First, congratulations to Framework, all the team and people involved. Everything unpacked, plugged together and installed with zero issues, very very impressive.
I am late to the party as I bought a laptop right at the time of Framework’s first time to market and I cowardly felt it needed a few years to bed in (incase y’know… it didn’t work out).
Once my weirdly good OLED ASUS Zenbook Flip 13 ux363 i7-1165G7 16gb was starting to show the signs of fatigue (sticky keys, perceptible chugginess (in Windows) and I had a case of shopitus) I started researching what features a replacement laptop might have.
Coincidentally my laptop criteria became 32gb of ram, a screen aspect ratio outside of the 16:9 rut and a bit more general oompf. I generally researched larger laptops (orbiting the LG Gram 16), but those all didn’t have enough practical difference, still 16:9ish, 16Gb ram, intel Xe etc, I’d just be buying the same laptop but newer (but less sticky) and more expensive, what was the point?
Anyways, Framework announced the AMD model, and I waited for real world reviews to understand the potential improvement on a purely mechanical level, the repairable laptop feels pretty much matured, so I thought stuff it, let’s go.
Got it (7040U, DIY, Framework components, no shenanigans), unpacked it, 5 minutes later (no exaggeration, that’s including taking photos) had it all stuck together, being sure to be easy on unscrewing the ssd screw and to inspect the cables around the hinge and applying the bezel bottom left and out (based on general forum vibes). I didn’t even have time to have a sip of wine in quiet contemplation. I admit I didn’t not read the full manual, just went on what I’d seen and I have a reasonable amount of experience shoving hardware together over the last 30 years or so.
Another 10 mins later had a fully functional Fedora 39 installed and updated from a USB stick I prepared earlier. My only slight linuxy issue is Fedora decided to not set the latest updated kernel as the default, stuck to 6.5.3 instead of 6.6.4 causing what I think is a post suspend oddity, that seems to have cleared now I’m booting into 6.6.4 by default (thanks grubby).
The Fedora journey started ages again when my Thinkpad X250 was on its last legs (in the end it literally snapped in half), so I’ve been dual booting since then on and off, and now we all live in a browser, the OS is less and less significant to my day to day, and any applications I use are fortunately open source/multiplatform, plus I have Windows on a NUC to remote to in a pinch (and that can grind away and update itself to it heart’s content).
My main concerns were the screen response time and contrast ratio. Going from OLED to LCD is quite startling but the matte screen and aspect ratio seems to evening out the transition. Also getting use to a slightly different keyboard layout, but that’s par for the course for any laptop change, “print screen” as a function or F2 as a function, it’s a muscle memory thing really, plus the framework keyboard is way spacier, travellier and clickier than the ASUS.
The final concern is if Intel’s next gen Xe is game changing or not, but usually Intel’s pricing is a little eye watering and their first gen a little spicy, and now I’ve got a framework I can make an informed decision and change the mainboard (in a few years).