Why not have a built-in USB-C port?

Just out of curiosity related to the design decision: If the laptop charges by USB-C that means every laptop shipped must have at least one USB-C expansion card. Since this is the case, why not have this one built into the chassis that connects to the motherboard? This would also free up one expansion port – my ideal configuration is two USB-C, a USB-A, SD card, and HDMI.

There is a built-in audio jack, which is nice to have, but seeing as how most mobile devices have removed this jack one can surmise most people have a bluetooth and/or a USB headphone. The audio jack could then be a good candidate for an expansion card.

Just wondering why a necessary port was omitted but instead a legacy port is built-in. Thanks in advance!


I think it is cooler if we have two ports in one expansion card.
For instance, two USB C ports; one USB C with one HDMI port, etc.
If so, I would order all expansion cards with dual port to make my laptop has 8 ports. :smile:


I mean, technically you can just plug the charger and accessories into the recessed USB-C and call it a day. Just be extra careful with those because they are part of the motherboard and not a 10$ dongle


Uhh you’re all kinda forgetting something! The expansion cards also serve as damage protection in the case that you wear down a USB-C port!


I wouldn’t make that assumption: plenty of people were ticked off when phones started dropping dedicated phone jacks, and I suspect lots of people use wired phones at their laptops for conferencing, music, gaming, etc.

I’ve got a pair of BT ear buds, BT headphones, and wired headphones: I use the ear buds when I’m out and using my phone for music, but for serious listening it’s the wired headphones: better noise cancellation, a more reliable signal, no transient delays or interference from stray radio signals, and no charging needed.


I would agree that an audio jack is not a legacy port, but rather a functional one that is without reason being removed in some cases. I’m very glad that laptops as a whole have not started getting rid of them for arbitrary reasons as we see companies like Apple doing.

One other comment on the way ports were designed for the Framework laptop: while it is true that you need a usb c port to charge, you, however, don’t always need to charge. This flexibility means that when you are out and about, you could forego a usb c port in favor of any of the other expansion modules. When it comes time to charge, you swap out for a usb c and you’re good.

There are other things to consider as well. The Framework laptop mainboard was not JUST designed to be used in the laptop. We have plenty of examples of this in the wild already. These uses cases were also considered and part of the design process. :+1:


In addition to the comment about the pass-through basically working as a port saver, it also allows the user to choose which side they want to charge from.

And even on a given side, the ability to choose if you want it in the front or the back could differ depending on where the laptop is being placed and what surrounding objects are present. If you’re connecting the laptop also to a thick DisplayPort or HDMI cable then you’d probably prefer that to be the rear plug instead with the comparatively slim power cable on the front (slim enough that it could possibly even pass under the thick video cable) while leaving the other side open for plugging in things (unless you’re ambidextrous of course).