how annoying it is to reach behind the laptop placed on the desk, trying to stick something into a port or find the right thing to get out of a port, or fumble with the connection until it connects properly. Believe me, I know.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen any other laptops both 2 built-in screens, which have a conventional keyboard (instead of dual-screen with one screen doubling as a touchscreen keyboard), and doesn’t have the other screen on the opposite side of the first screen when deployed (even if they hinge our or slide out to face the user). The ROG Duo’s second screen doesn’t use any more desk space than if you were to not use that second screen.

Fair enough. But then again, it would make it a lot more appealing to users who want the desktop experience in a laptop, interms of upgradeability. And, as long as the team releases plans for how the users can make their own makeshift-homemade GPU modules from off-the-shelf parts (which other companies will provide, if there is enough demand, just like off-brand batteries, for example) for other GPUs than the ones provided at the time of the launch, it would mean that even if people are unable to buy new GPU modules from FrameWork, they would still be able to buy them from people or companies which still make them.

Most people who get evicted get evicted because they lost the job which helped them pay rent, and many of those could afford a +$2k laptop before they lost their job. Just like many of those who get evicted still have an expensive car or expensive smartphone. (Besides, before people start complaining about the smartphones, having a smartphone is critical to today’s homeless people, in the western world. Because even without a phone number, they can have an expired SIM card to do emergency calls, and they can use free wifi to stay in touch with family and the authorities, and stay informed about the latest news, both personal and impersonal (local, national, international), so they could possibly get a job and a place to stay, or know to leave the area if it’s a wildfire or tsunami evacuation order or high-risk tsunami/wildfire warning, for example. Thank you for reading my TedTalk.)

And that’s exactly why you need to design a new laptop chassis for it. I mean, there are gaming laptops with beefy cooling, but they have equally beefy components, so the laptop I suggested would have significantly beefier cooling than the already-beefy components. For a gaming laptop, the volume it occupies isn’t as much of a concern. And it could even come as a module which replaces the default bottom cover of the laptop, if need be. You might even need to replace the fans and thermal paste on the CPU, to get beefier cooling, but I think it would be better to have it included by default, for two reasons: (1) less modules means lower production price, as mentioned above by someone (I genuinely forgot who), and (2) because people will push it as close to the limit as they can, and the longer the laptop lasts with it’s workforce not taking a hit (like how GPUs and CPUs which are strained for a long time lost a fair part of their performance), the more brand loyalty the brand will get (like how Toyota cars are known to be a lot longer lasting than most other car manufacturers’ cars because they have so many of their vehicles which reached a million miles with the initial engine and chassis and gearbox/transmission).

Fair enough. It doesn’t need to be the first one, to be fair. It could be the second. But if it comes too late after the Steam Deck console, then there will likely be too much competition for their first attempt to be a good enough console-laptop hybrid for the market at the time. I mean, the less competition there is, the more possible earnings there are. And because preorders exist, if there’s a working prototype ready to be launched, then the preorder moeny could be used to show the interest in the product, which could be used to advertize the product even more, which could lead to even more increased demand, especially due to it’s current track record of delivering and due to all the hype and reviews of the product. Heck, just having Linus or Linus Tech Tips test it next to a steam deck and other handheld laptops, as well as next to some gaming laptops with external controllers, would be enough of a promotion to get people hyped about it, even if it were not-all-that-good at the time, being a first generation lapheld and all that. And not only that, but since Linus is a backer, he could get early-preview units for review, which could help the hype even more, by letting the people see the prototype and think together of what would be the best ways to fix the possible problems. Just like the Steam Deck console is likely to have two charging ports, after Linus and many others pointed out the need for that.

Because off-the-shelf thermal paste (especially good one) is expensive. But that’s why the youtube channel Tech Ingredients made a video testing homemade thermal paste (not thermal glue, like what Linus already tested) which is much cheaper than the price of an equal-performance store-bought thermal paste and announcing that a new video is in the works to show how it’s made and the science/logic behind it, so you could use things available to you locally and in terms of price, to make the best thermal paste you can for the price you can afford.

