The Evolution of the Framework Laptop DIY Edition

Like a Jedi assembles their own lightsaber, a PC enthusiast at some point needs the opportunity to build their own PC. Historically that has been limited to desktops. We knew with the modularity of the Framework Laptop that we could bring that experience to notebooks. We decided to create a gaming PC-like experience with the Framework Laptop DIY Edition where you can choose from a broader array of modules and operating systems and assemble them together yourself. If any of this sounds daunting, we have pre-built Framework Laptop options that are ready to use out of the box, like any other consumer notebook.

When we initially developed the DIY Edition, the plan was to deliver the product to your doorstep packaged as individual modules. It quickly became apparent that there were two major flaws with this plan. The first is that it takes way more packaging material and physical space to safely ship a kit of parts individually packed than the same set of modules pre-assembled into the shape of a notebook. The second is that, incredibly enough, notebooks can ship from China to the US with no added tariffs, but almost all of the modules individually would be stuck with huge import duties. As a result of both of these, we’re shipping the DIY Edition packaged as a partially-assembled laptop. The memory, storage, WiFi, and Expansion Cards are the parts that will be individually packaged during shipment, and you can follow the Quick Start Guide to get set up quickly.

There is still a super easy way to get the original DIY Edition experience if you want it though. As soon as you unbox your Framework Laptop DIY Edition, you can use the Framework Screwdriver included in the box to quickly pull the system apart into the major modules and then assemble it back together. To do this you can follow the steps in the Mainboard Replacement Guide. Enjoy!


Not a big deal, putting it together was a neat novelty idea but the real draw of the DIY for me was simply leaving out the socketable components to fill myself.

The real world is a strange place right now.


Glad to see the headphone jack is not soldered to the Mother board. :grinning:

Oh well, it’ll save some time at this end :slight_smile: But it def. makes sense for the two reasons you gave, shipping (I had been wondering about that!) and import taxes. A friend taking an MBA once remarked on how surprised many of the classmates were to find out how much effect taxation has on the way things work out!

So I guess all your laptops are assembled in China then shipped to you? Eventually you’re going to be shipping mostly parts though, right? I mean once customers have their first case they would only be buying parts for upgrades. How much will this affect motherboard prices in the future?

As an additional question. What prices are you looking at for just a motherboard upgrade/replacement once the marketplace is up?

What about shipping to Asia? Would the notebook be shipped to the US first before shipping to Asia or would it it be shipped directly from China which I assume would incur lower rates?

That story sounds a little like what Ford did when bringing in the little Transit Connect vehicles.
Trucks are classed and taxed differently from cars on import so they included cheap jump seats in the back. This allowed the vehicles to be imported as cars.
The seats were removed and shipped back to the manufacturer so that they could be re-used.

Maybe they can sell themselves full laptops and disassemble them outside China for shipping parts. LOL

US Customs strongly discourages doing anything like that :slight_smile:

That is correct that this is currently a US-specific issue, and other countries have other tariff schemes that we need to work through.

We will be offering replacement parts regardless, including replacement and upgrade mainboards, since that is core to our product philosophy. We’re investigating ways to avoid excessive import costs to the US on those parts.


I’m glad to hear this since Germany (and therefore the EU too, I assume) has the same tariff exception for assembled notebooks, but not for parts. It might be wise to partner with at least one distributor per tariff scheme for the latter, might be one for the EU. Or you could found your own of course.

@nrp I’m assuming the reduction in varieties won’t be significant enough to move up the shipping dates for batches 1 and 2, but can we also assume it won’t lead to any delays either? Thx

There is no impact on the current production. This is a change we made earlier this year.


My order is for a DIY edition in Phase 1. You explained in the blog that the laptops will have to be assembled in China to avoid higher tariffs. I imagine this can only be done after we have confirmed the detail of our orders and paid for them. Assuming they then have to be shipped in bulk to you, will it still be possible for you to ship DIY orders to customers by the end of July (3 weeks away)?

The confirmation is to make sure everyone has the right shipping address and payment method set (in case they moved or changed banks). It’s still possible to reach out to support to request a modification to the items in the order, but changing the laptop selection itself would potentially result in delaying the order.

1 Like