Framework’s new user-upgradeable Chromebook is just about unheard of

Framework's expansion cards make changing out ports super easy.
Stephen Vicinanza
Chromebook Laptop

Chromebook 

The new laptop from Framework is the Google-approved Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition. The laptop is upgradeable and customizable by the same company that released the Framework laptop last year.

In most instances, it is hard to find a user-upgradeable laptop, but any kind of Chromebook that can be upgraded by the user is practically unheard of. The consumer base for such a product remains a mystery. This is very much a positive move for the ailing Chromebook. Just in reparability, this idea makes sense in the laptop space overall.

Some of the parts that are upgradeable are the mainboard which is available with a choice of Intel 12th Generation Core i5 or i7, PCIe 4.0, and Intel’s new Xe Graphics. The replaceable mainboard allows the user to upgrade to other generations of CPUs and GPUs. At this time, the options include 6 or 8-core chips, and up to 4.8GHz Turbo.

The case holds a large 65mm x 5.5mm fan so that it can cool the mainboard which runs at a 30W continuous processor load, which is how much heat the CPU is delivering under normal high-output workflow.

The dual 5mm heat pipes and copper fin pack allow the CPU to run up to 60W processor load in turbo mode.

In the memory department, there are prebuilt configurations of up to 32GGB DDR4-3200 RAM and 1TB NVMe SSD storage. To reach unbeatable heights, the RAM and storage can be upgraded by the user to 64GB of memory and a whopping 8TB of storage.

One of the great features of this laptop is the expansion cards, the Framework Expansion card system lets the user decide the ports they want and which side they are placed on. There are four bays, with options of USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, MicroSD ultra-fast storage, and a host of other choices (defaults are USB4, 20V/5A charging and DisplayPort Alt mode for connecting monitors on either side of the laptop).

The Framework comes in a Windows version or the Chromebook Edition.

The bezels are also swappable, they attach with magnets to the frame. All bezels that come from Framework are compatible with the Chromebook Edition, which means different colors are available with easy snap on and off installation.

Other parts which appear to be replaceable according to Framework Marketplace: Hinge, audio board, bottom cover, and touchpad cable. Also coming soon, and will at some point be replaceable: keyboard, battery, power button, and top cover.

There is a coming soon Framework Market listing for a newer ChromeOS mainboard. However, there is no concrete information on that option.

The Chromebook includes a 2256 x 1504 3:2 display and weighs in at 2.87 pounds, or 1.3k. The CPU that comes with the Chromebook Edition is an Intel 12th Generation Core i5-1240P. There is no mention of whether the CPU is upgradeable to the i7 version, as it is in the Windows version.

Framework says the Chromebook speakers are louder than the Windows version, as well as a more power-optimized battery. It seems that for all the different reasons anyone may want a Framework laptop, the main reason to buy one is that it is repairable.

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