Hear me out: The modular Framework Chromebook is worth the $1, 000 (for some) – Engadget
I n a world where most laptops are entirely sealed, with no real way to tweak the hardware, Framework’s modular devices stand out. The company’s first Windows laptop was a solid computer considering the price – and that’s before you factor in the fact that you could swap ports, easily add more storage or RAM or even upgrade the particular processor down the line.
It’s been a little over a year since the 1st Framework laptops launched, plus now the company has a new model, the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition (which I’ll refer to as the Framework Chromebook from here on out). It offers the same benefits as its Windows sibling – namely, solid industrial design and specs coupled with the particular promise of customization plus future expandability. That said, it’s also one of the more expensive Chromebooks available, starting at $999. That’s a lot of money for a Chromebook – but if it can last you five years or even more, it might be worth the cost.
- Extremely easy to upgrade or repair
- Great screen and keyboard
- Powerful hardware
- Relatively thin and light design
- Pricey compared to other Chromebooks
- Visual design is a little dull
- Mediocre battery life
Visually, the Framework Chromebook has little to distinguish it. That is not necessarily the bad thing, but it is very utilitarian, with a silver aluminum chassis that resembles so many other devices away there. Still, it’s a pretty compact device, less than two-thirds associated with an inch thick and weighing under three pounds. A classy reflective Platform logo on the lid is the particular only point distinguishing it from an Acer, ASUS and other brands’ laptops.
Gallery: Construction Laptop Chromebook Edition review photos | 20 Photos
Gallery: Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review photos | 20 Photos
A day or even two later, I discovered that the Framework Chromebook does have one bit of flair: the black bezel around the screen is magnetic plus easily removable. Framework actually provided me with a fun orange option, which I left on. You can also get the silver bezel if you want, but orange will be a personal favorite. I’m hoping the organization adds a few more colors in the future as well.
Inside that bezel is usually a 1080p webcam that’s totally fine for video calling. Also of interest is the fact that there are hardware switches with regard to disabling the camera and microphones. This isn’t just a software trick either; the particular switches really cut the power to those modules, making it a fairly secure option (though the physical cover over the camera would be pretty impenetrable, too).
While Framework devices are upgradeable, a few things are more permanent – specifically, the display and key pad. (You may replace both if they break, but presently there aren’t a lot more advanced versions to upgrade your laptop with at this time. That could change, of course). Fortunately, both are excellent, as you’d hope for in a laptop in this cost. The 13. 5-inch screen has a high resolution of 2, 256 x 1, 504, which translates to the taller 3: 2 aspect ratio that I wish were more common.
The main downside is that will it’s not a touchscreen, something you’ll find upon most Chromebooks. That makes installing touch-driven Android apps less appealing, though from this point most of the applications I use (Lightroom, Todoist, Spotify and movie apps like Netflix) work fine along with a keyboard and mouse. That minor disappointment aside, the screen is great. Text plus images are usually sharp, and its 400-nit max brightness is more than sufficient unless you have sunlight coming through plus shining right on the particular display.
As you’d expect, Platform swapped out there the Windows keyboard layout for one that will feel familiar in order to Chromebook users, with the “everything” button on the remaining in place of caps lock and the function row shortcuts like back, refresh plus screenshot correct where We expected. There’s no Google Assistant key, but a person can very easily access the particular Assistant in the ChromeOS search bar if you’re so inclined. The keyboard itself is definitely excellent; the backlit buttons have 1 . 5mm associated with travel and are solid and precise. The key caps are a bit small, but this didn’t take me long to adjust. I actually do wish that Framework included the particular fingerprint sensor found on its Home windows laptop, though. Given that plenty of some other Chromebooks support fingerprint unlocking, I’m surprised it isn’t available right here.
At $999, the Construction Chromebook is not cheap, but the company didn’t spare any expense with the processor. It features Intel’s 12th-generation Core i5-1240P CPU, along with 8GB of RAM plus 256GB associated with storage upon the base model. Most Chromebooks along with comparable specs are similarly priced, so Framework’s laptop computer isn’t excessively expensive – but the question, because always, is whether spending that much money on a ChromeOS device is a good idea at all.