I was curious if anyone else noticed this problem. I’ve seen complaints about wobbly hinges, but my Framework doesn’t have wobbly hinges. Well, the moving part of the hinge (pin + knuckle) doesn’t wobble, it requires a decent amount of force to rotate.
What causes wobbling for me is that the entire top cover assembly flexes quite a bit. When opening or closing it, the top cover bends by about 1cm (measured at the top of the screen), before the hinge starts to rotate.
Whenever I move the laptop, the screen wobbles for a couple of seconds. But the hinge is not rotating, it’s entirely because the cover is flexing then bouncing back and forth.
By comparison, on my T480s, the cover bends only 1-2mm before the hinge starts to rotate. Its hinge is a little less tight, and its top cover is more rigid. The part of the hinge that attaches to the top cover is also beefier.
So the problem as I see it the combination of a fairly tight hinge with a not very rigid cover and/or relatively weak hinge leaf. (I can’t really tell how much it’s the cover itself bending, or the leaf part of the hinge.)
If anything it seems to me the hinge should be looser, not tighter (as some other discussions have mentioned), though that may introduce other problems.
It’s not a huge problem, the laptop mostly just sits still on my desk anyway, but it worries me a little bit for the longevity of the screen when I see it flex that much every time I open or close the lid.
Hi and welcome to the forum
You mean your hinge is too tight, clearly not ‘the’ hinge in general, as you alluded to others saying it is too loose.
My screen seems perfectly fine. I’ve only had it a month or so (Batch 8)
The screen does seem a bit flimsy, but the hinge is fine opening a dozen or two a day and the screen doesn’t flex even 0.5mm ??? There’s a slight curve/bend in the top/screen of less than 1mm convex in the middle and that doesn’t change much on opening.
You’re right maybe it’s just my hinge, there can be variation.
To be clear what I’m measuring is how much the top of the screen travels before the hinge “gives”. Like, I can move the webcam 1cm towards or away from me, without rotating the hinge - it returns to initial position when I let go (after bouncing a bit). Most of the flex seems to be at the bottom (but that would be the hinge bending, not rotating), the screen bends / curves a bit too, but less than 1mm for sure.
I’m sure it’s fine! It’s good to have the hinge nice and tight so you can move the laptop about while the screen is open and it doesn’t drift open or shut.
Ah! Yes that I have all exactly as you say. Much clearer now, but now I’m also worrying about the top fracturing after all aluminium is a rather brittle.
Still I imagine it has been tested to open thousands of time, but over the years Hmmm!
I’m sure it’s fine under normal use, and if I have to replace one part 3 years from now because of it, at least it’s repairable since it’s a Framework. But it doesn’t feel great, the rest of the laptop is so solid, the screen just feels a bit flimsy in comparison.
Aluminium by itself is rather ductile really. You’re probably thinking various aluminium alloys…
That isn’t my experience in building bike frames some 45 years ago, we would avoid aluminium or alloy frames as they would crack under repeated stress. We would use ideally a 531 steel which is lightweight and used in aircraft.
More modern alloys are no doubt a lot better as there are a number of recognisable aluminium alloy bike frames.
So hopefully the lid won’t snap off some day and having to replace a whole screen for that reason would be embarrassing.
I think I would, maybe have to one day glue a structural strip of material across the bottom of the screen.
+1 for old steel bike frames
+2 if they’re lugged
Hopefully we are not putting our laptops through the kind of physical stress a bicycle is meant to endure.
Flex in a thin and long piece (even carbon fiber sheets) is quite normal. Even glass flex. Let alone the aluminum backed “top assembly”.
To reduce flex, you can reduce the stiffness in the hinge, which cannot be done on the Framework because the hinge is not adjustable. However, a hinge too loose will, well, not stiff enough to prop up the display in a appropriate angle.
The Thinkpad have a less tall display (16:9/16:10) compared to Framework’s 3:2, which reduce the length the force have to travel to get to the hinge, but also the center of mass, which means the hinge can be more loose without affecting its ability to hold the display against gravity.
Is the flex/wobble significant?
Although vey true
a) carbon fibre is designed like that, to be flexible, it is spun
b) glass is actualy a liquid with inherent fluidity and will distort under it’s own weight
but sure I have no concerns the aluminium alloyed lid is going to crack anytime soon, but the issue has been raised and is not to be dismissed completely.
Most carbon pieces (on cars, bike, drones) are made inflexible, extremely rigid, and brittle. However, if you order sheets (rather than tubes/brackets/whatever), you can see that you can flex the sheet ever so slightly (without any permanent damage/deform) because, as I mentioned, a thin sheet of (anything) will be able to undergo elastic deformation. Ok, maybe beside ceramics and concrete.
Yes it won’t. Metals are highly elastic, especially thin sheets of them. Especially given the small magnitude (e.g. 1cm per 20cm of material)
Maybe after 10 million times microcracks will start to form. But by that time its probably been through the third-hand market already.
That was meant to be (is’nt going to crack anytime soon) but now the idea it out in the public environment it’s just a matter of time and time is relative to the observer.
Human experience doesn’t change material science:
Aluminium: Specifications, Properties, Classifications and Classes (azom.com)
Material science is an accumulation of experience, human or otherwise.
It’s simple arithmetic. Experience adds to knowledge it doesn’t change it. You can learn from experience.
However to often I see comments that bring in arguments against the OP’s original idea ~ that the flexing is somewhat of a concern and I have to agree.
I expect aluminium to fracture if bent a lot form experience another persons knowledge may be considered relative to their experience but such discussions are moot as no one yet has a screen backing that has cracked.
We are addressing the issue that it is or was of concern, that is and experience not to be put down.
Getting really off-topic. Alumnium isn’t brittle, that’s it. Regardless of your years of… Add this to the knowledge base. (Experience and knowledge are not grown linearly)
The concern really is to address hinge stiffness and cover flex in a coherent manner. (Just so you know, there are aluminium alloy springs, by design, made to flex with a given load, over and over. i.e. Just because something is made with aluminium, it doesn’t immediately means it’s unsuitable to flex)
As I said experience is the key not what others tell you.
So my history is in electronics and mechanics. No dogma will overide that.
Reynolds 531 tubing is lightweight steel used for aircraft and quality bikes. Old school. Now there are alloys that are far more viable. But history is history.
However other than having to defend my experience today I picked up the laptop rather quickly, after spilling beer on the table, and the lid ‘slipped’ back, so yes more friction in the hinges at some angle would be useful.
A cam or eliptical hinge bearing could be fashioned that once the lid is open over 100° more friction occurs.
Ooh, I like that idea!
I think it would be nice if the hinge were adjustable. If there were a user-accessible screw or bolt, people could tighten or loosen it to whatever extent they like. This might be especially useful if the hinge loosens over time, as some have suggested.
Yes the cam can be separate from the hinge and be user adjustable
Aluminum alloy (e.g. 6061, 7005) are more brittle (they can flex less and, as a result, can crack, as you mentioned) while steel is much more flexible.
However, aluminum is much less prone to rusting (which is why they are used on electronics, where applying paint become an annoyance).
Imagine having to apply paint to metal parts on a laptop, and if you accidentally introduce dinks and cracks the entire thing start to rust. Eeeehhhhh… …
And their “brittle-ness” mean that they keep their shape better (rather than bending), which is beneficial in thin structures (e.g. display assembly) where minimum flex is desired and being relative lightweight.
Ideal bike frames are titanium as they are rust-resistant, strong, lightweight, and flexible. But they cost a bomb, which is about the only downside