The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (around one year with DIY 11th Gen Intel)

The Good

  • Modular ports based on USB-C. I change them all the time for travel, drone and photography shoots, working from home, etc. Being able to change the ports configuration has been amazing. Everything should have this and anyone not looking into this is an idiot.
  • All the Framework stuff that made me want to buy it in the first place which has held true (great documentation, DIY options where you can bring your own parts, first class support for Linux, marketplace for parts, upgradable, environmentally friendly relatively speaking).
  • The driver installers for Windows are amazing. That’s the best experience I’ve ever had installing drivers. Download one file, run it, everything else just works. Why does everyone else do such a shitty job of this? Setting up drivers on any other brand of laptop is a many hour ordeal instead of a ten minute thing.

The Bad

  • The battery life is okay. It’s not unusable or anything terrible but it’s the worst battery life I’ve experienced in a while for a laptop. Comparing it to a ThinkPad T470 which was my machine prior to this one.
  • BIOS battery issues required a considerable amount of time to resolve. Please correct me if I’m wrong on this one. The BIOS battery is rechargeable but can get completely drained in some circumstances like infrequent use over a long period of time. There was a few months where I didn’t use the laptop and had to take it apart to remove the BIOS battery and reinstall it. The good thing is they had great instructions for this (thank you Framework!) and other brands of laptops would’ve required an RMA for this kind of thing.
  • The screen is a bit flimsy. There’s an upgrade for this which I will likely purchase at some point but it could’ve been sorted out from the get go. I would be more miffed by this under normal circumstances where the manufacturer wouldn’t offer an upgrade like Framework has.

The Ugly

  • Intel is behind the game but it’s all that is offered. I bought a Framework laptop knowing it was behind the game in some regards and I don’t regret it but I also hope they have something better to offer next time I buy one (which I almost certainly will buy another one in the future).
  • The odd form factor for the screen makes it hard to find cases and bags that fit well. As a user I love the aspect ratio of the screen but there are very few options for protecting the laptop on the go that are good (more relevant since the screen is a bit flimsy). It would be nice if a padded hard/durable case were offered that fit the laptop shape better so it could be thrown into a bag without worry of it get getting crushed or bent.

Overall, yes, I’d buy it again. None of these things are hot takes at this point but maybe useful for someone. It has issues and quirks but pretty much everything does if you use it long enough. I appreciate what Framework is doing and I look forward to see where it goes. Next time I got to buy a laptop it’ll probably be a Framework if they keep it up and improve things. Items listed below would make me more likely to buy again in the future.

The Wishlist (bonus category)

  • AMD processor options since they’re simply better in a lot of ways right now. May or may not be the case in the future.
  • Better battery life whether it be more efficient hardware or a bigger battery (or both).
  • More robust build so I don’t have to think about transportation and logistics as much.
  • Better/sturdier cases in case the build doesn’t get more robust. It’s good to have a super thin and light option but having super sturdy cases that fit well would give an option for everyone (super light or super tough, choose your own adventure).
  • Another product tier with a focus on any or all of the following: performance, robustness, battery life, multimedia focused features in general. The ultralight category is good enough for me for most tasks but if a mobile workstation category were offered I would seriously consider it since it’s more inline with my computing needs.

You are not wrong the ML 1220 has a 17mAh life and can last about 3 weeks. Apparently the new 12th boards have the ability to keep it charged from the main battery.

I use a slightly oversized 14/15" bag that I’ve adjusted that gets stuffed in my backpack.

It has two pockets. In the front I put a thin piece of 3ply plywood and the laptop goes in the back pocket with the lid towards the front whilst the back is to the back of the backpack.

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