Why is the FW16 so expensive?

Excited about the framework 16, but… It’s expensive - really expensive. FW16 Team, why is the cost so much higher than competitors of a similar spec?


How would you quantify your choice if they’d be priced the same?
If you wouldn’t lean to take FW16 laptop with the same price then there is no point to continue this discussion.
If you see a point then this is their price for what they offer.

Thanks for the question, sorry to see others are taking it a bit more harshly. You seem chill.

For an explanation, it’s likely due to RND. Making the laptop as modular as it is costs alot in tooling along with paying the engineers to make it as good as we see. Where other laptops have pre-existing tooling in place, none exist for the form factor or concept here. That costs alot to design, build, set up, and train employees to use. Along with testing it to ensure it’ll actually work, and throw out what doesn’t.

This was a massive risk for them and an absurd investment, monetarily. I’m glad they’ve done this though. They could have made it less modular, taken out the modular keyboard, or have lowered the IO ports available, but it would have been a worse product. It was factoring of features vs cost and they made their decision farther to the feature side than the cost effectiveness side. Though I agree with their decision I can understand others preferring less features, like only adding on the graphics card.


Here’s how I’ve been thinking about it. Unlike regular laptop manufacturers, they can’t necessarily rely on repeated full laptop purchases from the same customers to generate revenue, as many people will instead be upgrading individual components, so prices are necessarily inflated to make up for that potential lost revenue and encourage staying in the ecosystem.

For example, I was poking around earlier and you can find similarly specced gaming laptops in the $1500 range (QHD, same processors and GPU option, storage, etc), but if you want to upgrade the GPU in a competitor’s laptop (the component that ages quickest on a gaming laptop), you need to spend another $1500 on a new laptop. With Framework, you might spend, for example, $2500 today, and another $400 on a GPU upgrade in a few years. For the price of hardware over the life of the hardware, it’s not that unreasonable, especially considering you are inherently paying a premium for upgradability and modularity (there’s a joke in here somewhere about how it’s harder to engineer something that moves reliably than something that’s not intended to move at all).

There’s also something to be said for their limited manufacturing capacity compared to demand, priced any more aggressively they’d be overwhelmed with orders. They’re still a growing business trying to stay profitable at the end of the day, I’d rather things were priced realistically so the platform is supported long term.


Really £1699 for the 16" I paid £1499 for the 13"

There are no competitors for this scale of innovation. Many people say how cheap it is, or at least a good buy, you are the first to complain that I have seen.

Why a whole topic, it could just have been a comment on

… wait for it.


There’s an upfront cost but also a cost-over-time. Framework laptops provide easy user repairability with available parts as well as upgradeability. Say you wanted to upgrade your GPU 5 years from now; instead of buying a whole new laptop for $1,200-$3,000, you only have to pay ~$500 or however much the module costs. Alternatively, if you’re satisfied with your GPU and only want to upgrade your board, you can just upgrade it. Even upgrading both the GPU and board would still be about half the cost of a new laptop.
When I bought the 13", I justified the cost with the price of other laptops plus the cost of buying another one 5 or so years from now.


More expensive than expected, but going to pay it anyway and get the top-tier model. Could be the last laptop I buy.


Indeed, considering its upgradeability and R&D what has been done its perfectly fine.
I’m definitely buying when they start orders in the EU. I’m sure you can even get 4k display afterwards.

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Hmm, it’s a lot of money to be sure, but I think the pricing is in line with what I expected, personally.

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Personally I think its lower than I expected for what it is.


I think the price is very reasonable. I’m not going to buy it because I prefer smaller laptops (and prefer buying from local or at least EU companies), but the price seems very appropriate for what you get.

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I am used to Apple prices, £2300 is OK. Besides, a future GPU module may come.


Does not seem unreasonable for the specs, to me. It was always going to be in this price range. Very quickly prices up as you option up, but that’s to be expected. Peculiar to the Framework family is you can opt for no drive, no memory, and buy both from other sources. Complicates warranty claims but does save money in the compromise.

Possibly, OP is looking at the quote after speccing it up, and eyeballing the 8gb of vram in that RX7700s and getting a sad feeling; that may not feel like much for what you’re paying at high spec. I can sympathise. Another 500 bucks to get into a 16gb GPU would probably feel worthwhile, even if other components were down-specced to fit a hard budget. But we can’t - for now - and I’m going out on a limb to say it’s probably AMD’s product stack taking too long to be released.

Silver lining is future upgrade potential. AMD is likely to put higher model mobile GPUs out. I’m not sure if the FW16 has enough battery to run a bigger GPU, but it’s pretty adaptable, so we’ll see in time. Remember FW are doing some engineering, but when it comes to chips they’re shopping too - just not in the same shops as most of us - so they can only buy what’s there.

Or I’m on the wrong track and OP doesn’t care about the GPU. Eh, just chatting, it’s a forum isn’t it?


Considering its awesomeness-per-euro rating its actually much cheaper then most or all other laptops.

I’m guessing its not designed to use the GPU while on battery power. It will work, but not for very long considering the battery capacity.

Same. I’m fortunate enough to be able to vote with my wallet to support projects like this. I can only hope that vote leads to more purchasing freedom for others in the future.


What’s cool about a project like this is that someone could in theory develop another gpu module that takes external power. If I’m gaming, I’m plugged in, and if I’m plugged in, idc what the power draw is (assuming it can be cooled). Or even a PCI adapter that plugs in desktop hardware might be possible.

I don’t think the FW16 is too expensive.
I do think it is a lot of money for a laptop, though.

But those are 2 different things. I can only see in my own wallet and definitely not in @Joe_S’s. I can imagine though, that if you are a student or don’t live of a good salary, it is hard to justify the price of the FW16. Definitely if you can get similar performance for a lower price, which I guess you can.

Performance is not the only thing you are buying, though. You’re also buying in into an ecosystem, into a repairable, configurable and hopefully upgradable laptop. As pointed out by others, the cost of ownership can be a lot lower, but unfortunately the initial costs are definitely higher.

Apart from that, as an engineer I know that designing hardware is expensive. Designing modular hardware is not necessarily more expensive, but the end-result typically is, because more integration typically leads to lower costs.

Take for example the expansion cards:
They need mechanics for sliding in/out, each a unique PCB, every USB-C connection on the mainboard a more complex controller, because of the functions that might be provided on the port/expansion card that can be connected to it.
Whereas a manufacturer as Dell/HP/… can decide to have 1 HDMI, 2 USB-C, 1 USB-A and only provide the circuitry necessary for those ports, doesn’t need the required mechanics and integrates everything on a single mainboard.

Same goes for the new expansion bay: extra mechanics, extra circuitry, extra connectors (featuring PCI-E lanes, fan control, connections for charging/battery). Not all of that is used (yet?) with the GPU expansion bay and definitely not with the smaller expansion bay shell. But it is there anyway.

And then there are the input modules for the keyboard/numpad/mousepad. All configurable in position, thus extra connectors, which will never all be used; running QMK on a RP2040, which a (large?) part of the users don’t necessarily need.

All that, is why I think it is so expensive.

Up to you to decide if it is worth your money though.


For me as an engineer I’d love to play with it and take it apart, due to all the features/modularity they squeezed into the laptop.

For me as a person though, I have no need for a 16" laptop and will happily stay with my 11th gen 13" for now (and probably upgrade it in some time: because I can!).


Relatable. I’m a software engineer and I’m considering making an 18650 battery expansion for the bay because I’m addicted to battery life.


Besides what others have said I find lots of value in my right to repair. So paying a little extra to a company that values that as well is worth it to me.