We can make a desktop computer or a computer called a PC as we want. We can add parts according to our need and choice for all the parts from the motherboard. But laptops do not have that feature. Manufacturers do not allow you to transfer anything except a limited amount of RAM, such as an SSD. We know that there is no better solution than to buy a brand-new laptop if you want to improve over time. But Framework Laptop, which started as a new project, has adapted the screen, keyboard and even the ports on its own.
A new project for a new company
The framework is a startup based in San Francisco, USA. The company was founded by Nirav Patel, former head of the hardware division at Oculus, a VR (Virtual Reality) equipment manufacturer. He started Framework in 2019 for the first time. The project to create a modular laptop computer is primarily a project implemented by this company.
In the computer world of the word modular, the term “modular” refers to the design of individual parts so that they can be replaced by individual parts without any hindrance to the final result if the desired result is obtained and upgraded. For example, if you are designing a modular computer, the user should be able to easily replace certain parts without much technical knowledge, at least without a nail or salvage.
The concept behind the design of modular electronic devices was not started by Framework. Modular computers, smartphones, etc. have been around since the beginning of the 21st century when the creation of a variety of electronic devices began. The Moto Z smartphone launched by Motorola in 2016 is arguably the most successful modular smartphone. Consumers were able to purchase separate parts of the Moto mods that can be mounted as magnets on the back of the phone. Among the Moto mods were a small projector that could project the phone screen, a JBL speaker, a camera with Hasselblad lenses, and a camera that could take 360-degree video. If one wants this feature, it is enough to buy the relevant mod separately and stick it on the back of the phone.
The Fairphone mobile phone also aims to make it easier for the user to repair their phone. In 2019, the third edition of their Fairphone 3, the phone’s camera, battery and other parts were installed in such a way that anyone can easily separate. Therefore, if there is a fault in any part of the phone, the relevant part can be replaced by a new part to replace it.
Most smartphones today are released as a sealed package. This method is now being used for laptops as well. We all know that it’s very difficult to upgrade or repair Apple’s MacBook computers. This is because most parts are soldered to the computer’s motherboard. Manufacturers use this method to reduce energy loss and to facilitate cooling.
Rising electronic waste
This allows the consumer to choose another model of their own if they want a more capable computer. Then they will have to submit to their unreasonable prices. It is also a big question of whether the laptop you buy today will be enough for your future needs.
The main adverse effect of all this is that the amount of e-waste in the world is increasing day by day. It has been estimated that the average amount of electronic waste added to the environment by one person per year is about six pounds [6 kg]. This is why it is important to create mobile devices that can be upgraded with advancing technology. Framework’s production of modular laptops can also point to a new way to change the future.
A computer with only all the required ports
Today, most business and office users use laptops that are thin and light. This type of laptop is very easy to use as it is easy to carry around. Therefore, most manufacturers today use only USB-C ports to reduce the thickness of computers. If one wants a different type of port, one has to use a separate dongle. For example, if you are a photographer, you will need to use a USB-C dongle with an SD card reader for photo editing. Even the HDMI port is no longer found on most laptops.
Framework’s latest modular laptop computer provides a wonderful solution to this. When you buy a framework laptop, you have to buy separate small module parts. These are very cheap. These modules look and feel like part of a computer, without any damage to the computer. You can install these 4 modules designed for the port on your laptop. These are connected to 4 USB-C ports under the computer. These modules are about an inch in size and have ports such as USB-C, USB A, HDMI and Micro SD.
You can even get a module with a display port that is not normally found on laptops. Even a module with a 250 GB or 1 TB larger SSD can be replaced with a port. Then you can use a permanent SSD mounted on your computer without any interruption. An added advantage is that it can be mounted and used as a flash drive on other computers or cameras. This modular system also allows one to HDMI all 4 ports of one’s laptop.