This could lead to some savings in that department. Apparently, some of that new thermal pastes have been sent to Linus for testing already, so FrameWork could be notified to get in touch with said youtube channel for acquiring the rights to use their thermal-paste formula for an adequate price.

Oh, but it is quite ordinary to have bigger laptops with more cooling built into them. They just need to add a bit more cooling, to make them overclockable, and ideally to add in-chassis support for changing the CPU and adding a GPU inside the case with it’s own charging port for not over-straining the battery. Which isn’t a far-stretch, as a natural upgrade of what already exists on the market.

Which is why FrameWork should go with the more-voluminous option of cheaper cooling using bigger heat pipes without vapor chambers.

Not only that, but since you would need to make replaceable cooling designs, you might as well go the extra mile and make the CPU (actually APU) replaceable, as well, by default, to get even more support from the users. I mean, if you cram a lot of great features in the same product, which have never been seen before together in such a product, then people are more likely to excuse you for having a few things which aren’t as good as they could be, especially if you’re first to the market, especially if they’re still decently usable.

I agree about the Steam Deck console. And that would actually be a very good point about using a VM, if said anticheats weren’t also detecting if you use a VM.

Setup configs:

In my opinion, for heavy gaming, you would want the base laptop with a dedicated graphics card, the keyboard with touchscreen-numpad combo, a second screen (which can be turned off) which to help with the airflow and to allow you to follow guides or have a chat window opened while full-screen-gaming, not that much IO to leave room for more cooling instead (and using USB dongles to use more ports than you have), and the keyboard having included indented joysticks and sliders instead of analogue triggers/buttons (spring-loaded).

To the left of Tab and ~ could be one slivder, and below it, to the left of Shift and Ctrl could be another slider, and the same on the right side of the keyboard and left side of the touchpad-numpad-combo. A joystick could above Right and to the right of Up arrows, and another one could be to the left of Esc and push it and the F1-F12 keys to the right. Maybe even have F13-F24 above the F1-F12, and have the joystick to the left of F13 and above Esc.

This would allow you to have a clutch, a break, an acceleration, and a handbreak, in the case of racing games, while still using a joystick for left-right and the other for looking around.

For designing, it would probably be similar, but maybe with a different CPU and GPU (depending on your workload). For non-heavy gaming, you can use more ports instead of more cooling, or maybe even use the integrated graphics or a slimmer (in terms of using ports/cooling space) graphics card. The F13-F24, joysticks, and sliders, would be very useful for both design and gaming, since it would allow binding more keys to gaming or design actions.

This would please both the handheld-console gamers, and the thinkpad-like-joystick lovers, asides from gamers who use a controller in games, and designers and streamers which need an extra keyboard to add more shortcuts and actions.


There could be a keyboard without joysticks and sliders and one with them, if you really want, but I believe that having a single version with the sliders and joysticks might actually be cheaper. The same can be said about having both a combo jack and separate microphone and speakers jacks, and it would also allow people to listen to different things happenning on different screens (i.e. one person gaming on the normal screen and one on the wide-short screen). The screen could be replaceable with a vent with fans, or with speakers with fans.

The graphics card could be replaced with a vent with a fan, or with a slimmer graphics card with a smaller vent with a bigger fan, or with a bunch of ports, or with a slimmer graphics card with a smaller fan and a few ports. or with a smaller vent with a fand and a few ports (though realistically you only need a vent with ports, a full graphics card, and a slim graphics card with ports).

A CD/DVD drive could be replaced with a bay which allows 2 laptop HDDs (or same-sized SSDs) and a bunch of normal and slim M.2 drives (eventually with a small fan which can fit into one of the SSD slots to cool the M,2 SSDs, especially if they have heatsinks), or with an extra battery.

