What's the Downside

My current laptop is failing, and I’m a fearless DIYer and repairer, but of course the proprietary nature of the conventional business models mean endless dead-ends.

So if I have to get a new one, I’d love to get one purpose built for repairability.

That said, what are the things that might surprise? It would be nice to know if there are issues and challenges that are common.

For reference, I’ll use it for every day activities like email and writing, etc… but particularly for creating 3D models, Sketchup is my primary tool at this time.

Also, I’ll be continually loading new software for all the hobbying I do- IDE’s, IoT development, programming, etc…

If I had a magic wand I’d love a bigger screen and a dedicated number key pad, but I can live without if there aren’t serious concerns.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

The #1 downside is battery life. There are a number of alternatives that significantly outperform the Framework in this regard. Elevated Systems put out a nice video recently explaining this:


Thanks! I can deal with that- I’m usually plugged in anyway :slight_smile:


I would wait until reports of crashes / freezes / instant power loss are sorted out first…at the very least. I got burnt with the 11th gen, left a sour after taste…so I’m more cautious this time around with the 12th gen.

Depends on your baseline expectation…some people find it suitable as their daily driver…others, not so much.

In your case of “usually plugged in”…you have one less issue to worry about.

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Thanks @Second_Coming.

That’s a bit disconcerting- on the one hand I’m not afraid to roll my sleeves up- I run an Ubuntu computer as well, and I think I’d want dual boot for a new computer, but for the most part it needs to work- I can’t be fixing my computer when I have actual work to do, at least not often.

The other potential downside in that case is the lack of a chipset for a 2nd NVME drive, since 4 “thunderbolt” ports sucks up a lot of pcie lanes. Good luck on your quest!


Thanks- good point!

Hiya! Welcome to the forum~ :wave:

Price/Performance is kinda a downside

You can get more powerful laptops for the same price, although they might not have the amount of repairabillity the framework does!

Also depending where you’re from the fact that they don’t sell it in your region / high VAT or shipping prices but that’s kinda the same with other products

Hope this helps! :blush:

Thanks for the thoughts @Cheese!

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Battery life is not too good. You can get a better laptop for cheaper, but this is the best for modularity and repairability. I have not had problems with it crashing or shutting off while I use it, but I have had a couple of kernel crashes under Linux while it was plugged in and closed. I’m not so sure about that. I’ve got Linux on the SSD and a expansion card with windows.

I bought this as a ‘grab and go’ device for writing, web-surfing, minor technical work, light gaming. My points of comparison are a Dell 5280 and a Toshiba C855.

The Framework is light, looks sharp, and is thoughtfully designed. The aspect ratio has grown on me since I started using it.

My big complaints are:

  1. The case is very light. It seems to be well designed, in that I’ve gotten a few dents already and there’s no performance impact. And it looks easy to repair (as opposed to plastic cases).

  2. Because the pitch is modability, I now am spending way too much time thinking about all the things my laptop does not do. For example, I hate thumbstick mice. I used them and couldn’t wait to stop. But I absolutely must have one now, because someone said it’s nice and I love the choice of being able to put one on. I spent $100 on a transparent keyboard. Why did I do that? I have no idea. The only reason I go on the Dell forum is because something broke and I want to know if I’m stuck with that forever. I go on Frame.Work because someone has some whackadoodle thing they want to put on their device, and now I want one as well. What is wrong with me.

  3. The components selected are frequently cutting edge, and I need to take extra steps to get them working on Linux Mint.


You buy a Framework for the principle and theory rather than the actual laptop itself IMO.

I want other manufacturers to realise that obsolescence and failure to landfill isn’t the future.

The battery is kind of poor, the BIOS battery is a bit of a pain, the flip-floppy screen and the thing does not feel that robust either.

It’s a lovely laptop but clumsy technophobes should look elsewhere.

Would you mind to be more specific?
I was searching really hard to find a Notebook with a 14" screen (3:2 or 16:10), a good CPU (1280P) and 64GB RAM.
Framework was the only one I could find below € 3,000.-- and most Notebooks of that size only have 32GB RAM.
(Battery life is not that important to me)

HP EliteBook 1040 G9
HP ZBook FireFly 14 G9

LoL…that’s one way to put it…lightly.


I took a look at them before, both are priced much higher, at least here in Austria.

Not even for € 3,000? That’s criminal!

Depending on the configuration, there is a price difference up to around € 800.-- compared to the Framework DIY (and buying RAM and disk separately) to get nearly the same specs.

I just randomly spec-ed out the Firefly on HP’s US site:

Assuming you’re buying the SSD and RAM separately.

Comes to (in USD):

…looks like we all need an ‘Amerifriend’ once in awhile.

The biggest downside for me is not the battery life: I’ve actually managed to tweak that to my satisfaction, including suspend life. It’s pretty peachy now, but maybe I don’t have big enough expectations? Details in my review.

The biggest downside is the lack of ports. The framework only has four ports, and that’s kind of a hard limit. If you’re going to have two monitors, the SSD device and power, boom, you’re out of ports already. There’s no room for a 2.5" drive in there, so just converting from my previous laptop (a Purism Librem 13v4), I quickly ran out of ports.

This means dongles and so on, which might not be your cup of tea. The expansion ports are really nice, and there’s a really cool modding community around it, but it also means carrying around half a dozen of those things, so it’s kind of dongle hell all over again, except kind of different. :slight_smile:

Don’t get me wrong: I love my laptop, this is an awesome product. But that’s the downside I find…