What’s new in this year’s Framework Laptop 13: Part 2 (refinements)

In the last blog post, we went through the biggest changes we’ve made this year on the Framework Laptop 13: the new display, hinges, and battery. There are also a range of smaller changes we’ve made to improve the overall user experience of the Framework Laptop 13, especially when it comes to ease of repair. The biggest one to call out is that we’ve designed a new WiFi bracket that holds the antenna cables onto the WiFi card when handling it! If you’ve ever had to install an M.2 WiFi card, you probably have tears of joy streaming down your face as you’re reading this. This makes Mainboard swaps much easier, as you can keep the antenna cables securely connected to the card.

There is also an interesting side-grade we’re bringing into the Framework Laptop 13 (13th Gen Framework Laptop), putting in the Speaker Kit - 80dB that we first introduced in 2022 in the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition. These speakers are louder overall, especially in the frequency ranges where voice typically is, but they are weaker when it comes to low frequency response. Given the importance of hearing speech in conference calls and videos, we believe this was the right tradeoff to take. If you ever want the original Speaker Kit though, you can pick it up in the Framework Marketplace. For the Framework Laptop 13 (AMD Ryzen 7040 Series), we’re keeping the original Speaker Kit, but still achieving greater loudness by using a new audio CODEC chip, the RealTek ALC295. Long time Framework fans may remember this as the original CODEC we started with in 2021 before component shortages forced us to move to a different one. We’ve been able to source it again, and have software support now to be able to better utilize it too.

Another smaller change we’ve made is not populating the RTC battery by default. With 12th Gen, we made the RTC battery optional, and with 13th Gen and 7040 Series, we’re shipping without it. This reduces environmental impact, but also lets us comply with new regulations around child safety for coin cell batteries. The impact of this is that your system clock will reset if you unplug the main battery, but your OS will pull the latest date and time when it next connects to a network time server. For standalone Mainboard use without a main battery, you can also pick up an RTC battery in the Framework Marketplace in the near future. 13th Gen uses a bare ML1220 coin cell, while 7040 Series uses one on a two-pin connector.

As always, these upgrades are available both as part of the new Framework Laptop 13 and individually in the Framework Marketplace for existing Framework Laptop owners. We’re excited to see what you think, and we’re happy to prove that it’s possible to build products that can actually improve over time!


Still no Coreboot…

The other stuff sounds good though.


Looks cool!

What does ‘better’ mean in this case?


I’m assuming Realtek Control Panel but I’m not sure… I’m curious too!

Not including the Audio Chip right? IIRC it’s on the mainboard itself.


Here’s the constructive feedback:
“Better” is neither here nor there: It’s not technically specific for tech personnel, nor is it informing non-tech people what benefit they could expect (user experience?).

Be at least more specific in one of the two camps would provide [informative] benefit to someone.


Would the RealTek ALC295 chip have any effect on the background noise (hiss) on the 3.5mm headphone jack? I have a late-2022 Framework and I would buy an audio board swap in an instant if it could get rid of the background hiss which is quite noticeable on my headphones.

EDIT: (to clarify my question after two replies below) I’m asking whether this audio chip would be a modification of the $14 audio board kit sold on the marketplace, and whether it would affect the 3.5mm headphone jack. I’m not a particular audiophile, I’ve just never owned another phone or laptop that produced a noticeable background hiss. One of my only (small) annoyances with my framework, which I’d be willing to drop $25 to fix.


I would suggest if you are serious about audio on your laptop, then you get a decent USB DAC dongle to handle that. Easily fixed and cheaper than a new mainboard or any future Framework USB DAC (adding the massive postage costs). A Creative Play4 works wonders and is staggeringly cheap. Even works on mic input too with noise cancellation.


Agree with this. Maybe just grab the Audeze Maxwell and call it a day. If your headphone budget is more serious than that, then it’s very likely you already have an equally (sufficiently) serious DAC/amp budget too.

I can see a coin cell in the picture in the upper right corner, are now 2 coin cells used? One for RTC and another one for CMOS?

Depends on what headphones you currently have, maybe we can recommend an alternative headphone. Let us know what you currently have.

Alternatively, you might want to give the Apple USB-C 3.5mm dongle a go. It’s decent. But without knowing what headphones you currently have, it may not pair well. (pair as in Is impedance or sensitivity more influential in hiss for an IEM? | Headphone Reviews and Discussion - Head-Fi.org)

I wonder if this chip gets rid of the beep sound when you start playing music and when you end playing music. It is not audible with cheap earbuds, but with mid grade and higher end over the ear headphones it is reminiscent of the built in speaker on a PC at boot. Really annoying, and likewise I would gladly pay $25 to fix that, instead of being told it is just how the replacement chip works…I get they had to ship with something but it feels like buying a Ferrari and you have the cheapest stereo you could throw in from Best Buy. It diminshes the premium feel of the laptop.

Would I be able to easily get that new wifi bracket with my upgrade kit, or will i need to wait for it to show up on the marketplace? I’d love to get two for both my boards when the second one arrives!

I personally hear that noise on both a Sennheiser HD25-1 II and a Beyerdynamic DT880. It starts as soon as the audio output becomes active.

Looking at your post history, it seems that you’re on the 12th gen with the Tempo 92HD95B?

I’m using the Realtek ALC295 with the 11th gen. As a data point, I did a blind test with the following Youtube video (play, pause, resume) using a few closed back headphones (NAD HP50, DT1350…etc), at video playback volume 100%, Windows playback volumn of 50%…but not able to hear the hiss.

It does look like people are experiencing higher degree of hissing with the 92HD95B (base on various mentions of this in the forum).

For your DT880, are you using the 32/250/600 ohms variant?

As to the reference to a ferrari…
The 295 is the built in cell phone audio system, not the music system.
Get a usb-dac dongle for music.
You can range from $230 for an Audioquest Dragonfly Red down to a $110 fio k3 or even less expensive get a $40 Hidizs Sonata HD DAC Cable.

Any changes to the heatsink & fan assembly and / or TIM? Any refinement there? e.g. fan noise characteristic, fan curve profile, fan fin density, fin design…etc?

You know how good this year’s laptop is…?

The Hidizs Sonata is no longer available. But its replacement, the S3 Pro, is currently on sale for $45, reduced from $69. I have one primarily for use with my phone, but it also works fine with the Framework.