These two MSI laptops just got reviewed by Dave2D:

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I think most of this is way overkill. I simply need a modular machine just like the regular framework with lots of configurable IO lot on the regular framework, plenty of cooling, a high refresh rate option is nice but not required, and a dedicated GPU. Joysticks on a 17-inch laptop will be hilariously unusable. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re not in the laptop market, buy a steam deck and call it a day. Dual monitors are, again, hilariously unneeded, cool, but not needed in the slightest.

A huge portion of the laptop market quite simply just needs dedicated GPU horsepower in addition to a nice CPU for whatever workloads require it. Anything more than that is really specialized and unnecessary.

I’d also like this to not cost me 5 grand, please and thank you.

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Alright, I thought more, and it would be better to have one joystick between Esc and F1, and one which to be on the same row, one between the right-most two keys. OR you could include the F13-F24 keys, and have the joysticks between F13 and F14 and between F23 and F24.

And having the second row of function keys means that you can use the F13 and F24 keys to switch between the following modes:

  1. Joystick mode.
  2. Mouse mode.
  3. Horizontal slider mode.
  4. Vertical slider mode.
  5. Rotating “volume wheel” mode. (You would need to go to one side, to set that as a starting point, then move the joystick in a circle around it’s axis, to rotate the volume wheel.)

You could also probably fit a horizontal slider above the joysticks, and a vertical slider to the left and to the right of the keyboard, which to help in games where analog triggers are used for things like speed control, pitch control, and so on.

Also, as time passes, I’m more and more of a fan for the double touchpad design of the Steam Deck, so it would be interesting if we had an option to have that, above the joysticks, or closer to the inside of the laptop than the joysticks are.

And it can also use a thin RJ-45 (internet) cable, which to basically be the normal cable but flattened, and to come with 2 adapters in the box, then I’m sure all the other laptop manufacturers will end up using that idea, and PCs will likely soon follow the trend.

Also, I think each replaceable piece with “gamer” parts should come with a simpler variant, for non-gamers. For example, you could have a keyboard with joysticks and sliders and second Function row, as well as a plain old boring keyboard. Also, you could have a headphones jack module with 3 headphone jacks, as well as one with only the combo jack and one only the 2 separate headphones/speakers and microphone jacks, and maybe also a module with SD + MicroSD card reader, for the same slot. Also, you could have the joysticks on separate dongles, and have them replaceable with speaker dongles, but the sliders should still be included in the gamer keyboard, or you could have joysticks both in the keyboard assembly and in the speakers slots, or have 4-keys (i.e. D-pads) instead of the speakers, with some cheap and small speakers in the leftover space, so you have some sound, even if it doesn’t sound good.

And I still think people will buy the laptop even if it’s thick, if it’s fairly lightweight in at least one configuration. If people need the ligthweightness, they will buy that config. If people need the beefy gaming laptop, they will buy that config. If they need both, they will buy one config and the dongles to turn it into another config. And a second screen could still feet above the keyboard assembly, especially if you get two touchpads next to the joysticks, so you don’t need a bigger touchpad to replace the numpad, but that could be another configuration. So you could have for the keyboard assembly a numpad with no touchpad, or a numpad-touchpad combo, or neither.

I also think that the laptop should be offered for sale with the following RAM configs, but at worst it can ship with 8GB and leave the expansion to the consumers: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and (depending on the platform), 256GB of RAM. Sure, people might not need all that RAM, but some might want it, even if only as a L2 read-cache for the data drivers (SSDs, external HDDs, etc.). Alternatively, it could ship in only 4GB (for the el-cheapo) and 16GB configs, so people who know they will replace the RAM will not have to worry about paying for RAM they know they won’t use, but still have 4 GB of RAM for the laptop to work decently without replacing the RAM.

Speaking of which, it would be nice if Framework developed or funded the development of an app which to be inspired by the paid PrimoCache app, but which to offer for free at least one L2 cache (using one drive to cache another drive or set of partitions) and one L1 cache (using RAM to cache another drive or set of partitions). This way, people could use a precious 1x16 slot to have up to 8 SSDs in 1x4 configuration (like the M.2 SSDs, if I’m not mistaken) in Raid 0 as the caching partition using cheap low-capacity SSDs, to speed up slower drives. Just please don’t have or make it more difficult to enable the write caching, so people don’t risk losing data in the case of an unexpected restart or crash.

