Framework 16 First Impressions

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Author: Matthew Crews via PLUG-discuss
To: Main PLUG discussion list
CC: Matthew Crews
Subject: Framework 16 First Impressions
Cheers y'all,

Back in July, Framework announced they would be taking preorders for
their 16-inch variant with the dedicated AMD GPU. I decided to take the
plunge, and yesterday afternoon it arrived.

Here are the system specs for my specific device, plus the prices paid:

System: Ryzen™ 7 7840HS
Memory: DDR5-5600 - 32GB (1 x 32GB)
Storage: WD_BLACK™ SN850X NVMe™- M.2 2280 - 1TB
Expansion Bay Module: Graphics Module (AMD Radeon™ RX 7700S)
Display: 2560x1600
Keyboard: RGB Clear ANSI $50.00
Macropad: RGB Macropad Module $59.00

Expansion Cards
Audio $19.00
USB-A $9.00
USB-C – USB-C Expansion Card $9.00
Ethernet $39.00
2 x HDMI (3rd Gen) $38.00
250GB (2nd Gen) $45.00

Product Price
$2,421.00 + $135.55 tax= $2556.55

Here are my thoughts for those considering a Framework computer in the

First, I'm pleased to say that Fedora Silverblue 39 works out of the
box. No needing to mess around with secureboot, bootloader headaches,
driver headaches, or anything. It just works! Fedora 39 and Ubuntu 22.04
LTS are the officially supported distros (with plans for supporting
Fedora 40 and Ubuntu 24.04 LTS in the near future), but I would imagine
most distros (ones that are up to date with new kernels and new Mesa
drivers) will work just fine.

The laptop is *heavy*! It's just over 5 pounds with the GPU installed,
and it certainly feels heavy! It's also quite large, nearly an inch
thick and about a square foot in size (14" by 11.4" x 0.82"). If you're
looking for a tiny lightweight laptop, this isn't it.

You will absolutely need some expansion cards, and you will need to pick
a keyboard for this laptop. That adds up a bit towards the final cost.
Mercifully you can arrange them almost however you want (you'll need at
least one USB-C module for charging in one of the rear ports). You can
also bring your own memory and storage if you'd like, provided it fits
the internal port. You can also save a bit and skip on the GPU if you'd
like; the iGPU is pretty powerful.

The one thing to be aware of is that the fans are loud, and you will
hear them when they spin up.

Initial part install, repair and disassembly is exactly as Framework
advertises. They even provide instructional videos on their website
(which you can look at on either a mobile device or another PC).
Honestly I feel building a tower is harder than servicing this laptop,
which is quite refreshing! Hopefully Framework will remain around for
many more years, or the user-serviceable aspect spreads to other major
manufacturers (ie System 76).

The RGB keyboard and macropad are reprogrammable pretty easily via their
website. So for us Dvorak or Colemak users, this is pretty awesome. Alas
I haven't figured out how to alter the color profile to something a bit
more to my liking, but it's pretty easy to turn the LEDs for a
distraction free work session. I'm not really in love with the touchpad
(I like the feel of my Thinkpad's touch pad better) but it gets the job

Haven't had a chance to really put the battery through its paces, but
considering the hardware I don't expect a whole lot of life compared to
ultra-portable laptops. Which is fine for my use case, but may not be
fine for yours.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with this machine. I can definitely recommend
it if you can afford it.


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