Ease of repair
Framework Only 5 screws are needed to open the laptop. You will get a screwdriver for this along with the computer. These nails can be loosened but not removed from the back panel of the lap. So avoid being misplaced. If the nail is misplaced in any way, a few extra nails are inserted into the computer itself. The computer opens from the front when the back is loosened. The front panel is fitted with magnets. So even if the nails are loosened, the panel will not come off. With a small amount of force to remove the magnets, you can easily remove only the ribbon wire that connects to the keyboard and enter the computer.
The inside of this laptop is very neatly arranged. This means that each part is labelled in a way that is easy to identify. Battery, Storage, Memory, etc., in clear capital letters, and below it is a brief description of what type of partition should be mounted. Therefore, even a person with a general knowledge of computers can easily make repairs or add a new part. On this computer you will find QR codes and a message from the Framework Company with information on how to repair or repair individual parts.
Like most Windows laptops, this computer can easily transfer RAM, Wi-Fi card and SSD partitions. In addition, the speaker and battery can be easily removed and replaced. Framework The processor of a computer cannot be removed. When purchasing you will have to choose from one of three models of the 11th generation Intel processor. But even the motherboard of this computer can be easily removed, so anyone who is experimenting with technology has the ability to use it and make another design.
The battery is easily replaced
You may remember that an earlier laptop had a battery that could be removed. The batteries were located on the outside of the computer, so they could be easily removed. However, most manufacturers now install the battery permanently inside the computer, as Thin and Light models have such a large battery compartment that it’s bad for their appearance. As a result, the user has to bear the loss of battery capacity over time. But this Framework laptop battery is designed to be easily replaced by anyone. This may be the only laptop computer that can be easily repaired while maintaining the slim and attractive appearance of the laptop.
Framework computer screen
To change the screen on a normal laptop, the surrounding bezel must be heated and slowly removed. This is because they are often sealed. This work requires several tools, including a heat gun. Even so, only an experienced person can replace the display. But it is enough to apply a small amount of force without using any tool to remove the bezel of the framework laptop. This is because it is mounted solely on a magnet. Framework hopes to offer other colour options for this plastic bezel soon. The user will then be able to customize the look of the laptop to a colour of your choice.
Once the bezel is removed, the laptop screen panel can be easily removed with just a few screws. This screen is a 2256 x 1504 resolution panel with a 13.5 inch 3: 2 aspect ratio. The framework is currently developing only a screen panel with the above capabilities, but they also plan to introduce touch screen support or higher resolution screen panels such as 4K in the future. Then the person who bought this computer will be able to easily install an improved screen on their laptop in the future.
The challenge of modular equipment manufacturing
When designing a typical laptop computer does not pay much attention to ease of repair or upgrade. This greatly reduces the cost of production. However, laptops or other electronic devices that are manufactured modularly cost the manufacturer more than the average device. Having to charge this amount from the user increases the price of modular devices.
Only users who have a great interest in modular technology will pay more to buy modular devices. Eventually, such projects are abandoned due to the inability to make a profit. This is what happened to Motorola’s Moto mod project and Dell’s Alienware Area 51 computer project. But many commentators say the Framework Company’s startup is based on the modular laptop industry, which gives them more confidence in the development of their products.
Framework It is not possible to remove or replace the GPU of a laptop computer. This is because it is an inbuilt version of the Intel processor. The Framework computer has a long way to go to add that capability.
To date, no GPU manufacturer has yet developed a GPU that can be installed or removed from a laptop. As a result, the processor capabilities of the currently released Framework laptop will become obsolete in a few years.
Plug and play type GPU
But even GPU manufacturers will soon be directed to develop smaller plug-and-play type GPU modules by companies like Framework. If such a GPU is created, it will be enough for us to buy only one graphics card to exchange and use between several laptops.
If Framework succeeds in this endeavour, we will be able to keep the same laptop chassis for a long time in the future with the necessary upgrades and repairs. These people will be able to solve the problem of electronic waste and the problem of having to spend a lot of money and switch to a new laptop with the new technology coming year after year.
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