So how about that new Framework Laptop 16?

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It’s so close to being perfect!

Now we only need side-modules with touchpads and flat joysticks and maybe also 4-buttons, for the sides of the keyboard, AND a shorter keyboard with sliders, a second row of function keys with included joysticks (even if knob-style), and a numpad and numpad-touchpad-combo with included joysticks, AND the possibility to move the keyboard to the bottom and add a hinged screen on the other side, as well as a dongle/device to turn those extra pieces we might have into USB devices (so we have a use for them). And a dongle with 3 headphone jacks, 1 combo, 1 mic, and 1 headphones/speaker, which to be compatible with existing dongle ports.

Such a device would likely become the to-go device for a lot more gamers, because the competition doesn’t have joysticks and touchpads like the steamdeck, in a 16" form-factor, and the only alternative is the GPD WinMax2, which doesn’t have great reviews for repairability and quality.

Ideally, this could lead to an alterantive to the GPD WinMax2, as well, as the Steam Deck, in the form of a small handheld laptop which to have larger modules which to be symetrical so you can use the same hardware for both sides, just rotated, with the possibility to add more ports, joysticks + 4-buttons, batteries, built-in charger with a short wire to the power plug for trickle-charge, up to 4 half-size M.2 SSDs with a low-profile fan (which could even be a mechanical bellowing fan which to work similarly to someone fanning with their hands, by having the fan blade(s) moved by two circles moving at the same speed with the connection points offset by between 2 and 20 degrees, or more simply by a squirrel-cage fan which to be used to route the air to all major faces of the SSDs), fingerprint readers, battery bay for store-bought AAA batteries (for when other means of charging aren’t available locally), a wheel with 2 siders on the side and maybe a few buttons (useful for productivity apps, as well as for racing games or driving games), a SIM tray area with a built-in telescopic antenna for satellite connection, and maybe even the idea from the next paragraph, which is so important I’m putting it in a new paragraph:

A telescopic antenna which could slide out and slide around to make an antenna which could be used to connect mobile towers, other similar antennas for connecting PCs, or even to SkyNet, pardon me, StarLink (which is a net in the sky, technically), at reduced speeds.

Sure, for the last part, you might need to get in touch with StarLink, to work out a way to implement this, even if it has lower latency and lower maximum bandwidth, but even without it, being able to easily connect to a different PC using a similar dongle, with one of the PCs hosting a hotspot wifi network the other can connect to, would have huge benefits for some people.

Especially if the antenna could then be rotated with precision using other telescopic parts, and fixed into position for a reliable connection. It could work similar to how those more expensive antennas which the LTT companies use to connect their two buildings to the same internet connection, but for a much cheaper price, and at much lower speeds, even if it’s over a lot smaller distances than allowed by the antennas in use by LTT.

You might think this is a different product than what FrameWork focuses on, and you would be right, but it would work so well with existing FrameWork devices and with future handheld FrameWork devices, and it would help expand FrameWork into multiple fields for more income sources, which will be a lot more beneficial for FrameWork than not making such a product.

Another idea would be having such a medium-sized dongle (small = dongles from the previous laptop; large = dongles from the back of the current 16-inch laptop (the one with a GPU), medium = the one I suggested, which could work well with a handheld laptop with joysticks, 4-buttons, and maybe folding triggers which could double as a stand) would be a portable microphone and maybe camera, with an included antenna, which could be moved to a desirable location for diagnostics. Mechanics and technicians will most likely find this feature very useful while trying to diagnose problems.

CPU sockets are necessary for a gaming laptop or portable working station. These types of laptops provide much more space to make it possible. It is unfortunate to see the laptop CPU sockets disappear because of many reasons. An integrated motherboard could be a rational solution for normal laptops but not for high performance laptops.

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