Framework’s latest modular laptop is one I could stick with for years – TechCrunch

Framework has been expanding its footprint in the laptop scene over the last few years, and we felt it was time to give one of their modular laptops a look. This latest generation is good enough that I felt it could be my daily driver, the port swap system is simple enough for a child to use, and if you don’t mind continuing to take part in the company’s ecosystem, you’ve got upgrades for years without having to throw away any more than the bare minimum.

If you’re not familiar with Framework, the company makes laptops and parts with two goals in mind: sustainability and repairability.

The repairability piece is a breath of fresh air to someone like me who has used exclusively Apple laptops for the last 10 years — good devices to be sure, but forget about repairing or upgrading them. Framework’s models are built from the ground up to be fixed, whether that’s swapping out bad RAM, replacing the keyboard, or adding a (new or old) port.

That feeds into the sustainability side, since instead of buying a whole new laptop every few years, you keep the old one and just swap out the piece that needs to go. Less e-waste, less cash waste.

The latest Framework laptop includes the following standard:

  • 13.5″ 2256×1504 display (3:2 ratio)
  • 55 Wh battery
  • 1080p webcam
  • Fingerprint reader
  • 1.3 kg, 16mm thick
  • 3.5mm headphone port

You can specify storage, RAM, and of course processor, from a i5-1240P to a i7-1280P, with onboard graphics.

Out of the box, the laptop is quite ordinary looking — which is a compliment, I feel. The soft grey brushed aluminum (50% recycled) and gear logo are tasteful, and the general shape is inoffensive and familiar, though it lacks the “premium” feel of a MacBook Pro (much of which comes from the MBP’s unibody construction that precludes easy repair).

Open it up and you have the now-familiar black bezel and black keys on silver, the now default style for mid- and high-end laptops.

But you notice right away that above the screen there are little switches next to the camera and microphone. These privacy switches completely remove the device from your system’s awareness — they’re not just covers. It’s the kind of kill switch I’ve always…