In the last decade the apple “ultrabook” approach to laptops has completely conquered the market. Every company tries to make laptops as slim and sleek as possible.
It was the wise choice then, for Framework to start with a sleek macbook-esque looking laptop to gain a foothold in this ultracompetitive market.
BUT while I might appreciate the slimness in notebooks I tend to prioritize usability over looks in things and I’m sure I’m not the only one. As long as it is under 2 kg (2.2 pounds) and 14" I’d prefer an ugly parallelepiped that mounts the maximum amount of battery possible and maximizes sturdiness. I mean with just 0.8 kg (0.7 pounds) more you could quadruple the battery life…
Am I the only one with this wish?
If there is no market for something like this, in your opinion, would the community ever be able to deliver a different chassis and battery?
Thank you in advance for your time.
Part of the smaller size of laptops is also that less space is needed for laptop internals now. If the battery’s capacity were quadrupled, the laptop would be double over the limit to be taken on an airplane.
Oh, I didn’t know airplanes had a battery size limit.
Even with that limitation would be possible to double the battery and step up the sturdiness of the chassis.
Whilst I agree that modern hardware is too slim-centric, I still don’t get that thing with battery. Sure, I can imagine industrial or military tasks that would require battery life of days, but that would mean completely different device anyway.
For typical users, I think, having the ability to double the battery life, just by using power bank only when you need to, is much more ergonomic than carrying all that weight with you all the time.
I think no one would take 60kg backpack stuffed with everything needed for a 2 week hiking trip… just to get to their office that is 15 minutes away from their home. “Just in case”. The same goes with battery for me.
I don’t think you are the only wishing for a ThickFrame, but I do think the market for it is so niche it would not be worth manufacturing. Here’s a list of reasons why I think it would not really work: 1) 99w is the maximum allowed for a battery on a plane. 2) The Framework as is, is plenty sturdy, the build quality is definitely similar to most Thinkpads I have owned. To improve it further would require excessive weight or moving to completely different less recyclable materials, and that is counterproductive for most peoples use case. An additional line, or retooling for this ThickFrame is a cost a small company like Framework can’t afford. In general you treat your laptops like frisbees…well nothing is going to save you there. Personally every laptop I have ever had has made it to the 3 year mark in near mint condition and most have made it way past that mark (still have a mint condition Dell Studio 17" with a Core Duo that runs just fine). 3) With four usb-c/thunderbolt ports you can get a ridiculous number of additional ports. Use a unpowered hub/dock if you need a bunch of options not covered by expansion cards or need extra ports. 4) I used to carry a Thinkpad T430 with two 9 cell batteries, two 9 cell slice batteries, two power supplies, and an external charger. This was a combination of needing the battery life and charging taking a long time. With quick charging, and generally better battery life, the same needs are mostly covered by the internal battery and one good charger. When I need extra battery power, I can carry a powerbank that can charge all of my devices instead of just my laptop at a 1/4 the weight. Very few people want to go back to those days, and those that do, can easily get what they want by simply getting a bigger powerbank.
Ultimately when you really look at it, what you want, does not make any sense for a manufacturer to make in 2022/2023. I get nostalgic for the old days sometimes, and then I remember the weight…no thanks. (I do wonder where you came up with the just 0.8 pounds number too.)
I think the Framework is already quite utilitarian. Almost every characteristic of the appearance of the laptop reveals its function or purpose somehow. The aluminum is raw to avoid the negative environmental impact of anodizing, seams and screws are clearly visible, and every part is quick and easy to access with the included screwdriver. I personally love this about the Framework and have noticed that even people who are not particularly saavy or interested in computers notice right away that my Framework is different than other new laptops.
I am on team Framework XL, though. I recently upgraded to a 16 inch M1 Max MBP (from one of the 15 inch Intel models) at work. It is bigger in every dimension than the Framework and I actually prefer the larger form factor, so I wouldn’t even consider it a trade-off for more battery and computing power, extra screen space, and larger, top-facing speakers. It’s all positive.
But the MBP has a few problems that would not be an issue in a hypothetical Framework XL:
- the worst keyboard I have ever had the displeasure to use, like typing on oatmeal
- a port selection that forced me to completely rearrange my desk and includes HDMI and SD ports that I will never use
- Apple’s self-repair program that is more of a joke than it is an encouragement to actually repair any of their devices
- You can’t really choose an OS (I know you can technically install Asahi Linux on it, but I would like to actually be able to use all the hardware)