Framework's Just Addressed The Biggest Pain Point With Its Impressive Modular Laptops

Framework, the company known for making fully upgradeable, repair-friendly, modular laptops, is back in the news. Almost a year after the company announced its premium, high-performance Framework 16 laptops, the wait appears to be finally over for those who pre-booked these machines. Framework had initially promised "late 2023" availability for these 16-inch notebooks but had to delay the general availability to the first quarter of 2024. The company's latest blog post reveals that the first Framework 16 shipments have started reaching customers' hands.

With all the developmental work on the Framework 16 laptops finally complete, consumers can now expect faster fulfillment times for the machine. Aiding faster fulfillment times for Framework is the expansion of its production facilities, which essentially helped the company double its production capacity. Despite these developments, however, the Framework 16 laptops are still not up for open sale and continue to be made available via a pre-order method.

For developers eager to delve into the internals of the Framework Laptop 16, the company has also released the first set of documentation on GitHub. This includes detailed drawings and connector part numbers for the mainboard, allowing for future repair and modifications. Framework promises to continue expanding this documentation over time, following the approach they established with the Framework Laptop 13.

A Framework laptop for less than $500?

One of the major concerns that people had with Framework's modular laptops was the lack of more affordable products and an attractive program that would make it easier for consumers to access fully functional, cheaper Framework notebooks. Framework seems to have addressed that issue with the announcement of the company's Outlet program in late 2023.

The program essentially lets consumers buy refurbished, older products at a discounted price. The latest updates to the program appear to be a move that could potentially make Framework's Outlet program even more attractive to buyers. To that effect, Framework confirmed that it is bringing the pricing down for its B-stock Factory Seconds laptops made available to consumers via the Outlet program.

With the updated prices, a barebones Framework Laptop 13 — which comes sans memory and storage — could be snagged for under $500 for the first time ever. Even with some of the necessary additions to make this barebones laptop fully functional, the total price of the machine did not go beyond $710 on Framework's online configurator. This is largely because Framework is also selling these key components at half the price of new ones.

Moving beyond B-stock, the Outlet now offers the first refurbished versions of the latest-generation Framework laptops that use 13th Gen Intel Core processors. These refurbished units come from undeliverable packages and a small number of returns, providing another avenue for acquiring capable hardware at a discount. These refurbished machines are only sold in the U.S. and Canada, though.